This painting belongs to a series of work Deborah Kass began in the aftermath of the contentious Presidential election in 2000, as well as the ensuing terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001 and resultant War on Terror. Kass deployed nostalgia as a potent aesthetic device in these works.. Titled feel good paintings for feel bad times, the series drew liberally from various Post War 20th Century aesthetic positions, especially those of Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Jackson Pollock, Andy Warhol and Ed Ruscha. Using their vibrant, optimistic formalism as a structure on which to embed hopeful lyrics from Broadway, Pop Music, film scores, Yiddish traditions, and the Great American Song Book, Kass created electric visual mash-ups that inspire reflection on the differences between the contemporary artistic, political and cultural zeitgeist and that of the period following World War II.
Artist Biography Deborah Kass (born 1952) is an American artist whose work explores the intersection of pop culture, art history, and the construction of self. Kass is a fan of popular culture and a rigorous student of art history, and considers all of the existing artistic content as useful material from which to draw. She has gotten the most attention for her appropriation of Andy Warhol's signature screenprints. Kass uses the Warhol technique to create empowering, feminist images of females from art history and popular culture. Says Kass, "I use history as a readymade. I use the language of painting to talk about value and meaning. How has art history constructed power and meaning? How has it reflected the culture at large? How does art and the history of art describe power? I have deconstructed those things." Kass' early works were landscape paintings. Her first exhibitions were at Baskerville + Watson in New York, in the 1980s, a gallery that was famous for showing the work of such groundbreaking artists as Sherrie Levine, Richard Prince and Carroll Dunham. These artists had a profound impact on Kass.
Kass has been a Senior Critic in the Yale University M.F.A.Painting Program. Recent museum exhibitions include Deborah Kass, Before and Happily Ever After at The Andy Warhol Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Museum Ludwig, Cologne, Museum of Modern Art, NY, The Jewish Museum, New York, The National Portrait Gallery, and the Museum of Fine Arts Boston. Works by Kass are in the permanent collections of MOMA New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, Jewish Museum (New York), Museum of Fine Art, Boston, Cincinnati Museum of Art, New Orleans Museum, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Fogg Museum, Harvard Art Museums, the Rubell Collection, Weatherspoon Museum, and many others.