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Ellen Altfest, Leg, 2010, oil on linen, 8 × 11". From “The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men.”

“The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men”

Cheim & Read

Ellen Altfest, Leg, 2010, oil on linen, 8 × 11". From “The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men.”

In the all-women group show “The Female Gaze, Part Two: Women Look at Men,” the topic is a great maw into which much (good) art is forked: figurative and gestural painting, photographs, sculpture, and embroidery, all spanning 1927 to 2016. Excellent are the aesthetically pleasing portraits of sweetly somber men, all nudes with trusting eyes: Catherine Opie’s photograph of a shirtless Ryan McGinley, posed against a dramatic dark curtain, as if a school photo for a lover; Sylvia Sleigh’s Paul Rosano in Jacobsen Chair, 1971, a pinkish nude self-conscious of his role as gazee, a fitting companion to the weathered assurance of Joan Semmel’s David, 1982, blowing smoke out of his mouth, hand on his hip as if posing patiently. These men exude a quiet confidence; they do not preen or front. When they do connote a “to-be-looked-at-ness,” it’s docile. Alice Neel’s David Sokola, 1973, a

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