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Deborah Kass, Double Ghost Yentl (My Elvis), 1997. Silkscreen and acrylic on canvas. 72 1/8 x 50 1/8 in, 183.2 x 127.3 cm. Courtesy the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery.
Leading curator and critic Robert Storr joins influential artist Deborah Kass for a wide ranging informal conversation on the occasion of the publication of her first monograph Deborah Kass: Before and Happily Ever After (Skira Rizzoli 2012) in conjunction with her mid-career retrospective exhibition at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Two art world veterans get together to discuss art, life, politics and music. Expect the unexpected. Deborah Kass, Quote Louise Bourgeois, 2005-2007. Oil and acrylic on canvas. 96 x 84 in, 243.8 x 213.4 cm. Courtesy the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery.
In the late 1980s and early 90s Deborah Kass startled the art world with paintings that began to alter the narrative of contemporary art history. Using the work of painters that came before her—Johns, Pollock, Stella, Warhol—art history became the medium with which Kass questioned and ultimately rewrote the story of postwar art that was considered, more or less, written. Her infamous Art History Paintings, instantly controversial, came after a successful decade of showing landscapes and abstract paintings in New York, and were followed by the groundbreaking Warhol Project works that looked a lot like Warhol’s but with a difference. In place of Liz, Marilyn, or Jackie there was Barbra Streisand instead. The Warhol Project problematized our then codified ideas related to gender and ethnicity, helping stoke the still nascent discussions around identity. Simultaneously marginalized by the art world and embraced by collectors, critics, and art historians, Kass has fearlessly staked out a singular place in contemporary art history.
The work presented in the book Deborah Kass: Before and Happily Ever After spans Deborah Kass’s nearly four-decade career, from her early landscape paintings, to her provocative Art History series, through the Warhol Project, and to her paintings of the last decade, feel good paintings for feel bad times. This important new monograph published on the occasion of the artist’s first comprehensive exhibition includes over 150 color images, a foreword by The Warhol Museum’s Director, Eric C. Shiner, an interview of the artist by filmmaker John Waters and essays by some of today’s most important art scholars Robert Storr, curator and Dean of the Yale School of Art; British feminist art historian Griselda Pollock; legendary New York art critic Irving Sandler; and art critics Lisa Liebmann and Brooks Adams.
Deborah Kass, If I Were a Wealthy Man, 2006. Oil on canvas. 55 x 50 in, 139.7 x 127 cm. Courtesy the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery.Copies of the book are available for purchase and signing at the event.
Deborah Kass is an artist whose paintings examine the intersection of art history, popular culture, and the self. She received her BFA in painting from Carnegie Mellon University, and studied at the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program and the Art Students League of New York. Her work is in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum of American Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, The Jewish Museum, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Cincinnati Art Museum, New Orleans Museum of Art, Weatherspoon Art Museum, as well as numerous public and private collections. Her work has been reviewed extensively in The New York Times, art press, and academic books. A survey show, Deborah Kass: The Warhol Project, traveled across the United States from 1999–2001. Her work has been shown at the Venice Biennale, the Istanbul Biennial; the Museum Ludwig in Cologne, Germany and other international venues. She is a Senior Critic in the Yale University MFA Painting Program. Her work was recently included in the exhibition Regarding Warhol: 50 Years, 60 Artists at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. A mid career retrospective Deborah Kass, Before and Happily Ever After was presented at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in fall 2012. She is represented by Vincent Fremont and the Paul Kasmin Gallery.
Deborah Kass,Small Funk, 2006. Enamel and acrylic on canvas. 52 x 68 inches, 132.1 x 172.7 cm. Courtesy the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery.
Robert Storr is a curator, writer, and Dean of the Yale School of Art. From 1990 to 2002 he was Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art. The director of the 52nd Venice Biennale International Art Exhibition in 2007, he is considered to be one of the most influential Americans in the art world and has been described as a "vital link between the museum world and academia" and "a gifted writer". Over the years, he has written for the following publications Art in America, Artforum, Art Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Village Voice, Art & Design, Interview, etc. His regular column 'View from the Bridge' appears in Frieze magazine. Complementing his career as a curator, writer, painter and teacher, he serves on the Art Advisory Council of the International Foundation for Art Research (IFAR).
Deborah Kass, Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner, 2009. Watercolor and gouache on paper. 11 x 11 in, 27.9 x 27.9 cm. Courtesy the artist and Paul Kasmin Gallery.
Initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni in 2004, Artist Dialogues Series provide an open forum for understanding and appreciation of contemporary art. Artists are paired with critics, curators, gallerists, writers or other artists to converse about art and the potential of exploring new ideas.