Kathleen Gilje
Kathleen Gilje: Witch's Brew

Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, LLC
24 West 57th Street, Suite 305
New York, NY 10019The Birth of Tragedy after Giuseppe de Ribera’s Drunken SilenusGlobal Warming after Albrecht Durer’s Portrait of Oswolt KrelThe Text Message after Pieter Pourbus’s Portrait of a Married Lady of Bruges and Images from Keith HaringOnline Dating-This Relationship is Going Too Fast for Me after Antonello da Messina’s Portrait of an Unknown ManThe Nonconformist after Antonello da Messina’s Portrait of a ManIt Isn’t the Mountains Ahead that Wear You Out It’s The Pebble In Your Shoe - Portrait of Mohammed Ali and his quotes after Hans Memling’s Portrait of a Man against a Dark BackgroundPortrait of Louise Bourgeois after Durer’s Portrait of Bernhard von Reesen  Self Portrait as Bouguereau’s The AssaultSelf Portrait Slaying a Rooster after Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying HolofernesBasquiat as Velazquez’s Portrait of Juan de ParejaPortrait of Jennifer Blei Stockman after Gustav Klimt’s The DancerThe Biker after Matthias Grünewald’s Head of a Shouting ManThe Biker after Peter Paul Rubens’s Head of a SatyrThe Biker after Van Dyck’s Old Bearded Man Carrying a BundleBad Bets-Blind Hurdy Gurdy Banker after Georges de la Tour’s Hurdy Gurdy PlayerThe Biker after Andrea Mantegna’s Allegory of Vice and Virtue
Witch's Brew
Kathleen Gilje: Witch’s Brew

Francis M. Naumann Fine Art, LLC
24 West 57th Street, Suite 305
New York, NY 10019

January 31- March 14, 2014

A veteran painting restorer, Kathleen Gilje is renowned for her intricate recreations of artworks revised to provide shrewd, often humorous social commentary, while, at the same time, providing deeper insight into the historical context of the artwork being referenced. In this show, Gilje invites us all to stir the pot of time between the Old Masters and the newest inventions of the modern technological age—from a motorcycle to an iPhone—thereby allowing us as viewers to participate in her “witch’s brew.”

Witch’s Brew will feature new works in which Gilje includes herself in various guises enacting scenes from Renaissance and Baroque paintings—some based on those she conserved over the course of her former career as a restorer. Gilje guides the viewer to identify with her role as artist and living agent in the artwork to recontextualize the figures they contain as beings complete with desires and neuroses, rather than as mere allegorical symbols or vessels of painterly prowess as they are often interpreted by modern viewers. In Self Portrait Slaying a Rooster after Artemisia Gentileschi’s Judith Slaying Holofernes, 2012, Gilje appears as the agent of violence, Judith slicing off the head of a dragon size rooster, and in Self Portrait as Bouguereau’s The Assault, 2012, as the cherubic object of love, the target of paint brushes rather than arrows.

The centerpiece of the exhibition, The Birth of Tragedy after Giuseppe de Ribera’s Drunken Silenus, revises a work that Gilje restored at age twenty-four, one she grew to know intimately over many months of apprenticeship at the Museum of Capodimonte in Naples, Italy—a pivotal moment in her artistic development. In the original, an obese Silenus is fed wine by two satyrs, attended by an elf-like figure and a donkey; Gilje presents herself as a pointy-eared impish figure while the donkey rides into the scene on a motorcycle, and a tattooed Silenus’s chest reads “The Birth of Tragedy.” The painting is joined by a series of new works that provide cheeky commentary on social networking, a reprise of her signature series in which contemporary pop cultural and artistic figures are inserted into renaissance-era portraiture. The resulting works offer a more complete understanding of the original subjects as well as Gilje’s ingenious adaptations of them.