Peyton’s work is born of a wish to contain time by making art that explores love, beauty and human relationships
Created in close collaboration with the artist, Elizabeth Peyton: Aire and Angels surveys the work of American painter Elizabeth Peyton (born 1965), with a particular focus on the last decade of her practice, while positioning Peyton’s work within the context of historic portraiture.Having occupied a central place within contemporary art and portraiture since the early 1990s, Peyton’s work demonstrates an intensely personal, increasingly expansive and indirect understanding of the genre. Known for her luminous pictures, Peyton’s diverse and ever-expanding repertoire of recurring subjects includes figures resonant to her, past and present. Composed using a variety of techniques–oil painting, pencil and pastel drawing, watercolour and printmaking–her art is made both from life and memory, as well as from a wide array of secondary sources. Contemporary figures including Isa Genzken and Kurt Cobain sit alongside figures such as Sir Antony van Dyck and a late 16th-century portrait of the poet John Donne. A number of works capture Peyton’s personal environment, revealing private encounters between the artist and her subjects or intimate corners of her immediate surroundings and interleaving the genres of portraiture and still life.