Deborah Anne Krieger reviews Notations/Revolutions of the Real: Painting the Figure, 1960s to Now at the Philadelphia Museum of Art (Gallery 176). The installation features works by Sidney Goodman, James Rosenquist, Alex Katz, Chuck Close, Philip Pearlstein, Michelangelo Pistoletto, Alice Neel, Elizabeth Peyton, and Noel Mahaffey.
Kreiger writes: "While at first glance this show seems to be a simple set of paintings exploring different approaches to the expression of the human form from the 1960s to the present, the way this exhibit has been curated creates endless curiosities and surprises. Nearly every work is juxtaposed with its neighbor in intelligent and challenging ways, revealing something about each work. What is implied by one painting is often revealed or challenged by its neighbor...This exhibit succeeds on the strategy and strength of its organization, and because it considers the unforeseen relationship between works. Each artist has chosen to paint the figure in a different way—seated, in motion, realistically, abstracted."
Anne Sherwood Pundyk posts an essay on the importance of physical presence in viewing an artwork.
She notes that "The impression should be our own impression, not a received impression from an 'authority,' and the work should be the actual piece, not a facsimile. We have all had an initial impression of a simple image based on a reproduction give way to a complex and layered reality when confronted with the work in person – provided we are open to viewing the piece for ourselves and to forming our own impressions. We must, quite literally, see the work for ourselves."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.