MICHAEL ALLEN LOWE

 
Les Agents Provocateur
 2009
 Painting
 54 x 40 in.    INV #: MLowe-32956

 

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Synopsis:  This work is Lowe’s response to a nineteenth century Fuseli drawing Girl Combing Her Hair, Watched by a Young Man, c.1810-20.  Lowe exaggerates the voyeuristic tension within this original work by adding more figures and staging a much more titillating scene. The young girl combing her hair is replaced with two other figures from a different Fuseli drawing, Two Lesbians Looking into a Mirror, c.1810-20.  Another agent has been added, a fleshed-out male figure in red period clothing from Antoine Watteau’s Gilles and Four Other Characters, c.1719.  Lowe has juxtaposed the foreground figures to frame the narrative, having been careful not to eclipse the unfurling erotic scene.

 

 

 

Social Graces
 2009
 Painting
 INV #: MLowe-32957

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:  This work began as a study of an Ingres drawing, Embracing Couple, c.1719.  Lowe has used this drawing as the figurative backdrop for his work. The central female figure, originally depicted recoiling from a suitor’s advances, has been taken from Antoine Watteau’s Gathering Near a Fountain, c.1720.  The figure’s lower torso has been left monochromatic and unresolved as in a study of a seated female nude.  The small conflict between background characters in Watteau’s original grand scene has been brought center stage in Lowe’s work.  Lowe has painted a caricature of the debutante’s social responsibilities, portraying them as lust-filled assaults.

 

 
Monument du Costume
 2009
 Painting
 63 x 96 in.    INV #: MLowe-32955

 

 

 

Synopsis:  This work was inspired by a Jean Michel Moreau drawing, La Déclaration de la Grossesse (Disclosure of Pregnancy), c.1775, an illustration for the Suite d’estampes pour servir à  l’Histoire des Moeurs et du Costume Des francois dans le XVIIIe Siécle (The Monument du Costume), originally published in 1775.  Lowe has referenced several fragments of this drawing: the reticule and fire screen, the decorative table and chairs, and two of the figures who presumably represent the physician and grandmother-to-be.  The physician’s clothes have been fleshed-out in the manner of John Singer Sargent, resembling a costume of the artist’s Portrait of Carolus-Duran, c.1879.  Lowe has replaced the expectant mother with an embracing nude couple after Fuseli’s Adam and Eve, c.1799.  The backdrop for this scene echoes the hellish, surrealistic landscape drawing The Temptation of St Anthony by Jacques Callot, c.1617.  Lowe has painted over Callot’s cavernous landscape with an ethereal environment for this annunciation, allowing only the red dragon to remain.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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