(I'm twenty-two-- they say "Hey show us how"
Today, millions of working men and women around the world find themselves trapped between economic eras and increasingly marginalised by the introduction of new laboursaving technology.
at twelve and fifteen and twenty and thirty-six, ..
This association between the presidency and this singular Remington work has not been lost on the public—the award-winning television series The West Wing (1999–2006) prominently displayed the Bronco Buster on the desk of fictional president Josiah Bartlet, an authenticating detail beyond any other element of setting, pointedly indicating the nature of the space, the characters, and the decisions made there. What exactly, then, does this artwork say about (as well as to) those who gaze upon it in this context? It appears that the power of this sculpture to capture its central position in United States political dramas—fictional and real—resides in its presumed and projected Americanness, its unequivocal maleness, and its association with the presumed character of “the frontier.” It encapsulates, in iconic shorthand, the story Americans tell themselves about themselves both as individuals and as an aggregate: they are skillful, cool-headed, resilient, self-reliant, tough, and most important, triumphant in the face of powerful, frenzied, and cunning adversaries. These are not the lesser virtues of teamwork and selfless generosity seen in A Dash for the Timber, or the unleashed boisterous good spirits of those riders careening through the rye, but rather, the core cowboy in focused one-on-one combat. The location of the Bronco Buster within the context of the Oval Office through eight presidencies suggests its capacity to speak to and for the incumbent, allowing key communications between the human occupants of that space to be unsaid and displaced onto this mime show of an archetypal power struggle.
In a growing number of kibbutzes it is not unusual to see self-guided machines travelling on tracks laid out between rows of plants, spraying pesticides on crops.
Jenny Saville: The Body Recovered – CUJAH
The moment in the gait that the horse’s momentum allows it to be airborne is the moment its feet are gathered under its belly, as the California photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830–1904) established in his revolutionary stop-action photographs just twelve years before A Dash for the Timber was painted (fig. 5, frame no. 3). Remington, in other words, gave audiences not only a more accurate picture of equine motion, but also, by selecting the moment in the stride when the majority of hooves are off the ground, a dramatically dynamic and optically revolutionary one. He wants us to believe that this phalanx is moving toward us at forty to fifty-five miles per hour, a speed that quarter horses can clock for short distances. In this regard, the painting is persuasive. When considering Remington’s debt to Muybridge, however, note that Muybridge did not photograph galloping horses from the precarious vantage point Remington gives us, but instead, safely, scientifically, from the side. Remington’s skill is then in large part, translating Muybridge’s insight into a dramatically foreshortened head-on view literally never before seen. This buried camera perspective is the view that in the next generation, in the new medium of films, would become a common visually arresting trope, one that startles and somatically engages observers today as vividly as it did in the 1880s.
Jenny Saville: The Body Recovered
After a careful study of the paintings Propped, Plan, and Reflective Flesh, it becomes evident that the art of Jenny Saville aims for a renewal of the representation of the female body. Saville works to re-appropriate conventional notions and ideals of the body, deconstruct the patriarchal hold on the body, and question the body’s characterization throughout art history. Although many critics, such as Schwabsky, praise Saville exclusively for her masterful handling of paint, her dominant re-appropriation of the female figure in her work – greatly supported by her expressive control of the painted surface – is too strong to ignore.31 Other works by Saville, like the transsexual bodies exhibited in the paintings Matrix(1999) and Passage (2004), also draw on formal features such as extreme foreshortening and energetic brushwork to translate ideas of oddity, power and gender ambiguity.32 As the writer and artist Linda Nochlin points out, these two figures inhabit a “postmodern realm of gender nirvana, brilliantly theorized by Judith Butler as a zone of shifting sexual identities and the rejection of essential difference between male and female.”33 Consequently, it would be interesting to explore how these ambiguous figures fit into Saville’s project of re-appropriation and redefinition.
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Remington painted this picture in 1889, at the age of twenty-eight. Born in New York State, he had gone West to Montana as a teenager and experimented in his early twenties with cattle ranching, mining, sheep ranching, a hardware business, and a saloon, mostly in Kansas. He returned East and embarked on a career as an illustrator specializing in Western subjects and found success by 1886 at age twenty-five when Harper’s Weekly sent him to Arizona to cover the United States cavalry’s pursuit of Geronimo. With little more than three semesters of art training at Yale University, and three months at the Art Students League in New York City, he mastered figure drawing, composition, and the anatomy of the horse, so he was clearly a quick study. More important, he understood the meaning of the West to Eastern audiences.