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Kathleen Gilje

American, b. 1945

32 followers

Kathleen Gilje

Bio

American, b. 1945

Followers
32
Biography

A painting conservator by trade, Kathleen Gilje creates satirical send-ups of iconic Old Master paintings, parodying the male gaze. Restoring damaged El Grecos and Caravaggios in Naples during her early career, Gilje learned the techniques and materials used by Old Masters, enabling her to produce uncanny copies in which she inserts anachronistic details or subtly subverts the original to make feminist commentary, underscoring the vulnerability of the female subject. In her earlier paintings Gilje would make a copy using lead paint, cover parts of the image with pentimenti, and x-ray the painting, hanging the resulting films next to it. In Woman with a Parrot, Restored (2001), the x-ray image reveals the nude figure of the artist himself, Courbet, standing to the right of the female figure, suggesting his predatory relationship to her. In a copy of Rubens’s Het Pelsken, a portrait of the painter’s wife wrapped in fur, Gilje gives the fur muscular clasping hands.

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Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
MoMA PS1, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum
Biography

A painting conservator by trade, Kathleen Gilje creates satirical send-ups of iconic Old Master paintings, parodying the male gaze. Restoring damaged El Grecos and Caravaggios in Naples during her early career, Gilje learned the techniques and materials used by Old Masters, enabling her to produce uncanny copies in which she inserts anachronistic details or subtly subverts the original to make feminist commentary, underscoring the vulnerability of the female subject. In her earlier paintings Gilje would make a copy using lead paint, cover parts of the image with pentimenti, and x-ray the painting, hanging the resulting films next to it. In Woman with a Parrot, Restored (2001), the x-ray image reveals the nude figure of the artist himself, Courbet, standing to the right of the female figure, suggesting his predatory relationship to her. In a copy of Rubens’s Het Pelsken, a portrait of the painter’s wife wrapped in fur, Gilje gives the fur muscular clasping hands.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Group
Group show at a major institution
MoMA PS1, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum