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Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this article to editor@pnreview.co.uk

This article is taken from PN Review 242, Volume 44 Number 6, July - August 2018.

Cover Story
Agnes Thurnauer’s ‘Palindrome’
Rod Mengham
IN THURNAUER’S PRACTICE as a painter, written language is often incorporated into the picture plane, but even when it is not, the frequent allusiveness of subject matter and style and the foregrounding of generic conventions make it clear that the work is situated within the language of art history and that it engages with the methods of reading a painting that this entails.  Thurnauer is fascinated by the ways art reads the social and cultural reality in which it is produced, and her constant insistence is on making the viewer aware of the complicated mixture of liberties and restrictions that the available languages of art allow us to use.

There are many women in Thurnauer’s oeuvre, often in the form of images borrowed from the most influential image-makers in the history of painting. (She is especially drawn to the female figures of Manet, emphasising the challenge expressed in their direct gaze at the viewer.) In the collage featured on the cover of this issue, she comments on Mel Bochner’s verbal portrait of the artist Eva Hesse. Although a homage, Bochner’s indirect description of Hesse’s cryptic methods could be seen as exerting control over her work. But their relationship could be read the other way round, like a palindrome, with Hesse preceding, authoring and authorising Bochner’s work, a possibility that Thurnauer underlines by imagining Bochner’s work as the creation of Artemisia Gentileschi, a pioneer in the history of women’s art.

This article is taken from PN Review 242, Volume 44 Number 6, July - August 2018.



Readers are asked to send a note of any misprints or mistakes that they spot in this article to editor@pnreview.co.uk
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