Emil Lukas by Not Vital

BOMB 61 Fall 1997
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Discover MFA Programs in Art and Writing

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Emil Lukas, A Brief History of Paint and Plaster, 1994, paint, plaster, paper, wood, and glass, 56 x 8½ x 11 inches. From the collection of Michael and Dudley Del Balso, courtesy Bravin Post Lee.

Diligent, Dermatological, Dissection.

Emil Lukas is a master of surfaces. He adds diligently, piece by piece towers, chunks of plaster, paper, color, wood; knocks it down to show (us) the inside exterior. Once asked, Andy Warhol (also a Pittsburgh artist), what’s behind your paintings? he replied: if you scratch, there is nothing behind. Unlike Andy Warhol, Emil Lukas dissects his surface only to present more surface. He works with nature, teases nature by duplicating nature. Details like a coffee stain, a weathered wall, a leaf, or a burned hole, Emil both reproduces it and produces it. He teaches maggots how to paint. His colors are anthroposophic. Faded colors and textures that nature takes years to make. Emil does it in an instant. His work leads us into a world so new and yet so old.

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Valerie Snobeck by Joe Fyfe
Snobeck 01

“The absurdity of this material’s resistance made me want to work with the plastic, the peels. The plastic is part of us, part of me and my contribution, too, even if not directly. Plastic is estranged from me, but it is me.”

Sadie Benning by Lia Gangitano
Benning Bomb 01

“With film, you have sound and you can construct this whole environment that allows for a certain feeling to exist for someone watching. There’s more of a burden on a painting to develop these kinds of feelings or experiences in one frame.”

Giuliana Bruno by Sarah Oppenheimer
Anthony Mccall Long Film For Four Projectors

Navigating the concentric interiors of the Glass Pavilion at the Toledo Museum of Art, the building unfolds along a serpentine walkway. Through the museum’s glass walls, the view opens uninterrupted. 

Originally published in

BOMB 61, Fall 1997

Featuring interviews with Gregory Crewdson, Lorna Simpson, Allan Gurganus, Louis Auchincloss, Marie Howe, Rilla Askew, Rupert Graves, Andrew Blanco, and Paula Vogel.

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