Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, Again
| Image Notes
Vermeer, Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, c. 1664-65. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
In "Young Woman with a Water Pitcher, Again" (2005), the picture of the woman is rendered smaller and hung on the wall inside the space we recognize from the original Vermeer, the painting thus hanging inside itself. (This painting) depicts the absence of presence, as the integral space of the woman allows for the intrusion of another image. This intrusion does not so much disrupt the pictorial space of Vermeer as remind us that such space is both an illusion and a given. (Charles Molesworth "Presence and Pleasure in the Art of George Deem." Essay, exhibition catalog George Deem 1932-2008 Allan Stone Gallery/Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, 2009).
Deem's own Vermeer epiphany...was in keeping with a nearly century-old American fascination. But whatever Vermeer's impact had been on earlier American artists, Deem would deal with the specific elements of Vermeer's paintings in a more intimate and intense manner than they had, not merely by taking inspiration from Vermeer's style, but by dissecting every element of his art, analyzing it, and reconstructing it, often within new contexts. In fact, Deem's methodology often involved subtraction, thereby taking Vermeer's approach to another level. If Vermeer's figures are physically quiet, temporarily withdrawn from active society, Deem's might be literally withdrawn from the composition. A case-in-point is the series he created by manipulating Vermeer's famousYoung Woman with a Water Pitcher ca. 1664-65. For example, in How to Paint a Vermeerof 1981, Deem demonstrated how artists copy images using simple grid systems. Having thus constructed Vermeer'sYoung Woman with a Water Pitcher from scratch, as it were, Deem deconstructed it. In hisYoung Woman with a Water Pitcher, Again, 2005, Deem moved Vermeer's protagonist out of the picture proper and into a painting-within-the-painting (thus the title of the work). In Deem'sWoman with a Water Pitcher, 2002, she disappears altogether. (David Dearinger, "George Deem," exhibition catalogue essay,George Deem: The Art of Art History, The Boston Athenaeum, April 11 - September 1, 2012, p. 21-22).
The Heckscher Museum of Art, Huntington, New York
Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York
The Boston Athenaeum, Boston, Massachusetts