Carl Plansky
American, 1951-2009

Carl Plansky is known for oil paintings of flowers, landscapes, and portraits of the male nude brilliantly rendered in an Abstract Expressionist-inflected style. The latter homoerotic paintings, one of his best known bodies of work, are gritty and immediate depictions of male pinups striking classical poses, whose “eroticism is conveyed through lascivious painthandling,” as critic Lance Esplund described. Plansky paints from direct observation, tying his canvases to trees, for example, when working on a landscape, and using live models, as in those he instructed to pose as Maria Callas for his series of operatic diva portraits (for which he also dressed in drag to pose for himself). Influence from his mentor Joan Mitchell is evident in Plansky’s thick swaths of color and urgent brushstrokes.

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