Déjeuner II, (after Manet), 2015.
Elise Ansel is an artist from NYC whose work is derived from historical Old Master paintings, using a painterly notation and shorthand to translate them into her own contemporary pictorial language. you know that quote from Clueless (of all places)? “She’s a full on Monet – from far away, it’s OK, but up close, it’s a big old mess.” that’s the first thing that sprung to mind when i saw these. i love them.
My paintings are about re-creating, re-visioning, and re-presenting paintings that were created at a time when women were seen as objects. The paintings I work after are distant mirrors which I interpret through the lens of gestural abstraction. My paintings begin with a specific pictorial point of departure but then move towards abstraction as the representational content is balanced by focus upon color, composition and the materiality of the paint. Linear, rational readings are interrupted. The historical paintings I work from become structures on which to hang paint; the soundness of these structures capacitates great improvisational freedom. The real subject becomes the substance and surface of oil paint, the variety of its applications, and the ways in which it can be used to celebrate life.