(American, b. 1970)
Ink, fabric dye and colored pencil
Sheet: 147.3 x 108 cm (58 x 42 1/2 in.)
Judith and James Saks in memory of Lynn and Dr. Joseph Tomarkin Endowment 2010.225
More than an art of resemblance, portraiture for Tharp is an opportunity to tap into his own memories and fantasies. His artistic process combines the accidental with the intentional; the figure in Groton House was initiated with a few strokes of mineral ink that bled unpredictably on a damp sheet of paper, creating indistinct violet passages suggestive of pooling liquid visible in the figure’s hair. Tharp then manipulated the image, adding a hyperrealist drawing of a woman shrouded by networks of fine pencil lines and painted in ink with a wide brush. The figure in Groton House seems to emerge as if from behind a scrim, shape-shifting before the viewer and cohering to Tharp’s symbolic world.
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