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John Millei – Woman in a Chair

February 5, 2010 Art, Contemporary No Comments

Everyone likes boobs, some more than others.

Pick Up Sticks

This was another one of my favorites.

There were a lot of paintings in this series. I posted only a fraction of them. All were really good.

 Copy + Paste from Ace Gallery:

Several years ago while in Paris, John Millei viewed a painting titled Portrait de femme (Dora Maar), 1938, by Pablo Picasso in the collection of the Centre Pompidou. He bought a postcard of the painting, which has been pinned on the wall of his studio since. In the Spring of 2008 he began small studies from it, and eventually used it as inspiration for a new series of paintings titled Woman in a Chair. In a similar manner, the premise for his 2006 series the Procession paintings, was based on his encounter with Giotto’s Procession of the Nuptial Virgin. Also referencing Giorgio Morandi, the series came after Millei visited Giotto’s original Arena Chapel frescoes in Padua, Italy.

Picasso used the model of the woman in a chair as a theme throughout his long career and various stylistic periods. Millei’s attraction to Portrait de femme (Dora Maar) proved to be an apt historical model from a most fertile period around Picasso’s painting of Guernica. After extensive studies in watercolor and with small sized canvases, Millei gravitated toward 9ft high canvases utilizing oil and flashe. In Millei’s new work, the paintings reveal a singular approach to the abstract figure, considerably altered in each using stylistic tropes from previous series within his own career; in one, reappearing as thick impasto flower ‘hands’ or stenciled dots for ‘eyes.’ The paintings are individually titled rather than numbered, to break sequence, i.e. Woman in a Chair (Blinkers), with only one painting which actually references Picasso in its title: Woman in a Chair (after Picasso). Millei’s work here mirrors Picasso’s approach in that for each, the subject becomes an armature for their own sets of painterly concerns. These ‘after-images’ are neither about Dora as a subject nor deconstructing Picasso, but the Woman in a Chair as a template, abstract idea and framework, using received and known culture to reinforce Millei’s individual statements. Many artists have engaged their predecessors work as departure points for their own. In Millei’s paintings after painting, the territory is redefined again.

Link: Ace Gallery

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