The Easel

1st May 2018

Leon Golub

Golub’s view was that history was full of “toxic masculinity … bad men doing bad things”. In response, he filled his paintings with violent images. Was Golub’s depiction of violence excessive? “[H]is critique of power and violence consisted of confronting slaughter by representing slaughter. Whether this amounts to a genuinely ethical response … is an open question.”

Polymorphous Eden

Wood’s American Gothic is “the most universally recognized American painting”. Yet many find it inscrutable and Wood’s other works too. His “perversely sexualised landscapes, dream trees, dream fields, dream corn, dream ribbons of roadway … no hint of actual dirt or dust. One cannot imagine wind blowing there.” (The March 20 newsletter carried a different review of this show.)