Ellen Altfest, ‘Green Gourd’, 2007, Brooklyn Artists Ball

Estimate $1,000. With exquisite attention to the minutest details, Ellen Altfest produces naturalistic paintings that transform humble or intimate subjects into evocative, psychologically loaded objects. This Japanese woodblock print of a gourd, an edition of 40, marks Altfest’s first foray into the medium.

Work is unframed

Condition: Good

Dimensions:
42.4 cm x 43.4 cm
Paper size: 16 11/16 x 17 1/16 in. (42.4 x 43.4 cm)

About Ellen Altfest

With exquisite attention to the minutest details, Ellen Altfest produces naturalistic paintings that transform humble or intimate subjects—like houseplants, gourds, or a man’s underarm—into evocative, psychologically loaded objects that almost exceed realism. Altfest paints from life in every sense, faithfully recording the crevices on the surface of a gourd or each pore and every hair covering a man’s thigh. This abundance of detail, combined with Altfest’s tight framing, is at once seductive and excruciating: “I like making compositions that are awkward and go against what might be considered pleasing,” she says.

American, b. 1970