Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento

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    Richard Notkin - All Nations Have Their Moment of Foolishness

    From afar, All Nations appears nothing more than a giant blackand-white photograph. Notkin says that he picked this particular press photo because of the prominence of the President’s dark irises. As the viewer moves closer, three-dimensional relief becomes apparent and iconic images impressed into the tiles—Guernica’s screaming horse, Notkin’s skull emblem, the hooded prisoner from Abu Ghraib, and Michelangelo’s Pieta— stand out. This is a complex tapestry of signs, symbols, and references to historic and current events, which marries the aesthetic of Photorealism to clay more successfully than any other achievement in the medium.

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