11/22/2010 09:11 pm ET | Updated May 25, 2011

John Currin at Gagosian Gallery: Good Old-Fashioned Provocation

WHO: John Currin

WHAT: John Currin, New Paintings

WHEN: November 4 - December 23, 2010

WHERE: Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Avenue, New York, NY 10075 USA

WHY: John Currin's paintings approach femininity from a number of angles. He examines it in elegant poses, giddy sexual abandon, and even in men. And in so doing, he removes all doubt that his vintage-looking images deal with any time but the present. The women (and men in hot pants) that fill his images may be painted in clothing from bygone times, but their personalities and reactions are, above all, modern.

Currin's depictions of the female figure enchant and repel, often in equal measure. Labeled as mannerist, caricaturist, radical conservative or satirist, Currin continues to confound expectations and evade categorization. While his meticulous and virtuosic technique is indebted to the history of classical painting, the images themselves engage startlingly contemporary ideas about the representation of the human figure. With inspirations as diverse as Old Master portraits, pin-ups, and mid-twentieth century B-movies, Currin continues to paint ideational yet challengingly perverse images of female subjects, from lusty nymphs to more ethereal feminine prototypes.

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