Elizabeth Peyton at Whitechapel Gallery, London

(c) Elizabeth Peyton: 'Craig' 1997, oil on canvas, collection of David Tieger, partial gift to the Museum of Modern Art New York, courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ and Gavin Browns Enterprise

I write this article about the show 'Live Forever' by Elizabeth Peyton at Whitechapel Gallery because her small paintings are so expensive  (up to $ 800,000).


I do not like her work: I think she is just doing society paining. She is doing it in seductive colors. Her technique is nice craftsmanship: She handles oil paint like watercolors. Nice and easy. However, I do not see any deeper meaning in it.


Her motifs are celebrities, dead or alive: The Gallagher brothers, Kurt Cobain, Sid Vicious , Napoleon or Frida Kahlo.


  The settings and the small size of her works create the imagination of an intimate friendship between the painter and the celebrities. (Today - being a well known painter herself - this even might be true for some of them.)   She often has her celebrities pose in a 'James Dean' style: A cigarette, a drink, skinny, young, beautiful, and a lot of melancholy..

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(c) Elizabeth Peyton: 'Prince Eagle (Fontainbleau), 1999, oil on board, Private Collection, courtesy of Sadie Coles HQ and Gavin Brown Enterprise


I read that she is collecting photos of young David Hockney. She likes his work and tried to get in contact with him - but he refused, because he 'was not interested'. I always liked the old English dandy...


Her works are decorative and the colors are very appealing - but are they any more than very expensive fan posters?


by UGL.



Elizabeth Peyton at Whitechapel Gallery, London, until 20 September 2009


Elizabeth Peyton's gallery Gavin Brown shows more images of her work



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Eleanor, 19-07-09 11:20
U.G. - how can you be so mean to Elizabeth Peyton?!

Can't you see the mastership in her brushstroke?

The beauty of her colors?

To Richard Long you say: 'It is beautiful - so what.'

And Peyton's work is only 'nice & decorative'???

You are an ingoramus!!!
U.G., 20-07-09 12:03
Dear Eleanor,

It is not my intention to be 'mean' to anybody. It is my opinion about Peyton's work.

If you have a different point of view it is absolutely ok for me.

I am convinced that judgements on art need to be subjective and personal to make art important to oneself. If you really mean it, your opinion is as valueable as mine is.

But back to Long vs. Peyton:

I think Richard Long has contributed a lot to art history - something I did not yet see from Ms. Peyton.

Jetsin, 07-08-11 18:59
Such a deep aesnwr! GD&RVVF
Ellen, 28-09-12 08:12
The truth just shines trhoguh your post
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