The Easel

29th September 2020

The ‘Real’ Cindy Sherman

An avalanche of reviews of Sherman’s Paris retrospective mostly just state the obvious. This one does better. Of course her work explores identity, but is that all? For some of her characters -aging female socialites, for example – the use of disguise works to expose rather than conceal. “The whole range of injustices that age has imprinted on their faces and bodies suggest an underlying melancholy … you see [them] vulnerable and exposed.”

22nd September 2020

Jacob Lawrence, Peering Through History’s Cracks

For some painters a single canvas just isn’t enough. An early series of 60 paintings about African American migration to the North made Lawrence’s name. A later series, reunited for the first time in a half century, describes the early history of the American republic. Lawrence’s “punchy modernist vignettes” tell an “integrationist history … and will come to be seen as a juggernaut among American historical documents”.