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Blum & Poe: "New Images of Man"

Niki de Saint Phalle Marilyn, 1964. Mixed media (objects, paint, wool, fabric, mesh). 32 1/2 x 50 3/8 x 19 1/4 inches (82.5 x 128 x 49 centimeters). © Niki Charitable Art Foundation. Courtesy of the Foundation, Blum & Poe, Los Angeles/New York/Tokyo, and Galerie GP & N Vallouis Photo: André Morin

Blum & Poe's upcoming exhibition, "New Images of Man," will feature 43 artists from the U.S., Western Europe, Cuba, Egypt, Haiti, India, and more. It is running from February 1 to March 14.

In 1959, the Museum of Modern Art hosted an exhibition of European neo-avant garde and ascendant American artists. The show presented themes dealing with the existentialist concept of the human condition and humanist representation in the art of the post-World War II era. Humanist philosopher Paul Tillich said of the exhibition in the MoMa catalogue, "“Each period has its peculiar image of man....Whenever a new period is conceived in the womb of the preceding period, a new image of man pushes towards the surface and finally breaks through to find its artists and philosophers.”

The 1959 showing was constricted in the geographical and gender diversity of its artists. Thus, "New Images of Man" is a continuation but also a great revision of its predecessor; the exhibit brings back some original painters and sculptors, but also including those from the same era who were overlooked.

Contemporary artists have also been added, all of whom use "the human predicament" as their primary subject. These artists include Paweł Althamer, Cecily Brown, Luis Flores, Michel Nedjar, Greer Lankton, Miriam Cahn, Sarah Lucas, Dana Schutz, El Hadji Sy, Ahmed Morsi, Henry Taylor, among others.

Tributes to artists of the original show, such as de Kooning, Dubuffet, Bacon, Giacometti, and Westermann, will be featured.

The show hits home; the existentialist questions about the human condition that were posed in the '50s remain pressing today. Curator Alison M.Gingeras helps to maintain this uncertainty, but revise the original definition of man to be a more intersectional version of human existence.