An Enlightenment Through Darkness and the Grotesque

Rona Pondick’s ‘Wallaby’ (2007-2012) in the ‘Beautiful Beast’ show at the New York Academy of Art.

Beautiful Beast

New York Academy of Art

111 Franklin St., (212) 842-5966

Through March 8

Revived Surrealism is practically required these days of figurative painters and sculptors who want to be noticed in the hurly-burly of the contemporary art world. The second most viable method is hyperrealism, in which jaw-dropping verisimilitude replaces weird distortion as the prime indicator of artistic gravitas. These two styles are spotlighted in “Beautiful Beast,” a survey of contemporary figurative sculpture at the New York Academy of Art that stands as a modest, but effective, counterweight to the

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