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American artist Elizabeth Peyton has been credited with breathing new life into the ancient art of portraiture. Her highly stylized, idealized oil paintings, drawings, and watercolors are driven by the emotional, adoring eye of an unrequited lover. Willowy, melancholy young men and women contemporary pop stars, royalty, artists, and friends are the...
American artist Elizabeth Peyton has been credited with breathing new life into the ancient art of portraiture. Her highly stylized, idealized oil paintings, drawings, and watercolors are driven by the emotional, adoring eye of an unrequited lover. Willowy, melancholy young men and women contemporary pop stars, royalty, artists, and friends are the magnetic subjects of her devotion. Caught as if in a state of ambiguous absorption and frozen at the height of their youth, they embody a new kind of portraiture that confirms and updates the immortalizing aura of the traditional genre.Peyton's melding of influences and obsessions ranges widely: from fandom and fashion illustration to academic anatomical studies; from David Hockney and Andy Warhol to a range of Mannerist and Old Master classics; from innocence to the world of bohemia, equally crediting photography and life drawing as its driving forces. Her enamored yet refreshingly informal light wash technique underscores her uniquely delicate, informed hybrid of high and low culture, a statement executed with infectious, seemingly effortless fluidity.Published in conjunction with the artist's major solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York, which will travel to the Whitechapel in London, the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, and the Bonnefantenmuseum in Maastricht.
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