Milo Reice - Brusberg Berlin

Milo Reice - Brusberg Berlin

Edition Brusberg Berlin

Milo Reice

Mythen und Märchen

neue Bilder und Blätter

Der amerikanische Maler Milo Reice

ist ein besessener Geschichtenerzähler.

Seine Bilder sind randvoll

mit Mythen und Märchen, die er

hemmungslos und humorvoll aus

allen Epochen zitiert. Hier eine

Szene aus dem Leben des heiligen

Franziskus, gemalt als modernes

Altarbild mit farbigen Pop-art-

Elementen, dort eine Szene aus

Shakespeares Sturm, gepaart mit

dem Bildausschnitt einer TV-Soap

Opera. Mit Siebenmeilenstiefeln

hüpft Milo Reice durch die Kunstgeschichte,

um Mythen aufzulesen,

die ihm den Stoff für seine

opulenten Ölbilder in Collagetechnik


Oft genug sind auch Utensilien aus

seinem Atelier, wie Pinsel oder

Paletten als »Reliquien« in aufwendiger

Reliefmontage aus Holz

mit eingearbeitet. Nichts ist dem

New Yorker mit dem Hang zur

unverwechselbaren Komik heilig.

So betitelt er seine Art der malerischen

Erzählung, die jetzt in der

Galerie Brusberg zu sehen ist,

ungeniert als romantischen


Kabinettdruck 8

Irgendwo zwischen Antikensehnsucht,

Bibeltreue, literarischen

Stoffen und modernen Ikonen

der Glamour-Magazine hat Reice

einen Schauplatz für seine Helden

und Diven eingerichtet. Die Bilder

sprechen in der Tat Bände, erzählen

ausschweifend Begebenheiten,

und immer bleibt noch Zeit für ein

»Bild im Bild«, das die eigentliche

Hauptszene in Form eines kleinen

manieristischen Gemäldes kommentiert.

Historie trifft auf Phantasie,

anekdotenhafte Erzählungen werden

zur modernen, zeitgemäßen


Christina Wendenburg

Berliner Morgenpost, 9.3.1999

From the Old Testament

Mischtechnik, Collage und

Reliefmontage auf Papier, 1997

30,5 x 71,7 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11692

Edition Brusberg Berlin

Kabinettdruck 8 Milo Reice

Mythen und Märchen

neue Bilder und Blätter




Geboren in New York


High School of Music

& Art, New York


BFA Tyler School

of Art,

Temple University,

Philadelphia und





Graham Hall, Smith College,



Illinois Wesleyan University,


1981, 82, 85, 87

Barbara Toll Fine Arts, New York


»Chapel to Jesus Christ as a

Woman«, Long Island City


More Gallery, Philadelphia


Hokin/Kaufmann Gallery, Chicago

Saxon Lee Gallery, Los Angeles


Rena Bransten Gallery,

San Francisco


Erste Ausstellung in der

Nohra Haime Gallery, New York,

die ihn seither repräsentiert

1992, 94, 95, 98

Nohra Haime Gallery, New York


Galerie Brusberg Berlin,

That’s Rock’n Roll

Bilder, Collagen, Gouachen


Galerie Brusberg in der

Schaubühne, Berlin


Galerie Brusberg Berlin,

Mythen und Märchen

neue Bilder und Blätter




Skidmore College,

Graduate Drawings from

5 Graduate Colleges, Skidmore


The Drawing Center, Line Up,

New York


Marion Locks Gallery,

People, Places and Things,



Barbara Toll Fine Arts,

Eccentric Representation, New York


Concord Gallery,

This Side of Paradise,

New York


The Drawing Center, New Drawings

in America, New York;

The Jewish Museum,

Jewish Imagery in Contemporary

American Art, New York;

Indianapolis Museum of Art,

Paintings & Sculpture Today,


Tyler School of Art,

The Renaissance Revisited,



More Gallery, Myths, Philadelphia


P.S. 122, Private Mythologies,

New York;

Museo Rufino Tamayo,

El arte narrativo,

Mexico City, Mexico


Tyler School of Art, Alumni

Exhibition – 50th Anniversary,


Middendorf Gallery,

Washington D.C.;

LaForet Museum, New York Art

Now: Correspondences,

Tokyo, Japan;

Joy Moos Gallery, Focus New York,



New Jersey Center for Visual Arts,

Olympus Revisited, Summit;

Saxon Lee Gallery, Los Angeles;

Galerie Brusberg Berlin,

Das nie verlorene Paradies;

Wellesley College of Art Museum,


Ten Years of Collecting

Contemporary Art –

Selections from the

Edward R. Downe Jr. Collection,



Carlo Lamagna Gallery,

New York


Lillian Heidenberg Gallery,

New York


Nohra Haime Gallery, New York

Homage to the Square


Nohra Haime Gallery, New York

Topography of a Landscape


The Art Museum at Florida

International University,

American Art Today: Surface

Tension, Miami;

David Beitzel Gallery, Allusion,

New York


The Drawing Center, New York

The Return of the Cadavre Esquis;

Galerie Brusberg Berlin


New Jersey Center For Visual Arts,

Heroes and Heroines: From Myth

to Reality, New Jersey


Nohra Haime Gallery, New York

XVth Anniversary Show


Skirball Museum, Los Angeles

New Beginnings


Greystone Gallery, San Francisco

Werke in öffentlichen


The Dannheiser Foundation,

New York;

The Jewish Museum, New York;

The Lannan Foundation,

Los Angeles

Harvest Moon

Öl auf Leinwand, 1992/93

96,5 x 118 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 8634


Öl auf Leinwand, 1992/93

231,1 x 243,9 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 8578

Milo Reice

Some remarks on

my works

For me it’s always been a wrestelsimultaneously

wanting to keep

alive the traditions reawakened by

Giotto while loving the diversity,

color and line of Picasso and

Matisse, pursuing too Raphael,

and Titian’s bounteous beauties

for myself, and yet maintain

viable and honest connexions

with my contemporary predilections.

To paint all I’ve wanted to

paint – I’ve struggled to switch

here, there, and everywhere, for

after all I’ve ever sought to do as

an artist has been to forge an

eclectic style of masterings and of

differing hands – without betraying

my own essential self: a meld

of the romantic and the classical,

an amalgan of the old and the

new. So I’ve attempted to create

a personal idiom, an eclectic’s

art that venerates the past as its

spiritual and artistic antecedents

without blinding myself to contemporary

art’s esthetics.

My work’s largely fallen into two

categories that I have until only

recently developed equally and

parallel to each other rarely combining

their disparate artistic

affects; two forms: the first and

more conventional have been the

»easel« paintings and/or the

large mural sized canvases.

The second, – the large painted

constructions, and works-onpaper

(including my drawings) –

a unique and personal idiom I’ve

derived, developed, and evolved

from a melding of the illuminated

manuscript form, with that of the

architectonicly based frameworks

exemplified by the frescoes by the

likes of Giotto, Annibale Caracci,

Raphael, and beyond. Composed

of complexly multi-layered images

that service both narrative and

metaphor, over a period of 25

years I’ve re-styled »Biblical-illu-

minated pages« hewing and

reshaping their very structure

ultimately formulating a succession

of intricate works of combined

and interdependent images

and decoration.

In the late 1970’s my works on

paper – central images surrounded

by geometric and/or organic

abstractions still resembled the

traditional illuminated form

though minus decorated script. By

1978 having entirely eliminated

painted wordings, the works’

evolved further as I’d begun

cutting up the paper, and painting

and creating the borders by

re-assembling the pieces jigsaw

fashion. My bordered pictures

then began growing in size, and

in their compositional complexity,

– their medieval antecedents

mostly gone, they’d definitely

become modern art-works.

Between 1978 and 1985

I adventured – played and toyed,

invented and threw away;

I produced truly countless bordered

images. I cut and painted

paper, I threw paint, brushed

paint – working furiously creating

a little encyclopedia of painterly

marks, and avenues to use and

follow in my future and major


From 1985 on, I continued to

retool my methods, revamping,

and taking much inspiration from

the huge worlds of African,

ancient Near Eastern and Greco-

Roman art and style, in turn

creating several series of interrelated

works illustrating African

and Aesopean folk-tales, and

other works that delved into the

disjunctive but supremely classical

art of Africa.

1987 saw the next major breakthrough,

for what began as little

illuminated pictures had now

»grown-up«, now to become

works more in keeping with

murals than with anything else.

Working from Homer’s Odyssey

I executed fifteen 7 1/2 x 6 foot

multi-imaged paintings, of which

the last few included little sculptures.

All the works were as much

about Odysseus’ journey home as

much as it was about my own

exploration as an artist. Wide

ranging –, eclectic, each work

rooted in another »school«, the

paintings became a contemporary

geographical/iconographical map

of both his and my own trek

through a diverse terrain of style

and culture (however much my

own experience allowed for).

In the few years since, I’ve continued

developing the form adapting

it to different subjects from

Mickey Spillane, to Biblical

Heroes, to Wagnerian themes.

Now, my »normal« canvases

have had a subtler and simpler

evolution. Generally heroic in

their orientation as are my constructions,

drawing on the same

array of topics, they are structurally

more traditional – for it’s

been through my approaches to

the various subjects where

I’ve tried to break with traditions

as not all of my works easily

accommodate the viewers’ conceptions

and reverences.

Some of my works derived from

The Bible, for example, may

appear to some as critical or sacrilegious

and yet its been for their

»ever-interpretiveness« – that

I’ve so often been drawn

to such subject matter. Never considering

myself an obsequious

illustrator cloven to every word or

conservative exegesis, reading, –

my major concern has always been

to create vivid paintings that clarified

their subjects adding the

vitality of newer approaches, contemporizing

them and in turn

revivifying subject matter that has

ceased to offer the modernist the

same room for innovation it once

had. I’ve always attempted like a

scholar to reinterpret in order to

clarify, while always seeking to

capture the inherent »mythos«

– the essential raison d’être, –

in order to achieve provocative

works able to convey the meaningful

underpinnings of the narrative(s).

During my college years rapt in

Rome, Italy, I began my first

forays into large format oils.

Heroic and figurative, drawing

my inspiration from Picasso and

Matisse painting a series of big

oils taken from Homer’s Iliad,

it was obvious the Renaissance

Italians were my underpinnings.

But de Kooning, and Frank Stella

too, informed my work! – in one

case over the course of 2 1/2 days

actually painting a 6 1/2 x 8 foot

oil of Dead Patroklas Mourned

over by Achilles entirely with

my fingers, elbows, and arms,

and with, but for a second or

two-brushes. To this day recall

this as my first »enthrall« with

Willem de Kooning.

In other paintings there were

little updates and anachronistic

touches – a Roman wall not particulary

different from a Frank

Stella, modernly-clad but still

heroic figures, humor, (Humor

has always been an essential

ingredient in my work what with

serious subject-matter it is always

wise I think to add a grimace

here or there.) – I was already

attempting to update in order to

revivify. Later I even painted large

format Science-fiction paintings

illustrating rocket-ship interiors,

and mad scientists.

Recently the two sides of my art

have moved closer to each other

and whether or not they will combine

entirely to form a wholly new

type of work only time will tell.

Although both aspects of picturemaking

have been equally satisfying,

one image-picture making

containing perhaps a small predella

as exemplified by this

exhibit’s Playing Danae (Kabuki

Medusa) (Seite 23), though hard

to do in it’s own way, is still less

exhausting and easier to complete

than a multi-paneled constructed

work such as Orpheus Pleading for

Eurydice’s Life Before Hades (Seite

31), just simply for its lack of

numerous images and details.

Whereas this show’s Harvest Moon

(Seite 19), for me is representative

of the best of my constructed

works (on par say with those of

my Odyssey Reevaluated works) it

may also represent those constructions

(epitomized by

Tempest) I’m bidding adieu to in

favor of a more stripped down

form of which the exhibit’s

Orpheus..., only hints. For in a

sense the later of the two is more

an alterpiece-combine of a main

image and a supporting poliptych

of predelli than an overall constructed

decoration of equal


Another aspect of my art – really

»the essential« behind the major

constructions are and have been –

the paper-work. Be they drawings,

little constructions, painting

on paper, whatnot, my small

enframed pictures have been the

germ of half my output for all the

years I’ve painted. So rounding

out this exhibit are the 13 paperworks

chosen from a series of 22

small triptychs I created during

the last year and a half, and

which along with the other 11

correlate with one another not by

way of subject-matter but by a

shared exploration of style, and of

the tripartite arrangement of the

triptych structure – simply, the

esthetic arrangement of 3 images.

And while these 22 triptychs were

the products of an overall »hunt«

to see what, and where, I could do,

and go within the triptych form

they’ve also served as studies,

towards future and more »major«

works of art.

March, 1999

Ezekial in Babylonian Discussion

Mischtechnik auf Pappe

auf Papier, 1997

48,2 x 62,2 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11690

White Snow

for Coco-Ono (French)


This multi-paneled painting was

meant to be a personal valentine

to Paris, France. This is a work

where I simply wanted to muse

over my enchantment with

Parisian color and light. I’ve not

attempted here to paint anything

new and fancy fancying only to

work within the parameters of late

19th and early 20th century

French iconographies. Hence I’ve

tangoed with touches of Dadaism,

Cubism, and post impressionistic

figuration; the white-canvas matenframed

»sculpture« is my

Dadaist wry smile that may too

conjure up the imagery and riddling

of Magritte, and others. The

still life atop the work of course

recollects Picasso, and the side

panels coupled with the central

painting of lovers reading share

the same antecedents:

Matisse, Balthus, Renoir.

Made of 19 canvases I do think

this an overwhelmingly »pretty«

rainbow of a painting but I’m

sorry I chose a heavy weave

canvas for the central painting

as somehow it held me captive,

preventing my gaining the rythms

and fluidity of my conceptions –

it is very good and I got it far

enough but I would have liked it

as a heavier paint-laden, gooier

image; alas the heavy weave just

kept swallowing up the pigment.

The title coupled with the brush

contained in the Alberto Burri-like

bottom portion is a poem-ironically

of sunshine, – of Paris.

White Snow for Coco-Ono (French)

Öl und Reliefmontage

auf Leinwand, 1995/96

219 x 183 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11689

The Egyptian and the Merchant

Mischtechnik und Collage

auf Papier, 1997

31,7 x 62,8 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11703

First Rays of Morning Sun

Mischtechnik und Collage

auf Papier, 1997

45,2 x 95,2 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11691

Scene in Tarquinia,

Etruria in the Fifties


is a work that began in an entirely

non-figurative vein but eventually

turned a corner towards figuration.

When I designed this work I

designed it’s structure paying little

if any attention to the particulars

of the narrative. Though most of

the title was in mind, the why of

Etruscan’s roots in the figurative

drawing had as yet to be fully realized.

In creating this work I first made

my »Cypress-tree« drawing of the

right section after which I made the

left panel’s image – a sort of


North African take on 1950’s N.Y.

school abstraction – YES I AM

CRAZY KIDS! Left with the middle

void I eventually created what takes

up the space now – a cutout shape

that resembles a sarcophagus, or

building pediment with an illustrated

insert/inlay; it is this middle

section that gives the work’s

Tarquinian resonance.

Saga-like, the illustrated scene is

fragmentary and yet it appears as

it were »torn« from some unknown

but obviously consequential historical

epic. Stylistically the central

construct is reminiscent of

Etruscan and Roman style – but

the smiling joviality of the figures

themselves lend it is particular

Tarquinian and subsequently

Etruscan feel – at least for me and

at least through the scrim of a

20th century artist.

Scene in Tarquinia, Etruria in the Fifties

Mischtechnik und Collage

auf Papier, 1998

44,4 x 101,6 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11700

Harvest Moon

(Saint Francis)


I wanted to paint something

sunny, something optimistic. I

love rock’n roll – and I love Neil

Young. Saint Francis, a giant of

religious history, is one I’ve

painted four or five times before.

For me he is magical like Apollo,

and Aesop, like Orpheus. The title

Harvest Moon, I took from a Neil

Young song – not at all for the

lyrics – they have no bearing

upon my decision other than for

Francis’ well known connection to

the moon but for the euphonious

melody and for the minor wistful

key, Mr. Young composed it in. I

must have continually played it

whenever I worked on the picture,

seeking I suppose its simple and

heartfelt beauty.

Now whether one is or isn’t familiar

with Saint Francis’ legacy or

for that matter the details of his

life, in this case it isn’t important.

I chose to show Saint Francis

preaching to his beloved birds

and his taming of Frate Lupo –

the wild wolf that terrorized Assisi

– free of all ecclesiastical baggage

so to speak. His very holiness I

believe lay in his simple humanism,

his ministry contingent upon

his respectful approach to his own

place in the world, placing all living

things on equal par.

I painted the two images in as

simple a way as I could and as

closely in the manner of a painter-monk

and contemporary of the

Saint himself, if called upon to

depict his Frate Francesco.

Therefore simple composition in

both images was my overriding

concern, although I did try to

imbue his sermon to the birds

with a quiet monumentality; the

predella: intimate, I wanted only

to illustrate Francis’ compassion

and empathy for a hungry, lone

and lonely wild wolf.

Harvest Moon (Saint Francis)

Öl auf Papier auf Leinwand

auf Holz, 1993/94

219,7 x 193 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11682

Roman Noir

(Scenes from Consul Marius’ Life)

Mischtechnik und Collage

auf Papier auf Sperrholz, 1998

33 x 98,4 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11699

Stories from the Bible

Mischtechnik und Collage

auf Holz auf Papier, 1998

59,7 x 77,5 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11702

Playing Danae

(Kabuki Medusa)


Once upon a time – a grand and

slightly paranoid Greek, an

ancient king, speaking to his

court seer – reader of ashes, reader

of animal guts, teller of future

events, learns that his future

grandson once grown to manhood,

perhaps greatness, will kill

this now legitimately wary king.

Protective of his own happiness

and hide rather than covetous of

his daughter’s love and well

being, he »dungeons« away sexy

and stunning Danae in a tall

tower, the key thrown away and

only a servant to bring her viands

and vegetables – food for pleasure,

for sustenance.

From far up in Olympia, Zeus The

Gods’ King having fallen in love

with rigid anticipation, metamorphoses

into clouds of golden mist,

and raining gold in and about the

imprisoned and isolated princess,

loves her, caresses her, does her.

Perseus, half-god, half-man,

handsome, athletic and heroic, is

born destined to kill the serpentenshrouded

gorgon Medusa, to

turn to stone and permanence

Atlas the sky-supporter and

incredibly strong and tall, titanic

God. Later too, Perseus would slay

a sea-dragon with huge talons

and sensual appetites for young

nymphs chained to a rocky islet to

gratify its lust, its palate.

Now I’ve loved this myth for

years, yet here I chose to strip it

of its magic preferring the narrative

of 2 characters enacting a

ribald interpretation of the myth.

For here dropping cut papers of

drawn clouds and gold coins

»Zeus« happily jests holding one

more cut-out-coin while »Danae«

sensuously braced, delightedly

gorging, plays her part wholly.

The framed paintings on the

interior’s back wall hint at the

greater story; while in the bottom

predella I’ve painted a more traditional

depiction of Zeus and

Danae’s tryst.

Playing Danae (Kabuki Medusa)

Predella: Danae

Öl auf Leinwand, 1996

209,5 x 224 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11687

Los Angeles Overture #1

(Salena in L.A.)

Mischtechnik, Collage

und Reliefmontage auf Papier, 1998

55,8 x 102,8 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11695

Moses and Aaron

Mischtechnik und Collage

auf Papier, 1998

63,5 x 89 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11698

Et in Arcadia ego / Holy Family

Triptychon, 1998

Mittelteil: Öl und Mischtechnik

auf Leinwand

Seitenteile: Öl, Mischtechnik,

Collage und Reliefmontage auf Holz

142,2 x 365,8 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11739

The Zing That Went That-A-Way

Mischtechnik und Collage

auf Papier, 1998

59,7 x 88,3 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11704

Justinian and Theodora Laughing

Mischtechnik und Collage

auf Papier, 1998

40 x 95,2 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11694

Orpheus in the Underworld, Pleading before

Hades and Persephone for Eurydice’s Life


Öl auf Leinwand, 1998

244,5 x 188,6 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11701

Milo Reice sagt von sich selbst,

er sei Eklektizist. Voller Lust und

Verehrung durchforscht er die

Kulturgeschichte, ohne die

Erfahrungen des 20. Jahrhunderts

zu verleugnen und schafft »Hybriden

verschiedener Stilrichtungen«.

Diese eigentümliche Bildwelt breitet

der Galerist Dieter Brusberg nun

erneut aus, schon 1993 hatte er

in Berlin erstmals Arbeiten des

Amerikaners vorgestellt. Damals

näherte sich das Kunstpublikum

den turbulenten, auch ironischen

Motiven eher mit Vorbehalt.

Der Künstler aus Kalifornien verbindet

figürliche mit abstrakten,

geometrische mit floralen Elementen,

komponiert seine Werke

aus Einzelblättern und Papierschnipseln,

erschafft großformatige

mehrteilige Tafelbilder, bedient

sich bei Raffael und Tizian ebenso

wie bei Picasso und Mondrian,

verschlüsselt Mythen und Legenden

in eine eigene kryptische Sprache.

Mitunter trivialisiert er sie zum


Reice wurde 1952 in New York

geboren, er ist ein nahezu besessen

arbeitender Künstler, der fasziniert

ist von den großen Dramen und

Menschheitsvisionen. Das Alte

Testament, die griechische Mythologie,

Shakespeares Stücke sind

wichtige Inspirationsquellen für

die Erschaffung eines eigenen

Bilderkosmos, der keiner geringeren

Aufgabe gewidmet ist, als der

»Untersuchung des menschlichen

Seins«. Der Betrachter soll dabei in

»visuell anregende, schöne, vielschichtig

detaillierte und unterhaltende

Bilder eintauchen«.

Zweifellos ist dieser Maler ein Verführer,

der mit furioser Bildkraft

sein Publikum animiert, sich den

Irritationen der Vieldeutigkeit auszusetzen

und den Marathon durch

die Kulturlabyrinthe anzutreten.

Mit seinem Humor allerdings –

wenn er als große Figurenkomposition

im Fünfziger-Jahre-Realismus

mit fleischig-monumentalen

Prototypen in theatraler Gestik

daherkommt - tut man sich eher

schwer. Bildsequenzen sehr verschiedener

Sprache stoßen oft

hart aneinander und balancieren

zwischen Kitsch und ironischem

Kommentar. Sie weisen den

Künstler als Zeitgenossen der Postmoderne

aus, ohne seine augenscheinliche

Exotik zu minimieren.

Mit Milo Reice, der sich in Rom

mit der europäischen Kultur auseinandersetzte,

begegnet man

einem Umberto Eco der Malerei.

Seine Lektionen sind zu Bildern

verdichtet. Sie werden als Speichermedium

vielfältigster kulturgeschichtlicher

Informationen vorgeführt.

Sein »Auftrag« weiterzuerzählen,

knüpft an kulturelle

Vorleistung an: Thorarollen,

Bücher, Bildzitate, Propheten und

Prediger verweisen in den Werken

auf die menschheitslange Überlieferung

der immergleichen

Geschichten, deren Ausdeutung

sich wandelt, deren Übermittlung

hochtrabend und trivial sein kann

und sich mit der Erfahrung des

Einzelnen mischt. »Geschichten« –

so Umberto Eco – sind ein »Versprechen

der Unsterblichkeit«.

Anita Wünschmann

Berliner Zeitung, 13.3.1999


Kabinettdruck 8

Edition Brusberg Berlin 1999

aus Anlaß der Ausstellung

Milo Reice

Mythen und Märchen

neue Bilder und Blätter

vom 6. März

bis 30. April 1999

Galerie Brusberg Berlin

Kurfürstendamm 213

D-10719 Berlin

Marry Me a Little

Mischtechnik und Collage

auf Papier, 1997

27,8 x 69,2 cm

Lager-Nr. BK 11696


Frenzel + Heinrichs, Hannover


Schäferart in

Th. Schäfer Druckerei GmbH,



Bernd Kuhnert, Berlin

Robert Lorenzsen, New York


Mark Hanauer, Los Angeles


Galerie Brusberg Berlin

Auflage 1111 Exemplare,

davon sind 111 Exemplare

vom Künstler signiert

und numeriert

Dieses Exemplar trägt die Nummer

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