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The Wonderfully Unsettling Paintings of Charles Garabedian. LOS ANGELES — Charles Garabedian’s paintings are not beautiful because they depict scenes from classical mythology, but because they render the world of classical mythology real.

The Wonderfully Unsettling Paintings of Charles Garabedian

I’ve never imagined Prometheus surrounded by his own shit, for example, terrified and in unbearable agony from having his liver torn out on a daily basis. But Garabedian did, and did so with such inventive detail and visceral humor that he transports the classical to the present day, here. The unrelenting vision of Lucian Freud. Sometimes when a painting was nearing completion, Freud would step back from the canvas and “as though taunting himself” would murmur “How far can you go?”

The unrelenting vision of Lucian Freud

Photo: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images Towards the end of his life, Lucian Freud attended the 80th birthday party of a friend, where a little girl was told not to touch him. “I’m not an object,” he protested. Perhaps she’d mistaken him for one of his portraits, because over the previous decades no artist had been better at manipulating canvas and paint to give the illusion of real human bodies, stilled lives. Everything about a self-portrait like Reflection (1985), from its intent pink-rimmed eyes to the shiny patch on its forehead, makes it look as if it is not a painting but a person, who is on the verge of leaning out of the frame to touch the viewer—though whether to kiss them or headbutt them it is hard to say.

All portraits are more than simple objects. Edvard Munch: booze, bullets and breakdowns. Hidden away in the basement of Oslo’s Munch Museum lies a treasure trove.

Edvard Munch: booze, bullets and breakdowns

Here you’ll find madonnas and vampires, lions and tigers alongside the hefty white blocks from which they were printed, still blackened with printers’ ink. It feels like being conducted around the inside of Edvard Munch’s brain. You might also spot, resting on an easel, a stunning early colour version of The Scream, scribbled with a rough urgency in pastel on cardboard, and therefore too fragile to be subjected to daylight. The Lurchingly Uneven Portraits of Paul Cézanne. When things fall apart, you can see what they’re made of.

The Lurchingly Uneven Portraits of Paul Cézanne

“Cézanne: Portraits,” a retrospective of some sixty portraits by Paul Cézanne, at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., is the most instructive show of the artist I’ve ever seen, because it’s so lurchingly uneven. Wonderments consort with clunkers, often on the same canvas: credible figure and woozy ground, or vice versa. It's OK to Feel Ambivalent About Michelle Obama's Official Portrait. Critics on Obamas’ Official Portraits by Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sherald. Portrait of Michelle Obama by Amy Sherald and portrait of Barack Obama by Kehinde Wiley.

Critics on Obamas’ Official Portraits by Kehinde Wiley, Amy Sherald

National Portrait Gallery The official portraits of former president Barack Obama and first lady Michelle were unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C. on Monday. Rarely do presidential portraits generate such a frenzy of media attention, but the art world has been waiting with bated breath since October when it was announced that Obama had selected the high-profile painter Kehinde Wiley to capture his likeness, while Michelle opted for rising star Amy Sherald. George W. Bush’s Painted Atonements. George W.

George W. Bush’s Painted Atonements

Bush looms small in memory. The Presidency fit him like grownup clothes on a toddler. He made, or haplessly fronted for, some execrable decisions, but hating him took conscious effort. Nothing is Hidden - September 24, 2014. Nothing is HiddenIn David Lynch's new exhibition at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, the mundane and macabre come together.

Nothing is Hidden - September 24, 2014

All is not well. But we do not see that at first. The white house and the white picket fence are in perfect order. The sky is blue and bright. The flowers are red and yellow. The Cretan Paradox - November 12, 2014. The Cretan ParadoxIt's riveting and highly influential, but El Greco's work never quite fit.

The Cretan Paradox - November 12, 2014

Could the reason lie in his birthplace? El Greco is confusing. He is one of the few universally acknowledged great artists of history who does not fit into any of the established art movements or categories. Given his time period (late 16th – early 17th centuries), his art should fit into the early Baroque. But it does not. El Greco, by contrast, painted unnatural bodies. Except, there is no evidence that El Greco had any interest in spiritual visions or mystical ecstasies. The Minor Miracle of John le Carré’s ‘A Most Wanted Man’ «

My favorite line from any John le Carré novel (at the moment, at least; it changes all the time) is from Little Drummer Girl: “Somewhere in every bomb explosion there is a miracle.”

The Minor Miracle of John le Carré’s ‘A Most Wanted Man’ «

The Reviews Are in For Bush’s Paintings. On Friday, the George W.

The Reviews Are in For Bush’s Paintings

Portrait of a failed president: Inside the art of George W. Bush. Former President George W. Bush’s first public art exhibit, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at his presidential library in Dallas on Saturday. The left largely greeted his never-before-seen portraits of world leaders with a mix of derision and fascination. It would be easy to merely rag on these paintings. No, George W. Bush’s paintings tell us nothing about Iraq.

Correction: This article originally attributed a critique of the Bush paintings to Philip Kennicott which was actually made by Greg Allen “When I get to heaven I mean to spend a considerable portion of my first million years in painting, and so get to the bottom of the subject.” – Winston Churchill George W. Bush’s art teacher believes in his passion. “His whole heart was in it,” said Bonnie Flood, a Georgia-based artist who reportedly spent one month — six hours a day — teaching the former president to paint.