Our fair ladies

By GREG COOK  |  July 31, 2013

An eeriness, unfamiliar from the iconic Gibson, slips into some of his drawings here. In It’s an Ill Wind That Profits Nobody, a worried couple leans on the rail of an ocean liner as an older guy laying in a deck chair in the background watches. Voyeurism is even more pronounced in The Destroyer of Dreams. An unpleasant fellow in a tuxedo stands in the shadows of a drawing room leering at a seated woman lost in what seems to be an erotic dream of a wooded lake. The scene is sinister, as if the gentleman, his hand busy in his pocket, was about to commit a crime against the unguarded lady. This air of sexual menace is unusual from Gibson who, while pointed, generally treated affairs of the sexes with a light wit.

World War I, during which Gibson headed up a government propaganda division, was his last hurrah. Model Agency: The New Girl, dated to around 1920, shows a matron presenting a tall, willowy young woman in a fur-trimmed plaid coat. The new fashion is a literal metaphor for social change — slinky flapper dresses physically liberated women from the binding corsets of the classic Gibson Girls. In Gibson’s drawing, a man at a desk, apparently in charge of the place, takes it all in with a grouchy grimace.
< prev  1  |  2  | 
| More

Most Popular
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   OUTSIDE THE LINES  |  September 17, 2014
    It’s hot, sweaty, satirical, messy, manic, Technicolor, cartoony, psychedelic stuff.
  •   FALL ARTS PREVIEW | ART: BODIES OF WORK  |  September 10, 2014
    Plus candy that you can actually eat!
  •   DIGGING IN THE DUST  |  September 03, 2014
    What do we preserve? And why?
  •   LIFE IS A CARNIVAL  |  August 27, 2014
    To run away with the circus — it’s a glamorous metaphor for “leaving a dull life for a colorful one.”
  •   A WORLD GONE WRONG  |  August 20, 2014
    The skies always seem threatening in Jennifer Hrabota Lesser’s paintings.

 See all articles by: GREG COOK