| Work

Vermeer's Easel

Medium:Oil on canvas
Size inches:42 x 36
Size cm:106.7 x 91.4
Signature:Signed and dated lower right and inscribed on the reverse
Location:Private Collection, Great Falls, Virginia

(In) Vermeer's Easel the emphasis placed on the chair, positioned for the viewer's entrance, the person who sees the painting, articulates (the) new role to be played by the post-modern artist who, in effect, becomes the spectator through his/her creative act of duplication. The empty easel looks towards the very picture in which it is situated for its new occupant, towards the very picture in which it stands; Deem's re-envisioning of Vermeer's masterpiece is the new picture. The empty chairs, then, might be read as symbols of seeing anew, and their accentuated presence juxtaposed with the empty easel in Deem's Vermeer's Easel might be interpreted as an allegory of seeing as opposed to painting or, perhaps more precisely, as an allegory of seeing that leads to painting.(Seema Srivastava, "Deem's Vermeers: A post-Modern Allegory of Seeing?," working paper presented in Professor Robert Rosenblum's graduate seminar Neo-Historicism in Late Twentieth-Century Art at the Institute of Fine Arts, New York University, 18 December 2001).

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