Critics’ Picks

Dorothee Golz, Holbein vor Cy Twombly (Holbein Before Cy Twombly), 2010, color photograph, 57 x 48".

Dorothee Golz, Holbein vor Cy Twombly (Holbein Before Cy Twombly), 2010, color photograph, 57 x 48".


Dorothee Golz

Charim Galerie
Dorotheergasse 12/1
March 4–April 10, 2010

Dorothee Golz is well known for her humorous drawings of women whose social roles she intensifies to the point of absurdity. Take, for instance, Telekinetische Haushaltsbewältigung (Telekinetic Housekeeping), 2002, which depicts three women juggling pots, brooms, and coffee cups. Similarly, in a new series of works, the artist uses digital manipulation to investigate historical images of women. These pictures begin with famous Renaissance-era portraits, from which Golz isolates the head of the subject and then transposes it into a contemporary, sometimes highly provocative, context. One of Memling’s Madonnas is inserted into a group of punks; Holbein’s Anne of Cleves sits bare-breasted in a designer chair. The surroundings, clothing, and sitters’ poses speak to the image of today’s woman, while the shy, inward glance of the historical ladies reminds us of the previous isolation of women. The historical development of the gaze becomes especially explicit in Der Perlenohrring (The Pearl Earring), 2009. Golz depicts the young girl from Vermeer’s painting of the same name in a kitchen: She holds a teapot in her hand and looks at us with surprise in a scene that falls between domesticity and reserved public affection. If Golz’s portraits of women are characterized by deep contradictions, her men are astounding for the enormous self-confidence their faces offer. Whether the boy from a Holbein who stands in front of a Cy Twombly or the face from a Dürer whose body leans nonchalantly with a girlfriend against a graffiti-covered wall––the gestures, hairstyles, and even hats and headgear fit seamlessly into the new context.

Translated from German by Diana Reese.