i disagree with everything you just said.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

........

highly recommended: the "roy lichtenstein: all about art" retrospective up at sfmoma through february 22. courtney and i went over this afternoon to check out "glamour: fashion, industrial design, architecture" [1] and the retrospective occupied the other half of the fourth floor, so in we went.

mad propz to joshua shirkey, the curator, for doing such an amazing job with the show's narrative. the works are organized chronologically, but the individual rooms are well-themed, and shirkey does a fine job bringing out the progression of lichtenstein's technique and explaining the evolution of it. roy was clearly driven, and the curation really nails that.

most satisfyingly, the exhibit ends well [2], aided by the fact that lichtenstein had a very strong sense of himself, the thread of his style, and the place he has come to occupy in the history of american art. the four canvases in the last room, painted in 1997, the year he died, are stunning; without removing himself from the legacy of his earlier work, his well-documented benday dot stylings, or his arch critique of the mass-produced image, it's a final summary of his form, and an exploration of what remains to be done after he's gone. his final works are incredibly beautiful, incredibly calming, incredibly moving — and clever, to boot.

[1] ten word review: it's a good idea, but there's not enough there there.
[2] a lot of curators blow this part, and i've never understood why. you have a beginning and a middle; you need an end.

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