Go See- Brussels: An exhibition of New Work by Elizabeth Peyton at Gladstone Gallery through December 23rd, 2009

November 29th, 2009

Elizabeth Peyton "Brandon Flowers" 2009 Via Gladstone
Elizabeth Peyton, “Brandon Flowers” (2009) Via Gladstone Gallery.

Currently on exhibit at Gladstone Gallery in Brussels is an exhibition of new work by Elizabeth Peyton.  The show, which reveals a continuation of Peyton’s focus on personal and stylized portraiture, encompasses a group of works on paper and employs a variety of mediums– water colors, colored pencil and  pastel pencil. The depicted subjects in Peyton’s new body of work range from historical figures like Napoleon and Cezanne’s “Madea” to portraits of contemporary artists such as Klara Liden and Rirkrit Tiravanija.

More text, images and related links after the jump….


Elizabeth Peyton "Alex," 2009 Via Gladstone
Elizabeth Peyton, “Alex, (Alex Zachary)” 2009. Via Gladstone Gallery.

Peyton’s small-scale works, which also include self-portraits (below) and several still life compositions, maintain an elusive quality with their own kind of visual vocabulary– capturing characters with a minimal use of loose lines and light, washed-out colors. The artist has stated in an interview that “Different mediums lead to different moods sometimes (…) from each medium so many things can happen depending on what you do within it. I think sometimes I change mediums just to keep myself moving. It really seems like the  right thing sometimes to make things so reduced and I like that–how it just empties out every bit of information except the line (Via New Museum).”

Elizabeth Peyton "Self Portrait" 2009 Via Gladstone
Elizabeth Peyton, Self-Portrait, 2009. Via Gladstone Gallery.

Peyton Self Portrait 2, 2009, Via Gladstone
Elizabeth Peyton, Self-Portrait (Berlin), 2009, Via Gladstone Gallery.

Peyton, Napoleon, (2009) Via Gladstone Gallery
Elizabeth Peyton “Napoleon (family) Still life,” 2009. Via Gladstone Gallery.

Born in Danbury Connecticut in 1965, Peyton studied art at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where she continues to live and work.  She emerged onto the scene in the 1990’s with a kind of return to narrative figuration in contemporary painting through her unique approach to portraiture, which has been said to involve a hybrid of realism and conceptualism. The artist is well known for her stylized, intimate, portraits of celebrities and artists, inspired by pop culture, history, literary subjects and her own personal friendships, relationships and idols.  In an interview for her show “Live Forever” at the New Museum in 2009, Peyton explained of her work that, “They’re not portraits in the old fashioned sense of them being commissioned… portraits used to function for powerful people to sort of get their face around, and they’d have to pay for it– no one was going to want to wake up and want to make paint a picture of them. But for me, I do wake up and want to make a picture of somebody (New Museum).”

Peyton, "Klara Liden" 2009, Via Gladstone
Elizabeth Peyton, “Klara (Klara Liden) 10 October 2009 Berlin” 2009, Via Gladstone Gallery. “To paint well, I need to be enraptured by my subjects,” the artist has said in an interview.

Peyton, Rikrit, 2009 Via Gladstone
Elizabeth Peyton, “Rikrit, October 2009, Berlin” 2009. Via Gladstone Gallery.

Elizabeth Peyton "Mark" 2009 Via Gladstone
Elizabeth Peyton, “Mark (Mark Ronson)” 2009. Via Gladstone Gallery.

Peyton has held numerous solo and group exhibitions and currently has work in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and at the Centre Pompidou in Paris. Her new body of work will be on exhibit at the Gladstone Gallery in Brussels through December 23rd, 2009.

Related Links:
Elizabeth Peyton
[Gladstone Gallery]
Elizabeth Peyton Interview [New Museum]
The New Museum’s Web of Connections [NYTimes]
Elizabeth Peyton Biography [Gavin Brown]

-G.Suter