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TriBeCa 'Big Picture' Exhibit Features Massive Paintings

By Irene Plagianos | January 27, 2014 8:31am
 New York Academy of Art's "Big Picture" exhibit will feature large-scale works of longtime teachers and mentors at the school.
New York Academy of Art 'Big Picture' Exhibit
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TRIBECA — These artists think big.

A bull-fighting scene, a woman’s battered face and a naked man in his living room are a few of the massive, painted images set to be displayed at the New York Academy of Art’s “Big Picture” exhibit, which begins Jan. 28.

The monumental paintings, each measuring more than 5 feet wide and 7 feet high, are the works of five longtime teachers and mentors at the TriBeCa graduate art school: Vincent Desiderio, Eric Fischl, Neo Rauch, Jenny Saville and Mark Tansey.

"There are artists who are comfortable contributing to the art world by making their work and hoping that it finds a place in art history, and then there are the artists who make the big picture," said Peter Drake, the school’s dean of academic affairs and curator of the show, in a statement.

"It is these artists who seize the moment by making a statement through their work that is at once grand in scale, conceptually ambitious and specific to their era."

The biggest painting in the bunch, a 38-foot-long triptych entitled "Quixote," includes a giant painting of a bicycle wheel's shadow — as well the hanging, sliced-open carcass of a large, beheaded animal.

"They work on both large and small-scale paintings, but their best work and the work that we will be most likely to remember is wrought on a large scale," Drake said of the artists.

"It is on this scale that they demand the audience’s attention and challenge contemporary art making, and on this scale that they become a part of the big picture of art history itself."

The “Big Picture” exhibit at the New York Academy of Art's Wilkinson Gallery, 111 Franklin St., is slated to run from Jan. 28 to March 2. Admission to the gallery is free, and it is open to the public from 2 p.m.  to 8 p.m. every day except Wednesday, or by appointment.