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Ruud van Empel: Portraits
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Jackson Fine Art

4/28/2017 to 7/1/2017
When: Friday, April 28, 2017
Where: Jackson Fine Art
United States

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Ruud van Empel’s striking large-format photomontages apply painterly precision and detail to a medium often derided in contemporary fine art photography — the digital composite. His youthful subjects and lush settings do not exist outside of van Empel’s Photoshop workspace, where the artist utilizes his own photographs of models in different settings and a large collection of images he has collected over time to create complex portraits of startling realism, marked by a tinge of the uncanny. 

 

In World, van Empel depicted innocent subjects adrift in elaborate natural settings, evoking magical realism and the pastoral children’s portraits of the German painter Otto Dix. Portraits, van Empel’s third exhibition at Jackson Fine Art, draws on two new series for which van Empel shifts away from the straightforward fantasy of earlier bodies of work in favor of a psychological contemplation of his subjects. Mood and Analogy recall van Empel’s Dutch artistic heritage through clasically posed portraits reminiscent of painted miniatures and distinguished by dark, earthy tones and dramatic chiarrascuro. Van Empel’s young inventions appear not lost in the world, but living in it, with all of the complexity and depth that entails. 

 

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