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John Currin

Skinny Woman

Not on view



Oil on linen

Overall: 50 1/8 × 38 1/16in. (127.3 × 96.7 cm)

Accession number

Credit line
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; purchase, with funds from The List Purchase Fund and the Painting and Sculpture Committee

Rights and reproductions
© artist or artist’s estate

Among John Currin‘s earliest works are portraits of anonymous aging females, exemplified by the figure depicted in Skinny Woman. Although her pose is reminiscent of a fashion model, the artist complicates this association by giving the woman an aged, thin body and silvery gray hair. Currin’s work draws on a variety of sources—from Northern Renaissance and early Mannerist paintings to contemporary fashion magazines—to create deceptively naturalistic portraits. Endowed with seemingly recognizable faces and bodies that are often elongated or distorted, these composite figures could live nowhere but in his art. As he has explained, “The people I paint don’t exist. The only thing that is real is the painting. It’s not like a photograph where there’s another reality that existed in a certain moment in time in the past.”  



A 30-second online art project:
Ryan Kuo, Hateful Little Thing

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