William Anthony

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William Anthony
Blanche Barrow, Accomplice of Bonnie and Clyde, Apprehended after a Shoot Out
Graphite pencil and pastel on paper.
10 1/4 x 10 1/16 inches (260 x 256 mm)
Gift of David and Pamela Chenkin.
Acquired from the artist by David and Pamela Chenkin.

After studying art at Yale and at the Art Students League in New York, graphic artist William Anthony strove to 'unlearn' traditional drawing techniques and elaborated his signature style of figures with oversized heads, which have been compared to sock puppets and root vegetables. His drawings are often irreverent and witty spins on well-known paintings by artists such as Goya, Manet, or Warhol. Disregarding the hierarchy between high and low, Anthony produced two books, Bible Stories (1978) and War is Swell (2000), in which he applied his crude, child-like manner to grand art historical subjects, with the most humorous results. Anthony's work reflects two important tendencies in late 20th-century art: the appropriation, or "art about art," and the influence of cartoon style.
Blanche Barrow, Accomplice of Bonnie and Clyde, Apprehended after a Shoot Out belongs to a group of drawings Anthony began in the late 1960s inspired by the history and myths of the American Wild West. It is based on a newspaper photograph showing the capture of Blanche Barrow and her husband, Marvin "Buck" Barrow (Clyde's brother), after a gun battle. While her husband is mortally wounded, Blanche, according to the photograph caption, is hysterical - which Anthony suggested in his treatment of her disheveled hair and wide-opened mouth.

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