The Drawing Center in Soho currently has on view a great show, Leon Golub: Live & Die Like A Lion? featuring the late painter's drawings made between 1999-2004. Leon Golub was born in Chicago in 1922 and studied art history at the University of Chicago before serving in the army during WWII. After the war, Golub returned to Chicago and studied painting at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his M.F.A. in 1950 and met his wife of over fifty years, artist Nancy Spero. The pair created works that delivered strong, controversial messages opposing political and social injustices. After living in Paris from 1959-1964, the couple settled in New York where they continued creating politically charged works based on current, global events until their deaths (Golub in August 2004, Spero in October 2009).
The Drawing Center is the first institution to exhibit Golub's late drawings and presents "approximately 50 oil slick and ink on Bristol board and vellum drawings" (from show's press release). The exhibit also features an unfinished painting of two lions started in 2001, "preliminary 'background' drawings," and a selection of the artist's source materials and images collected from various magazines. Golub's late drawings "mark a stylistic and thematic shift" showing "abstraction and representational forms... such as animals, species composites, and highly-sexualized females in dialogue with skeletons to expose his interest in human virtues, attributes, and shortcomings." The textural and colorful drawings featuring lions, dogs, skeletons, erotic nudes, and text, focus heavily on death and mortality and are sharp and oftentimes humorous. As the press release states, "The results are candid examples of an aesthetic immediacy and newfound freedom in the artist's late work." Learn more at drawingcenter.org. Through July 23rd.
Above: Post Modernist Bimbo, 2002