Kathleen Gilje
American, born 1945
Selected exhibitions
SPRING 2018,
Francis M. Naumann Fine Art
Marcel Duchamp FOUNTAIN An Homage,
Francis M. Naumann Fine Art
Kathleen Gilje: Witch's Brew,
Francis M. Naumann Fine Art

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 …

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