The gallery is proud to announce the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art acquisition of “Portrait (Rembrandt)” (2009), a major work by Jason Salavon.
The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art is the oldest continuously-operating public art museum in the United States, founded in 1842 by arts patron Daniel Wadsworth.
Image: JASON SALAVON “Portrait (Rembrandt)”, 2009, digital c-print, 38.5″ x 31″ (Ed. 7 + 2 APs) Collection of The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art
Likely the final installment of a broader series begun in 1997 by Jason Salavon, each of these pictures from the PORTRAIT Series employs the bulk of the portrait oeuvres of Franz Hals, Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn, Anthony van Dyck, and Diego Velazquez, respectively. Simple mean-averaging of high-quality reproductions – or a “blending” of dozens of portrait images by the artist – yields these atmospheric meta-portraits.
“During the summer of 2009, I spent some time strolling around the painting galleries of the Prado, Louvre, and Met with my father, a painter himself. The repetitive and contemplative nature of these walks resulted in the Portrait project. The “Hals vs Rembrandt” room at the Met, in particular, preternaturally pushed me towards applying my averaging strategies to Old Masters’ works. The Met’s acquisition of the Hals piece within a few months of its completion made the process all the more satisfying.”
“An issue remains, however. As I noted in the project’s description, museum sales or not, I don’t see doing any more averaging-style amalgation work. In 1997, when I first blended 120 Playboy centerfolds, I was not aware of anything much like it (I only knew Nancy Burson’s exceptional “morph” work). As it stands now, a once open area of inquiry has become so crowded, I don’t much feel like I have anything left to contribute to this particular conversation. You never know, I just don’t see it happening. Down the road, I’ll try to expand on this topic.”
– Jason Salavon (2010)
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