new-york

Leon Golub, Interrogation, 1992, silk screen on paper, 17 × 22".

Leon Golub

The Met Breuer

An unforgiving witness to his time, Leon Golub (1922–2004) was America’s Goya during the second half of the twentieth century, recording and denouncing in his art what critic Donald Kuspit called the “pathology of power.” While aware of various classical European sculptural and pictorial traditions, as well as developments in French postwar art, Golub’s painting is rough, stripped bare of anything agreeable or polite. Neither alluring nor eager to please, his images are coarse—they scrape against the eyes. He drew upon a wide variety of visual sources, high and low: from Greek statuary and pictures of weapons and mercenaries, to sports and porn magazines, war photography, and s/m film stills—which he kept separated by subject in folders inside the monastic cell where he slept, at the back of his loft on LaGuardia Place in Manhattan. There was a phenomenal contrast between the

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