Leon Golub: Raw Nerve, at the Met Breuer
by Miriam Silverberg
I just saw a very interesting and powerful exhibit of the work of Leon Golub: Raw Nerve, at the Met Breuer. It’s timed to celebrate the recent gift to the Met of Golub’s painting, Gigantomachy 11. Golub’s portrayals of power and brutality have profound relevince today as does his belief in the ethical responsibility of the artist.
His work regarding South Africa and Viet Nam show a tremendous commitment to social justice as does his perspective on the catastrophies afflicting humanity today. In his work are anonymous men in various states of distress, their bodies riven by scars and wounds. There’s also a group of unsettling portraits of the Brazilian dictator, Ernesto Geisel. Everything he painted was done in the raw, visceral style for which he was known. You should definitely see this exhibit. It’s not “pleasant” and you certainly won’t leave feeling good, but Golub created some of the 20th century’s most uncompromising depictions of cruelty and it’s important to see it.
Miriam Silverberg is a freelance journalist and owner of Miriam Silverberg Associates, a boutique publicity agency in Manhattan. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org