Leon Golub Dead Certanties + The Blue Tatoo

Left: Dionysiac, 1998 acrylic on linen 118 x 73 in
Middle: Promestheus II, 1998 acrylic on linen 119 x 97 in.

Golub self-satirically calls these paintings "psuedo or crypto-metaphysical."

His lifelong subject (he is now 76 years old) has been the human beast: our violence and abandon. According to Peter Schejdahl: "W.b. Yeats said that from our arguments with others we make politics, and from out arguments with ourselves we make poetry. By this measure, Golub has made mostly poetry, even when politically engaged. His early art advanced a conventional rhetoric of the artist as a divided soul, exalted and tormented by primitive avatars. He then accepted, however bitterly, the obsolescence of that style and sought more vital metaphors. In the late '70's, he found them in imagined obscenities of shadowy, real-world terror, upriver with mercenaries, torturers, and death squads..."