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20 replies on “The Trouble with Renoir’s Nudes”
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The exhibition title is slightly misleading: while all but two of these Renoirs are of female nudes, the sense of primary interest to him, the useful catalogue explains, was the sense of touch. Now and again, to speak frankly, we critics have our awkward moments when find ourselves unsure about how to respond generously to visually magnificent exhibitions. She has a marvelous essay in the Renoir catalogue; I wish that the curator had been bold enough to include her paintings in the show.
He had a lifelong fixation on creating scenarios and documenting how his subjects responded to their unusual circumstances, but approached what would otherwise be clinical work with a mischievous zeal. He was no methodical researcher and came upon his insights casually, if at all. One year later, he crossed town to NBC and tweaked it once more to Candid Camera , which stuck for the next six decades of broadcasts. As creator and host, Funt masterminded hundreds and hundreds of ruses, leaning on his yen for amateur psychology and sociology more and more as the years went by. Some segments dispensed with the wool-pulling entirely and chronicled revealing interviews between Funt and ordinary folks. He found the peculiarities of homo sapiens endlessly fascinating.