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ArtForum | Alpesh Kantilal Patel on Joan Semmel

Alpesh Kantilal Patel reviewed the recent retrospective, "Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game," for ArtForum's artguide data base of special events and exhibitions.

"The most monumental piece here (and the show’s namesake), Skin in the Game, 2019, was a four-panel painting that is eight feet high and an astonishing twenty-four feet wide. In this work, Semmel depicts a multiplicity of aged bodies—all her own—in different sizes and placed at various angles, colored in an array of pinks, golds, greens, tangerines, and plums. That the figures appear to be in a perpetual state of becoming relates not only to the artist and the developments of her own life, but also to her rich protean vision as a painter. Even as she enters her ninth decade, Semmel never fails to shock, surprise, and utterly delight."

Last Updated
May 3, 2022 - 1:15 PM

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Founded in 1805, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is America's first school and museum of fine arts. A recipient of the National Medal of Arts, PAFA offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the fine arts, innovative exhibitions of historic and contemporary American art, and a world-class collection of American art. PAFA’s esteemed alumni include Mary Cassatt, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, William Glackens, Barkley L. Hendricks, Violet Oakley, Louis Kahn, David Lynch, and Henry Ossawa Tanner.