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ABOUT BORIS LURIE
By GERTRUDE STEIN
Published in the leaflet for the Boris Lurie show at Gallery Gertrude Stein, New York, 1963
The work of Boris Lurie is powerful stuff. He feels that the ivory tower cannot substitute for real involvement in life; art is an instrument of influence and stimulation. He does not want to converse, he shouts out loud, so that everyone understands.
He takes as his symbol the “girly” picture, America's home-grown brand of pornography. Repudiating conventional manners, he shakes up the viewer; at any cost he strives to make us take heed of our reality, Lurie forces upon us the bitter vision of the cruelly smiling, heartless advertising pin-up girl. Her picture hangs in the locker rooms; it teases the “tired business man” who surreptitiously stuffs a copy of Playboy into his attache case; movie stars become commodities to be measured in inches, the dreams of America. Our environment is polluted with sick eroticism and callous indifference.
“NO” appears in Lurie's paintings: NO! NO! NO! to the accepted, the cruelty, the desperation and despair which prevails, to conformism and the materialistic. It is a strong "NO" in a flood of mass-produced "YESSES". And so: he tears the pin-ups; he tosses them down on his canvas to fall where they may. His stunning statement has been made.
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