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On "Johann Zoffany RA: Society Observed” at the Yale Center for British Art.
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The Yale Center for British Art has set out to rehabilitate the reputation of Johann Zoffany, a German expatriate who became a member of the Royal Academy by appointment of King George III. One might argue that he isn’t better-known for fair reasons. His work is present in few American collections, he altered the spelling of his name several times, and his peripatetic life bewildered later chroniclers of English painting. His contemporaries included Thomas Gainsborough and William Hogarth, and, although he was an able painter with a gift for the theatrical, he had neither the deft wrist of the former nor the piercing eye of the latter. Yet within the parameters of genre scenes and group portraiture, he produced dozens of striking, original works. His portraits of single figures, if they don’t always rank as masterpieces, are full of puckish verve that makes up for many of their shortcomings.
Born Johannes Joesphus Zauffal ...
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This article originally appeared in The New Criterion, Volume 30 February 2012, on page 49
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Review of "Balthus: Cats and Girls—Paintings and Provocations” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
On "Dreams of Nature: Symbolism from Van Gogh to Kandinsky” at the Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam.
On "Elegant Enigmas: The Art of Edward Gorey" at the Boston Athenæum.
by Karen Wilkin
On “One-Way Ticket: Jacob Lawrence’s Migration Series and Other Visions of the Great Movement North" at MOMA and “Struggle . . . From The History of the American People” at the Phillips Collection.
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On "Trenton Doyle Hancock: Skin and Bones, 20 Years of Drawing” at the Studio Museum, Harlem.
On “Love Bites: Caricatures by James Gillray” at the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford.
The Walter Duranty Prize for Journalistic Mendacity
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