Paul Kasmin Gallery is pleased to present We now must say goodbye, Taner Ceylan’s second solo-exhibition, on view at 297 10th Avenue from October 8 – October 31, 2015. The exhibition examines authorship in portraiture, and features two new portrait paintings and 10 drawings inspired by the authoritative work Princess de Broglie, 1851-53 by Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres.
Influenced by the words of playwright Oscar Wilde, “Every portrait that is painted with feeling is a portrait of the artist, not of the sitter,” We now must say goodbye highlights two canvases that together comprise one work: a recreation of the original portrait with the head of Ingres on the Princess’ body, and a smaller portrait solely of the Princess de Broglie’s bust. The two paintings hang apart, confronting the beholder with the image of the sitter on one side and the incorporated portrait of the original artist on the other.
These new Ingres-inspired paintings are an evolution of Ceylan’s Unfinished Painting series, which also examine historical Orientalist portraits through a contemporary, Eastern lens. The portraits involved an in-depth study of Ingres’ technique and process, as well as a detailed, in-person analysis of the original painting at The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
Ingres was widely recognized for his highly realistic portraits of the fashionable upper class. Princess de Broglie, 1851-53, one of his most famous works, was his last commissioned portrait of a female sitter. The unique positioning of the portraits alludes to the exhibition’s title, taken from poet Bertolt Brecht’s Alabama Song, as Ceylan offers Ingres the chance to say goodbye to the Princess de Broglie and, perhaps, to portraiture altogether.
The exhibition also debuts 10 new drawings on antique paper, self-portraits by Ceylan in the style of Ingres’ drawings. By embedding classical subjects in a contemporary context, Ceylan “reimagines the world that has been masked by time and distorted narrative.”