From British daily The Morning Star:
Beyond the real
(Monday 19 November 2007)
EXHIBITION: The Painting of Modern Life
Hayward Gallery, London SE1
CHRISTINE LINDEY explores the turbulent relationship between the lens and the brush stroke since the advent of photography.
There has been a continuous, often uneasy interaction between painting and photography ever since – assertions that representational painting or painting itself is redundant or old-fashioned have been interlaced with periodic claims of their revivals.
This exhibition focuses on the use of photography since 1960 by painters who depict modern life. Taking its title from Baudelaire‘s now iconic call for painters to find a new beauty in contemporary life, it makes an imaginative connection between two major concerns of early modernism and asserts their continuing relevance. …
Warhol simply silk-screened images onto canvas. In the “History and Politics” section of the exhibition, his Race Riot (1963), uses three grainy news photographs of policemen setting Alsatian dogs onto African-Americans.
The seemingly careless repetition and juxtaposition of such horrific images onto the large canvas draws attention to the disposability and consequent desensitising effect of ubiquitous news imagery. In the more contemplative context of an art gallery, we stop and engage with the subject rather than moving on to the next print or television news item.