The Oarsman (Permanent Collection)

Tim Davis American, born Malawi
Mounted and laminated by Eric Zanazanian

Not on view

Over several years, Davis visited museums throughout the United States, photographing works of art, mostly European paintings. Rather than shooting the works head-on, he positioned his camera at a slightly oblique angle in order to emphasize the reflective glare of the museum lighting on the surfaces of the paintings. The effects range from circular halos or sunbursts that partly obliterate the images to overall washes of whiteness that reveal surfaces filigreed with tiny cracks, wrinkles, and textured brushstrokes. Here, a barely visible sculler in Thomas Eakins's painting The Oarsman (Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven) seems to dissolve along with the river into a shimmering veil of light. Davis prints his photographs roughly the same size as the paintings they depict, furthering the uncanny replacement of the original with its photographic doppelgänger.

The Oarsman (Permanent Collection), Tim Davis (American, born Blantyre, 1969), Chromogenic print

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