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THIS MONTH, WE PONDER WHAT'S PURE OR "CLEAN" — KEEPIN' IT REAL, THAT IS, IN ART, OUTLOOK, AND THE SEARCH FOR TRUTH. ARTIST OLIVIA MUNROE (LEFT) CELEBRATES THE POWER OF PURE FORM (SEE "PURITY," BELOW). PUNK PIONEER POLY STYRENE SOUGHT HER AUTHENTIC SELF (ARTICLE BELOW). EXPLORE DECEMBER'S ARTICLES ABOUT THESE AND OTHER SUBJECTS. ENJOY!

IN THIS ISSUE, DON'T MISS THESE FEATURES
Editor’s letter
What the heck is brutjournal?
by Edward M. Gómez
From the science department
What’s pure is not always “pure.” Huh?
by David Bjerklie
Discoveries
The late Gregory Royal Pratt’s small-scale clay figurines have surfaced in Tennessee
Annals of the avant-garde
The American performance artist Martha Wilson’s journals have been published
WASHING OUR HANDS AND THINKING ABOUT "PURITY": WHAT'S AUTHENTIC? WHAT'S REAL?
What does “purity” mean? Not in a moralistic sense, but rather in aesthetic contexts, according to which what is “pure” is often associated with what is honest, "clean," or unfiltered. We check in with some artists who ponder — and who are inspired by — this notion. Free access to this article.
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PETER SAUL'S RAUCOUS ART OF CULTURE SHOCK
Peter Saul is the first major monograph about a painter who is known for skewering pop culture and political figures in a style that is equal parts Mad magazine and bold expressionism. So observes brutjournal's U.S.A. West Coast Bureau Chief Sarah Fensom in her review of this hefty new tome.
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TOD HANSON: A HOUSE, A FANTASY, ANOTHER WORLD
In the northernmost town in England, Tod Hanson has a vision for his Georgian-period house, whose rooms he is transforming, with boldly painted, geometric designs, into an exquisite fantasy showcase. Cathy Ward, our London-based artist-correspondent, traveled north to visit the striking site.
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POLY STYRENE, PUNK'S VISIONARY, TRUTH-SEEKING PURIST, REMEMBERED ON FILM: "I AM A CLICHÉ"
The new documentary film Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché, directed by Celeste Bell and Paul Sng, and co-written and co-developed by Zoë Howe, vivdly recounts the life story of one of the most original and thoughtful figures of the 1970s punk-rock movement. As the leader of the band X-Ray Spex, Styrene wrote songs of trenchant social critique whose vision was something much more than the destruction-romancing, affected nihilism of her punk peers. Styrene’s personal search for authenticity is inspiring to recall. Our report features exclusive interviews with the film’s creators.
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IN THE FRAME: TODAY'S ART DISCOVERY
We’re clearing out the cobwebs of our minds and seeking purity of spirit, thought, and artistic expression as the cold winter approaches. Why not? Gotta think about something during the long hibernation period to come. See our article about purity here on this month’s HOME PAGE, in which we hear from the painter Stephanie Brody-Lederman, among other artists. Above: Brody-Lederman’s “Dancing Girl,” 2020, collage, ink, and oil pastel on Arches paper, 21x17 inches. Photo courtesy of Erika Morillo
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JAMIE REID: SUBVERSION IN A FINE-ART BOX
The British graphic designer and artist Jamie Reid is best known for the graphics he created during the punk era, creating a subversive visual language. Now he has produced a limited-edition box containing his designs in the form high-quality etchings. brutjournal has been savoring its contents.
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ON VIEW IN THE CATHOUSE: THE FACTS OF LIGHT
With this month's purity theme in mind, we find that many of the works on view in Facts of Light, an exhibition at Cathouse Proper at 524 Projects, a gallery in Brooklyn run by the artist David Dixon, capture the spirit of the power of pure form in its most ephemeral manifestation — that of pure light.
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STEPHEN ELLCOCK'S TIMELY, NEW BOOK OF CHANGE
Stephen Ellcock is a longtime collector-curator of images, which he gathers and combines to create powerful visual essays. His just-published new work, The Book of Change, offers a cornucopia of images arguing for the urgent need for drastic, creative, solution-seeking change. Coming soon.
TECHNO-BAROQUE FANTASY: HERE, THE FILM “VALTON TYLER: FLESH IS FICTION” FINDS A HOME
The self-taught artist Valton Tyler (1944-2017) lived and worked in Dallas, Texas, and its environs. He created remarkable works — oil paintings, ink drawings on paper, complex etchings — that remain hard to classify according to existing style or genre labels. In 2017, Edward M. Gómez (brutjournal’s founder) and cinematographer Chris Shields made the first-ever film about Tyler’s life and art, which the artist saw before he died. This 42-minute-long film will reside permanently here, on the magazine’s website. It may be viewed in its entirety, free of charge. Watch it and get to know the bright, bizarre world of a techno-baroque visionary. Free access to article and film.
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