Elizabeth Peyton

Elizabeth Peyton


Democrats are more beautiful (after Jonathan Horowitz), 2001. Oil on board. 25,4 x 20,3cm. Collection Laura & Stafford Broumand.

October 13, 2009

Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton
18 October 2009 – 21 March 2010

Avenue Ceramique 250
NL-6221 KX Maastricht
PO Box 1735
NL-6201 BS Maastricht
T:+31 (0)43 3290190 (Tu- Fri)
F: +31 (0)43 3290199
E: info [​at​] bonnefanten.nl


The Bonnefantenmuseum is presenting the first comprehensive retrospective of Elizabeth Peyton’s oeuvre on the European mainland, which comprises over 90 works (paintings, watercolours, drawings and lithos) from the past 18 years (1991-2009).

From her first portraits of 19th-century heroes to her more recent works, peopled with friends from the world of music, fashion and literature, Elizabeth Peyton has presented herself as a contemporary ‘painter of modern life’, in the words of Charles Baudelaire. Peyton’s miniature portraits capture the spirit of the times in an artistic language that unmistakeably reflects late 20th-century urban sensitivity.

The exhibition starts with portraits of Napoleon Bonaparte, pop icons Sid Vicious and Kurt Cobain, and fashion designer Marc Jacobs, and shows a development towards an increasing eclecticism and anachronism in Peyton’s choices of subject, ranging from her personal circle of friends to admired predecessors from the history of art, such as Georgia O’Keeffe and Frida Kahlo.

Peyton’s intimate portraits often appear unrealistic, compared to the public star status of many of her models. Peyton makes them small – both literally and figuratively – in order to visualise a more genuine beauty.

Elizabeth Peyton belongs to a select group of artists who developed a unique mix of realism and conceptualism in their work in the early 1990′s, in which Peyton consciously reverted to narrative figurative techniques in contemporary painting. Her work pays tribute to the 19th-century French modernist painting, and is directly reminiscent of the work of David Hockney, Alex Katz and Andy Warhol – particularly their celebrity portraits. In her work, which is small in size but makes a large gesture, Peyton has breathed new life into the ancient genre of portrait painting.

Interview with the artist – Sunday 18th October, 2 pm
At the occasion of the exhibition’s opening, an interview with the artist will take place at the Bonnefantenmuseum’s auditorium, Sunday 18th October at 2 pm.

In collaboration with the New Museum, New York, and Phaidon, a catalogue has been published: Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton, containing a broad selection of works, photos and source material by the artist. The catalogue is available from the museum shop.

Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton has been organised by the New Museum, New York. The general sponsor of the exhibition is Banana Republic. The main patron is the Turing Foundation. The Belgian radio broadcasting corporation Klara is the exhibition’s media partner.

More information: www.bonnefanten.nl


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October 13, 2009

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