by Sherry Chayat
ISBN 0815608179 (0-8156-0817-9)
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Softcover, Syracuse University Press, 2006
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Book summary: Elucidates Witkin's success in rendering subjects in ways both immediate and powerfully universal. As a master of realism, Jerome Witkin illustrates in his art the moral plight of everyday lives. His most complex and critically acclaimed works - intense, often disturbing scenes of the Holocaust - have earned him a growing international audience. This second edition of "Life Lessons" incorporates material from the past decade, including ten of his most important and provocative paintings. It brings the viewer in intimate contact with the dense interior landscapes of both people and places. Often regarded as belonging to an artistic pantheon including the work of Lucien Freud, Manet, Ingres, Goya, and Courbet, Witkin's paintings range from moody urban landscapes and penetrating portraits to intimate figure studies and vivid, psychologically charged tableaux, frequently referencing seminal moments in history. Witkin's newer work includes an enormous six-panel exploration of Dachau's 1945 liberation ("Entering Darkness", 2001) - his culmination of a twenty-year series on the Holocaust, regarded by critics as among the most compelling of paintings made on the subject.
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