LURIE & GOODMAN SHOW
GALLERY SCHWARZ | Via Gesù 17 | Milan | September 19 to October 29, 1962
ARTWORKS by Boris Lurie in the show:
Follies, 1957, olio, 56x49 cm
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ARTWORKS by Sam Goodman in the show:
Female Fetish, 1960, assemblage: legno, masonite, plastica, scarpe, ecc., 85x188x30 cm
INTRODUCTION By Boris Lurie
Welcome to this exhibition. If your eyes and mind serve you well, you will see something new. When viewing this show, please avoid applying "aesthetic" labels; do not call us "realists", "neo-dadaists", "surrealists".
These labels are neither true nor important in today's context. Formalist distinctions do not apply here. Aesthetics are generally viewed as a fixed, solid entity: we look upon it as the reflection of changing reality. The ivory tower is no substitute for involvement in life. In a time of wars and extermination, aesthetic exercises and decorative patterns are not enough.
We are not "abstract", "non-objective", "representational" alone, - rather we are all of it: we want to use all inventions, past or present, without discrimination as to "styles".
Totality is seen as a composite of all aspects: limiting, purist, puritanical approaches are rejected. We are not playful! We want to build art and not destroy it, but we say exactly what we mean - at the expense of good manners. You will find no secret languages here, no fancy escapes, no hushed, muted silences, no messages beamed at exclusive audiences. Art is a tool of influence and urging. We want to talk, to shout, so that everybody can understand. Our only master is truth.
INTRODUCTION By Sam Goodman
BUSINESS AS USUAL !!!
DOOM: ART FOR SURVIVAL? On Mad. Ave. the "DEAD" leading the hopeless. What if the bomb never goes off?? Well!! Back to the cool hard calculated drawing room conversation, cocktails, anyone? Breath deep - I dare you, what can one do? One can end it all, just push the button! MOLE! Drinkable water in cans - 5 Gallons only $ 6.95. Bury deep! Go around in circles. Don't breath. Does it go well with period furniture? i.e. Beds? Period. Dosimeter? Radiation may be dangerous. Joke anyone? HA = HA! How come song-writers don't write a song for bombshelters? or fallout? NOT FUNNY ENOUGH? The art "GAME" - Museums are carnivals dedicated to a ONE-BALL culture directed by and for THEM. We are concerned with happenings, "real" happenings. ART WITH BALLS!! Not just guts! Mr. R.? If you please!! Cool, cool, how expressionists become impressionists? Why just regress and "FACE AWAY" to lily ponds and geometries. All a jolly - not a whimper - just a murmur after-glow! Don'tchknow! There are no issues if you never face them. We shall all die with our shelters on. Fallout!! Cures dandruff - it's good for you!! Let's be CHEERFUL as the end draws near. MATISSE has all the answers - dance and be gay. Do the "TWIST" on a BALLROOM in your pocket. SOLDIERS are to prevent wars ALWAYS! Old soldiers never die. they just "ATOMIZE". An atom war will solve EVERYTHING. Man must face his "FULL POTENTIAL"! NOW!
AN AMERICAN REBELLION | Lurie and Goodman in Milan
By Mario de Micheli
The intellectual groups that are taking a position of revolt against established society are getting to be more numerous from day to day. Boris Lurie and Sam Goodman showing at present at the Schwarz Gallery offer us proof that an identical process takes place in the figurative arts.
We did encounter in work of American artists showing here some symptoms of rebellion and opposition - but here the case is quite different. Here revolt becomes the centre of the poetry, the principal and exclusive reason behind the inspiration.
Much of the Goodman-Lurie rebellious affirmation is not new to art history: but their move is being made today and in a totally different social condition which bears no resemblance to that of the Twenties. Their catastrophic atmosphere heavily loaded with Messianic sentiment is not just an attitude, it is a very definite result of very definite actual real conditions.
Though the introduction to this show written by the critic Thomas B. Hess would have us think that these artists represent a vague kind of anarchical attitude, the meaning
I perceive from their work gives proof of the contrary: a painting like "Lumumba is Dead" leaves no doubt in mind.
A collage, in the centre a picture of Lumumba covered by a swastika, cut-outs of newsprint proclaiming "Adieu Amérique!", all around it the false paradise of an unconscious unaware unconcerned society trying to forget itself and all problems in the exasperation of sex; a vulgar paradise among which emerge here and there the words "December ... Is dead ... Lumumba..."
Other paintings are composed in similar manner and still others omitted in this exhibition - antiracist paintings, paintings in favor of Cuba, pictures in which the word "Liberty" is incessently repeated and repeated. We cannot believe on the basis of these documents that the revolt of Lurie and Goodman is but of a vague, undefined nature.
Aesthetically these artists have no particular preferences, they are neither abstract nor non-objective, nor merely representational but rather all of these together; and they wish to use all past and present aesthetic innovations without any formalistic stylistic discrimination. The result is a kind of multiple concentration of avant-gardism with particular emphasis on dadaism and surrealism.
Goodman is in full command of his plastic forms: discarded objects cast away, rejected objects that symbolize the deterioration of a society, its very end on the garbage heap. Not aesthetic objects, but brutal materials that despite their compositional organization must preserve their brutality and must not transform themselves into any other image.
Lurie has a more pictorial sensibility expressed with clarity, his position is less apocalyptic than Goodman's.
These works are "states of the soul"-protests, signals of emergency, and should be judged exclusively as such. They are works that from the inside of the New York Abstract Expressionist School attempt a breakthrough, a way out, an exit; they represent a focal point of restlessness that points towards a possibility of a new solution.
It is difficult to guess where such protest will end up, to what formal conclusions Lurie and Goodman will arrive after this outspoken pouring-out phase of negation. Perhaps the problem will present itself to them in the same manner as it did to members of the first European avant-garde: to give to the revolt more complex and sure reasons, to sustain this revolt borne of the first elementary gesture of revulsion with a continuous definite precise consciousness.
Maybe then once Lurie and Goodman reach this point, aesthetic and figurative possibilities might arise in a new way, and they will then be able to perceive the contrast between their truth as proclaimed and the variety of figurative terms they now consciously make use of.
Mario De Micheli (Genova, 1 aprile 1914 - Milano, 17 agosto 2004) è stato uno scrittore e critico d'arte italiano. Sostenitore dell'avanguardia nell'ambito delle arti figurative, nel 1938 si trasferì a Milano dove prese parte al gruppo di Corrente, di chiara ispirazione antifascista. Fondò varie riviste d'arte e organizzò numerose mostre nazionali e internazionali. Per anni e anni è stato critico d’arte del giornale l'Unità. Suo è il merito di aver fatto conoscere in Italia importanti poeti ungheresi e rumeni. È deceduto a Milano ed è sepolto a Trezzo d’Adda, comune d'origine della madre.