Elizabeth Peyton - Contemporary Art Part I New York Wednesday, May 13, 2009 | Phillips

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  • Provenance

    Acquired directly from the artist; Private collection, Texas

  • Catalogue Essay

    "It is a source of wonder and of joy that looking at Elizabeth Peyton’s work now does not make us nostalgic for the time that created them, but affects us in a way that can still make us lose our breath and perhaps lose ourselves, propelling us into a deathless, but utterly pleasurable state," (L. Hoptman, Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton, NewYork, 2008, p. 231).
    Elizabeth Peyton’s quiet oil portraits reveal intimate moments in the lives of her subjects. Always encapsulating a tinge of melancholy, her portraits portray her subjects in moments of contemplation and self-reflection. In the present lot, titled Genuina y Pura, a man and woman, established art collectors and close friend’s of Peyton’s, appear as if posing for a photograph.They sit pensively facing opposite directions, creating an “X” shaped composition, which is enhanced by their long and slender limbs. The dominating, vertical red and white stripes of the backdrop and the rich yellow foreground create a charming setting for the two figures. In Genuina y Pura, the viewer is instantly enchanted by Peyton’s characteristic style and technique—energetic and angular lines, bold and sumptuous colors, slippery brushstrokes, and tightly cropped compositions. Peyton’s lively mark-making also reveals an underlying romantic quality, which is visible in the elegant and classical setting of the interior, as well as the beautiful and graceful rendering of her subject’s” faces. Peyton alternates her painting style between loose application and miniature detail.
    In Genuina y Pura, the close and deliberate, small strokes of the faces contrast with the washy yellow strokes of the ground. At the bottom of the painting, the words “genuine and pure” are inscribed in cursive Spanish suggesting the cool attitude and posture of the subjects. This painting is a notable example of Peyton’s successful variation of style and elegant portraiture.


Genuina y Pura

Oil on linen.
40 x 30 in. (101.7 x 76.2 cm).

Signed and dated “Elizabeth Peyton June 1, 1990” on the overlap.

$300,000 - 400,000 

Contemporary Art Part I

14 May 2009, 7pm
New York