Leon Golub

Leon Golub’s Political Canvases

February 10, 2015

Lot 278 Leon Golub Head IX 1958

American figurative and humanist painter Leon Golub’s (1922-2004) affecting, political canvases ponder the role
 of man and the state of humanity by portraying contemporary events in a fusion of styles, such as pre-Columbian and African art, classical Greek and Roman sculpture, and the history painting of Jacques-Louis David. Head IX (1958) is an iconic work from Golub’s oeuvre of the 1950s and 60s. The blurred male visage has a receding hairline and round face, characteristics common to historical figures ranging from Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, to Communist leader Mao Zedong, to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger—all personalities that would eventually be part of the artist’s 1970s series of portraits of world leaders.

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