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New McNay Exhibit Questions Personal Style And Accepted Taste

photo: Megan Roche
After Boucher 1, oil on canvas.

A new exhibit at the McNay by Illinois artist Rosayln Schwartz takes conventions from master paintings and re-interprets them, challenging the "arbiter of taste," those who decide what is and isn't "high quality."

"What I do in a sense is to try to pervert that experience by changing colors to these lurid, almost neon-like colors that I use to create these old master reenactments." Schwartz said. "And what I find so interesting is that people are drawn to the work, they’re seduced by the work because of this mastery."

Schwartz also shows a certain fascination with works that could be considered kitsch.

"Back in the day it was pink flamingoes and dogs playing chess on black velvet," she said.

Schwartz describes the collection in this way:

"The work is quite eclectic -- it’s collage, painting, digital, sculpture, from Brigitte Bardot, to botanical prints to reclining nudes. You name it, it’s there," she said.

The exhibit, A Brief History of Seduction, opens Thursday night, November 14, and Schwartz will present beforehand.

"I will be giving a talk with the curator, René Barilleaux at 6:30. It’s called Conversation with the Curator," she said.

Jack Morgan can be reached at jack@tpr.org and on Twitter at @JackMorganii