Paulina Olowska
A Portrait of the Artist - Indoors, 2012

Artwork Info

Artwork title
A Portrait of the Artist - Indoors
Artist name
Paulina Olowska
Date created
ink, oil paint and transparency on linen
98 1/2 in. x 86 1/2 in. (250.19 cm x 219.71 cm)
Date Acquired
Collection SFMOMA
Accessions Committee Fund purchase
© Paulina Olowska
Permanent URL
Artwork Status
On view on floor 2 as part of Open Ended: Painting and Sculpture, 1900 to Now.

Olowska embeds her compositions with forgotten figures from overlooked histories. This work depicts the Mexican poet and painter Carmen Mondragón (1893–1978), also known as Nahui Olin, a fashion and cultural icon who posed for such artists as Diego Rivera, Tina Modotti, and Edward Weston. Olowska complicates the depiction in several ways. The central figure is based on a picture by the fashion photographer Norman Parkinson—not of Olin, but of another woman. The plates on the wall are decorated with images of the artist and her lovers, a nod to Olowska’s own ceramic work, while the collaged cats evoke the artist’s preoccupation with these animals.

Gallery text, 2020

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