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The Dance

Thomas B. Cole, MD, MPH
JAMA. 2013;309(24):2522. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.1602.
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A figure shimmies and twirls in The Dance, by the American painter Emilio Cruz (1938-2004). The harsh lighting and wavy color field recall the decade of the 1960s, when light, music, and sound became inseparable. Cruz may have composed this painting by projecting images of a dancer on the canvas and tracing around them, a technique also used by the artist Andy Warhol. Like Warhol, Cruz worked in a variety of media, including music, theater, poetry, dance, and film. In his paintings he was known to conceal visual artifacts by etching symbols into the base layer and then painting over them. Forms would disappear and re-emerge as he built up layers of color. In The Dance, the final touch appears to be the dark green infill in the center, which expands the painting's depth.

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Emilio Cruz (1938-2004), The Dance, 1962, American. Oil on paper mounted on fiberboard. 55.5 × 77.8 cm. Courtesy of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (http://americanart.si.edu/), Washington, DC; gift of Virginia Zabriskie, 1979.113.1. Photo credit: Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC/Art Resource, New York, New York.



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