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Jazz musician, actor, and painter Lurie has been active in American art since the 1980s. This beautifully printed and designed text presents his paintings in a two-page format, with densely colored images on the right and corresponding titles on the left. Lurie's titles function like punch lines, and it is easy, as Carter Foster (curator, Whitney Museum of American Art) here notes, to dismiss these works as nothing more than hip comic strips. The formal qualities of Lurie's paintings (e.g., unique color sense, clean compositions) and their fully developed sensibilities (they are by turns sweetly humorous and biting), however, make him a much more interesting visual artist than that. Like a hard-edged Florine Stettheimer or a more romantic Raymond Pettibon, Lurie surprises the viewer by juxtaposing unusual colors and feelings in his compositions. The book contains little interpretative writing (in addition to Foster, actor Steve Buscemi, musician Flea, painter James Nares, and curator Stéphane Aquin contribute text), and Glenn O'Brien's (Human Nature) desperately cool introduction sets the wrong tone for Lurie's sly cynicism. These trifling reservations aside, the book is enthusiastically recommended for arts and academic libraries.
—Katherine C. Adams