Deborah Kass, ‘OY YO’, 2011, Caviar20

Deborah Kass (b. 1952) is a noted American artist who employs appropriation and subversion to examine cultural hierarchies, specifically in the art world and in popular culture.

Kass often extracts elements from blue-chip American male artists' works and repositions them in a feminist or Jewish framework. There is always an element of humor and mischief in her practice.

One of Kass' most successful projects included recreating some of Andy Warhol's most famous paintings, but replacing the subject with images of Barbara Streisand.

In this work, Kass is hijacking the work of Californian conceptual artist Ed Ruscha. One of Ruscha's most iconic (and valuable) bodies of work was created in the late 1960's and is characterized by simple words, including sounds, painted in bold colors in grand sizes.

Kass is both satirizing and updating Ruscha's work. She also reminds the viewer of the proximity between language and identity.

In 2012 The Andy Warhol Museum (Pittsburgh) hosted a mid-career retrospective on the artist entitled Deborah Kass, Before and Happily Ever. To learn more about Deborah Kass, we recommend the accompanying catalog published by Rizzoli.

Additional images available on request.

Signature: Signed, dated and numbered by the artist verso.

About Deborah Kass

Walking the line between respectful homage and brazen appropriation, Deborah Kass mimics and reworks the signature styles of some of the 20th century’s most iconic male artists—including Frank Stella, Andy Warhol, Jackson Pollock, and Ed Ruscha—in her bold, meticulous paintings. “They’re my daddies,” she has said, in witty acknowledgment of her indebtedness to her male antecedents. Kass’s alterations of their work in her own paintings are both bitingly funny formal interventions and keenly critical commentary on the historically dominant position of male artists. Feminism is central to her approach. As she explains: “It is about my desire to be part of what they’re a part of. […] I think the desire was ambition and greatness. For women of my age, it was still not very cool to be overtly ambitious.”

American, b. 1952, San Antonio, Texas, based in Brooklyn, New York

Solo Shows

New York,
Deborah Kass: No Kidding

Group Shows

Heiner Contemporary, 
STASH: Polly Apfelbaum, Ingrid Calame, Tara Donovan, Deborah Kass, Kate Shepherd, Jon-Phillip Sheridan and Austin Thomas

Fair History on Artsy

William Shearburn Gallery at Dallas Art Fair 2017
PK Shop at EXPO CHICAGO 2016
View Artist's CV