Eldzier Cortor

Eldzier CortorToday, the great painter Eldzier Cortor is 99 years old. He is known most for the influence of African art of his portrayal of the female figure most especially. This has led to some criticisms of his work as objectifying women. That’s actually a pretty funny criticism of an artist who, you know, objectifies everything. But whatever.

His art is hard to pigeonhole, which is typical of the best modern artists. There is no doubt that much of his work is surrealist. That’s quite explicit in something like Room No V. But here is one that seems less obviously so, Woman in an Interior from 1945. The window panes are similar to what Magritte would do later in The Empire of Lights:

Woman in an Interior - Eldzier Cortor

And then, in a totally different vein, but the very same year: Man with Sickle. I’d commented before that the subject seemed to express “pain and anger.” But I’m no longer sure. He may just exhibit exhaustion. I’m not sure there is a difference. But it is an amazing painting:

Man With Sickle - Eldzier Cortor

Happy birthday Eldzier Cortor!


Image of Eldzier Cortor cropped, reduced, and degraded from an image by Fern Logan.

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