In terms of scale and subject, it is difficult to imagine a work more antiheroic
; but this would be a mistake, as it would be to view it as a classy piece of doll-house furniture.
Carol Armstrong has described Valery's Degas as a disappearing author: A man of method, he created work that was modernist in its abstraction and self-referentiality yet antimodernist as well--repetitive and impersonal; the artist was not the free agent of avant-garde myth, but, Armstrong writes (summarizing Valery), a figure of sublimation, "bound to work against and outside of himself, against and outside his own libido." (12) This, too, gets us strangely close to Matisse's method (an accumulation of labor over surfaces and, later, a procedure of repeated efforts wiped away), which is antiheroic
. It was not until after midcentury that radical method emerged as a necessary condition of new artistic practice.
As the world becomes ever more antiheroic
, Laurel and Hardy's contemporary status seems guaranteed for some time.
When the novel was first published, this antiheroic
presentation was correctly perceived by the majority of readers as a mockery of the official history.
Though he is clearly the antiheroic
"hero," and she is in fact a rather unpleasant person, each way of life is recognized as necessary; the conflict is intractable and thus satisfying in a way the spurious melodramas of American prime time can never be.
Famous in the 1950s, when abstraction ruled the roost, for huge antiheroic
canvases of gigantic warring figures, Golub reemerged in the neo-expressionist '80s with stark mural-size tableaux of political violence in the shadows of the American empire.
musical comedy revue, "The Comic Supplement" (1925, in which Fields starred as part of the "Ziegfeld Follies")--the comedian's own writing roots were tied to the world of the antihero.
And just as Adrian Lester at this same address put the antiheroic
Bobby back at the center of "Company" in 1995, so, too, does a gifted 24-year-old newcomer named Julian Ovenden redefine for keeps the troubled Franklin Shepard's backward journey to his youth as the forward-looking high schooler engaged in a cautionary face-off with the unhappy adult, Grant Russell's Older Franklin, whom the teenager, "Follies" -style, grows to be.
His was a deliberately antiheroic
style: efficient, unemotional and rooted in the belief that both armies and societies were naturally hierarchical, where the best--by breeding and training-- msut rule with a firm hand.
He startles us not because his work is antiheroic
but because it is antiprogressive, alien to any sense of positive change.
Yet, my favorite Skelton donut-dunker is the most antiheroic
, the poor person who miscalculates his pastry submersion time, thus dissolving the donut!
(Havana-based Gerardo Mosquera will serve as an adjunct curator.) Flood, Hoptman, and Gioni organized the museum's opening exhibition, a sculpture show titled "Unmonumental: The Object in the 21st Century." Featuring thirty international artists who use assemblage in their work--including established midcareer artists such as Isa Genzken and Sam Durant and younger artists like Nate Lowman and Shinique Amie Smith--"Unmonumental" focuses on the ways in which this technique relates to contemporary society, through works that emphasize the impermanent, the antiheroic
, and the everyday.