A R T   L E T T E R

The Timely Magazine of Art

#41 <previous/ next> Artletter index November 15, 1996

Asian Show at the MFAH	1/19

A deep breath and a sigh of relief. So simple, so beautiful, so sensual and so
spiritual. The female figure from Cambodia is the first thing you see when
walking in. Armless and headless and yet she remains whole - her being
held within her torso, her belly. A sensual delight which is not pandering to
the male eye. In the same way a bronze sculpture of Parvati combines
breathtaking sexiness (did you see those tits!) with a still facial
expression and centeredness that transcends the lushness of her body
without either denying or acknowledging it. That is just the way she is.
This stillness at the core, the focus on what is within and the obliviousnes
to the viewer's gaze grants dignity to Celestial Entertainer and Buddhas
alike. Unlike most Western art, which reaches without, these figures are
content within themselves. - Francesca Fuchs

Earlie Hudnall at John Cleary Gallery	12/4

Earlie Hudnall's photographs are marked by a slightly nostalgic but deeply felt humanism.
Hudnall focuses on the picturesque rather than the conventionally beautiful.  Seeking to portray
the underlying humanity of his subjects, Hudnall photographs vulnerable, wrinkly old people and
cute children; he avoids photographing adults in the prime of their guarded lives. Respectful and
compassionate, Hudnall is strongly influenced by memory, recreating a nostalgic quasi-document
of his childhood. Most of the children in his photographs are boys, most of the old folks are
women, archetypal grannies with long apron strings. Many of Hudnall's photographs center on
texture; a young football player's smooth skin contrasts with the dusty leather football he cradles
in his arm; a weary old cowboy's incredibly sinewy arm is as beat up as his old blue jeans.
Hudnall presents people being  rather than people doing;  a girl daydreams in a wagon, a retired
metalworker rests his work-lined hands against the small of his back. Hudnall feels obligated as
an African-American to "document his people". Acting as P.R. photographer for his race, he
stresses the positive: universal human emotions which unite people rather than divide. He
chooses to depict tranquility rather than  passion, dignity rather than foolishness.-B.D.

Annabel Livermore at Lynn Goode	12/1

Jim McGee's creation of a female alter ego, even if the idea is not original,
is a nice move to break down the gender barrier. After all, as genital
embryogenesis tells us, we all start as sexually undifferentiated fetuses.
However, I wish he/she would leave behind the trite rehash of Van Gogh,
Redon, and Roualt and move out of the 19th century to present work worthy
of the end of the 20th.- Bernard Brunon

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