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George Deem has deployed his virtuoso skills as a painter for over forty years, applying the traditional paint effects and glazes of the Masters with modern wit and freshness. This is the most comprehensive collection of his work ever assembled, introduced here by Robert Rosenblum. Deem 'rebuilds' much-loved favourites, by Vermeer and Velazquez, among many others, using uncannily authentic techniques that have drawn the attention of art historians. In Deem's hands, they become something different and surprising: a Vermeer room but without people, turned into an exquisite 'new' composition; a heap of familiar Cubist images piled against a wall, seen as though taken out of their frames for the holiday season. The tour of Western art, Deem-style, is an eye-opener. Here are t only wonderfully executed 'original' paintings, but also a maverick guide through the styles of Western art, starting with the Renaissance painter Raphael, continuing through Impressionism, and into 20th-century Modernism. These 'paintings of paintings', new works from old, are amusing, informative and - above all - testament to the love that George Deem has for painting and all its pleasures.
George Deem studied at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. His work is in numerous public and private collections and was included in the recent 'Art About Art' exhibition at the Whitney Museum, New York. Robert Rosenblum is Professor of Modern European Art, Institute of the Fine Arts, New York University.