Elizabeth Peyton: Artist Portrait

Elizabeth Peyton

Born 1965.
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Elizabeth Peyton Biography

Despite beginning her career in an art historical period that largely derided representational art, American painter Elizabeth Peyton’s work, namely portraiture, has since been largely credited with the reevaluation and reemergence of figuration in painting. Born in Danbury, Connecticut, in 1965, Peyton trained at the School of Visual Arts in New York City, graduating with her BFA in 1987. The exhibitions of her early career were decidedly unique, with her paintings often being shown at such venues as hotels and pubs. Her canvases are generally modestly sized, but are opulent in their attention to emotional detail and use of vivid color, traits that have led some critics to situate her in the long and illustrious line of figurative artists such as Édouard Manet, John Singer Sargent, and Andy Warhol. The subjects of her portraits are incredibly diverse, ranging from those closest to her personally, to famous individuals such as Kurt Cobain, David Bowie, and Nicole Kidman, among many others. Although a number of her works are done directly from life, Peyton takes advantage of wide-ranging source material such as film stills, print media photographs, and iconic artworks.

Peyton continues to live and work in New York City and Berlin, and her work has been acquired by many leading museums, including the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Museum of Modern Art, New York; and the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis.

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