What do paintings signify in an age of photographs? How do photographs modify the visual language of paintings? Richard Misrach’s Pictures of Paintings showcases photographs of select museum masterpieces. Working primarily in the art museums of the American West, along with The Metropolitan Museum in New York and The Israel Museum in Jerusalem, Misrach photographs paintings to reexamine specific details, not so much as a guide to the artist’s style or technique, but as a means of understanding a lexicon of cultural values, among them race, gender, religion, and power.
By collapsing the barriers between the traditional practice of documentation and the recent strategies of appropriation art, these photographs raise important questions regarding representation itself. This publication marks the first comprehensive compilation of this significant body of work.—the publisher