|Born||New York City|
|Known for||realist paintings|
|Style||realist painting of still life and male figures|
|Patron(s)||represented by White Cube in London|
Ellen Altfest (born New York City, 1970) is an American painter who lives and works in New York. She is best known for her realist depictions of landscapes and still lifes that often blur the distinction between the two genres.
According to art critic Randy Kennedy, Altfest is known for her "painstakingly labor-intensive canvases that look at things in the world." For example, while completing her 2013 work Tree, Altfest spent 13 months sitting in front of a tree trunk exploring the details. Altfest is also known for small-scale works. The previously mentioned Tree, an oil on canvas, is approximately the size of a piece of typing paper.
In 2007, White Cube, a London art gallery, held a solo exhibition of her work which included the first extensive series of paintings of men. A monograph was released on the occasion of her exhibition at White Cube. Her work has featured in several prominent exhibitions, including "The Leg" at the Chinati Foundation in Marfa, Texas in 2010, "Head and Plant" at the New Museum in New York in 2012, "The Encyclopedic Palace" at the Venice Biennale in 2013, and a survey exhibition at the MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, United Kingdom in 2015.
- Large Rock, (2002)
- Studio Window at Night, (2003)
- Tumbleweed, (2005)
- Two Logs, (2005)
- Penis, (2006)
- Reclining Nude, (2006-2007)
- Gourds, (2006-2007)
- Green Gourd, (2007)
- The Butt, (2007)
- The Bent Leg, (2008)
- Torso, (2010)
- Armpit, (2011)
- Abdomen, (2015)
- Inside the Artist's Studio, Princeton Architectural Press, 2015. (ISBN 978-1616893040)
- Spira, Anthony ed. Ellen Altfest: Painting Close-Up, Occasional Papers, 2015. (ISBN 978-0992903916)
- Smith, Roberta. "Art in Review: Ellen Altfest," New York Times, 23 December 2005.
- Spira, Anthony (2015). Ellen Altfest: Painting Close-Up. Occasional Papers/MK Gallery. p. 5.
- Kennedy, Randy (June 6, 2013). "Warming to Painting in the Cold". The New York Times. Retrieved March 5, 2016.
- Reilly, Maura, ed. (2015). "Ellen Altfest: A New, New Realism". Women Artists: The Linda Nochlin Reader. New York: Thames & Hudson, Inc. pp. 417–425. ISBN 978-0-500-23929-2.
- Spira, Anthony (2015). Ellen Altfest: Painting Close-Up. Occasional Papers/MK Gallery.
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