Leaving the Four Arts and the art of a near-distant past, one is struck by how quickly what was once novel is now accepted in staid surroundings, though rarely quickly enough for the artists themselves to reap material benefit.
The show at Galerie St. Etienne is a less than subtle reminder that the same issues which drew moral outrage in the last century—labor unrest, economic disparity, political corruption, the cloud of nuclear war—are very much with us.
Guido Cagnacci’s signature theme was the half-length female nude, which satisfied the three standard criteria of such artworks: a narrative foundation, showmanship of technical prowess, and an erotic hook.
Fairfield Porter painted images of a leisurely life on Long Island and in Maine when abstract expressionism was ascendant, and in that zeitgeist the idea of an American artist chronicling a trouble-free suburban environment would easily be taken for dilettantism.
I’m sure most of you have had favorite works of art that you’ve examined repeatedly over the years. They keep us engaged as great art does, telling us more with each viewing and over time we have grown to accept more with our own maturity as viewers and artists.