An essay by Chantel Tattoli for The Daily blog of The Paris Review.

peggy-guggenheim
Kim Rae Taylor, Peggy Guggenheim, 1898–1979. Oil on birch panel, 12 x 12″, 2015

Jade French talks to artist, educator, and feminist Kim Rae Taylor about The Modernism Project, a series of painted portraits documenting some of the leading women of twentieth-century modernism. When asked what prompted the work, Taylor responded:

“My primary area of interest is the modernist period, and about three years ago I began to take notice of just how many women lived long lives, beyond the designated period of twentieth century Modernism. I wanted to learn more about the work from their later years and this became something of a visual quest because I was just so curious to see how they looked as elderly women. Once I had a running file of images, I started making these loose pencil sketches, but then a 1967 photo of Peggy Guggenheim, by photographer Ron Galella, really grabbed my attention. I was intrigued by the confrontational way she stared into the camera’s lens, without her usual oversized sunglasses, and I loved this idea that she was reversing the gaze. It felt powerful to me in an unexpected way.”

— Medium