During the past few months, some of the most provocative, difficult, and rewarding art in New York was to be seen in a pair of concurrent exhibitions by a British figurative painter. No, I don’t mean the Lucian Freud shows at Robert Miller Gallery and the Metropolitan, but rather the Euan Uglow exhibitions at Salander–O’Reilly Galleries and the New York Studio School. Given Uglow’s obscurity in this country, this statement may surprise some readers. About half of the people to whom I recommended the Uglow shows said “Euan who?” Most of the others asked how “Uglow” was spelled. In England, no one would have asked. Uglow, now in his early sixties, has exhibited there and in Europe for about thirty years, accumulating awards, prizes, honors, and a band of serious admirers, including many of his fellow artists—abstract as well as figurative, it should be noted. But his shows at...


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