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THE NEW YORKER: What About The Human Figure?

Figurative paintings by three Americans reflect the shifting social and sexual mores of the nineteen-sixties and seventies in this wonderful show, whose title is borrowed from a 1962 essay by Dore Ashton. Among Martha Edelheit’s nervy works is a frank reimagining of Manet’s “Le Déjeuner sur l’Herbe,” set in Central Park. Marcia Marcus’s “Frieze: The Studio,” from 1964, is also an art-historically minded group portrait, depicting a diverse group of friends including the critic Jill Johnston, the filmmaker Raymond Saroff, and the artist herself. Shirley Gorelick’s work stands out as moody and ravishing. Her “Double Libby II,” from 1971-72, which shows a middle-aged woman in the blazing décor of a red living room, offers a particularly confident answer to the exhibition title’s question—although each artist makes a strong case for her own passionate strain of figuration.

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