Object Man: On Llyn Foulkes at the Hammer

On view at the Hammer Museum through May 19, 2013.

IT’S A STRANGE BIT of irony that two of Llyn Foulkes’s major deities — they each appear in important portraits at the artist’s current retrospective at the Hammer Museum — are both virtuosic illusionists: Salvador Dali and Walt Disney. By “deities” I don’t mean heroes. While as a young man Foulkes found inspiration in imitating Dali’s morphological, optical illusions (his 1953 painting Images of Perception attempts a classic Dali effect, that of having figures in the foreground outline some patch of sky or earth that transforms absence into presence, the negative space forming a head in profile or the bust of Robespierre), he was aghast at what he saw as the wholesale conformity inflicted by Disney and, using his paintings as a bully pulpit, he’s made this opinion widely known.

Certainly Llyn Foulkes is no illusionist, partly by character — if anything,

Article source: http://lareviewofbooks.org/article.php?id=1642

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