Let Angels, Demons, Savages Surprise You: Closes Sunday

Alfonso Ossorio, Perpetual Sacrifice, 1949

Alfonso Ossorio, Perpetual Sacrifice, 1949. Ink, wax, and watercolor on board, 40 x 30 in. National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. Gift of Paul and Hannah Tillich

Don’t miss this incredible show, closing Sunday. Like me, you might be surprised at what you see. This Ossorio work, Perpetual Sacrafice, for example, stopped me in my tracks. When I first stood before it, I saw LA graffiti, I saw Swoon, I saw tattoo art, I saw comic books; modern, urban, loaded with icons and references. And yet, this is a work from 1949 by the erudite, wealthy, Filipino-American artist and collector Alfonso Ossorio. After you see the show on the third floor, be sure to stop on the second floor, around the corner from the Rothko Room, where you’ll find an installation of Ossorio’s Recovery Drawings, created 40 years later during a hospital stay. Having catalogued a facsimile volume of these drawings, I can say that the energy Ossorio captures in all of his works, from mixed media in the 1940s and ’50s to felt tipped marker in the 1980s, can produce a remarkable sensation in the viewer.

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