Ecce Homo, “Behold the Man,” are the immortalized words spoken by Pontius Pilot when he brought Jesus before the crowds to be judged. If taken as biographical, the central figure of the etching represents Lack.1 He’s sitting in a court of fools (art critics), judging him (and his work). As with many artists over the centuries, this work is autobiographical. It comes from his personal experience.2 There are no surviving concept drawings that present the development of this idea from Ecce Homo Concept Sketch (No. 89). I can imagine him being inspried by Tiepolo’s painting of the same title.
- Distinguished Company: A Retrospective Exhibition of Works by Richard Lack, Don Koestner & Stephen Gjertson, Inez Greenberg Gallery, Bloomington Art Center, Bloomington, MN, 2009
1 Katherine Lack interview, 2013.
2 Dr. Gregroy Hedberg, A New Direction in Art Education: The Florence Academy of Art, Andy Warhol and a New Aesthetic Movement, “Realism Revisited: The Florence Academy of Art”, Hirschel & Adler Galleries, New York, NY, 2013. Exhibition brochure and accompanied article.
”In the 1970s as Curator of Painting at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts, I had occasion to visit [Atelier Lack] and to observe the students. Carefully drawing plaster casts and nude models, they appeared to be even more reactionary than the photo realists who were in vogue at the time. Back then it seemed ironic that this bustling atelier was taking root not far from the cutting-edge Walker Art Center and in the heart of perhaps the most avidly modernist city in America in terms of art and architecture. Donning my modernist hat, I naively suggested to some of these young artists that they might visit the Walker Art Center, whereupon they retorted that they have been weaned on the Walker! They had also experienced the leveling of almost the entire old part of their city to make way for dozens of new, avant-garde buildings. The more we spoke, the more my image of them as provincial reactionary’s crumbled. It was one of those students, Daniel Graves, who later founded The Florence Academy of Art.”