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Execution of Maximillian.

Johannes Phokela
Execution of Maximillian. , 2014. Oil sketch. .


Johannes Phokela at Gallery AOP

Johannes Phokela has made a second version of Edouard Manet’s famous historical painting, The Execution of Maximilian (1867), of which Manet himself made four copies. Phokela painted his first version, 'The Lord Works in Mysterious Ways', in 2002, copying the scale and subject matter fairly accurately from the Manet version in the National Gallery, London. Phokela, however, altered and added to the original, effectively producing a postmodern comment on the Manet painting. Phokela’s second, and most recent version, an oil sketch, follows a similar trend, but on a much smaller scale, and in a markedly different medium.
Phokela’s oil sketch of the Execution of Maximilian challenges notions of the ‘completeness’ of a painting. It is a dossier of ideas, suggesting the underlying structure of the original painting more than anything else. His oil sketch thus serves as cartoon in both senses of the word: a design for a larger enterprise, such as a tapestry, or a comic, if not futile version of an incident.

19 April - 10 May

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