Mirrored Confessions sheds light on the powerful and enduring artistic bond of identical twin brothers Joel-Peter Witkin and Jerome Witkin who, despite being estranged throughout their 50-year careers, each created bodies of work yielding strikingly similar subject matter, archetypes, and compositions. Employing different mediums of expression (painting for Jerome, and photography for Joel-Peter), each artist’s grotesque treatment of themes of religion, mortality, art history, and the body, as well as formal, compositional, and aesthetic choices, prove the unbroken depth of connection between these two brothers. Depicting themes that are at once universal and deeply psychological, these common threads also work to underscore each artist’s individuality and unique contributions to the history of art.
This exhibition will include 119 works spanning more than three decades including both artists’ most recent works. Iconic photographs by Joel-Peter Witkin include “Olympia” 1974, and “Las Meninas” 1987, among his small and large scale works. Jerome Witkin’s masterful large painting “The German Girl” 1997 will be among his important works shown in this exhibition, joined by two monumental early drawings of the mid 80s, ruminating on a mythologized Van Gogh and his most recent paintings reflecting on Van Gogh as archetype.
Joel-Peter Witkin is renowned as the creator of elaborately staged and often erotically charged scenes exploring grand themes of religion, sex and mortality. His provocative, sometimes abject, imagery is frequently populated by social outcasts, dwarves, persons with extraordinary physical attributes and deformities, hermaphrodites, and other ‘outsiders,’ and created a sensation as early as the 1980s, and particularly in museum exhibitions in the early ‘80s at the Stedelijk in Amsterdam and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
Jerome Witkin has been drawn to paint since childhood. The recipient of many prizes, including two Ford Foundation Grants, a Guggenheim, and a Pulitzer Fellowship, his masterful draftsmanship and virtuoso painting have elicited a cult following among his fellow artists. He has been the subject of myriad exhibitions, most recently a touring museum retrospective originating in 2011, celebrating his forty years at Syracuse University. His paintings, often on a grand scale, have been cited by many as being among the great narratives in contemporary art, dealing with apocryphal events such as the Holocaust and 9/11. Critically, Jerome Witkin has been likened to Lucien Freud, Manet, Ingres, and Goya for both his technical mastery and psychological insight.
NUMBER OF WORKS:
Approximately 119 (paintings, drawings, gelatin silver prints, mixed media)
Approximately 450 square feet (137 square meters)
Jerome Witkin & Joel-Peter Witkin: Twin Visions.
(Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles: 2015)
Witkin & Witkin: Joel-Peter Witkin & Jerome Witkin.
(Trilce Ediciones, Escandon, Mexico: 2016)
Joel-Peter Witkin, Poussin in Hell, 1999
Jerome Witkin, An Artist in a Ruin, 1990
Joel-Peter Witkin, Hitler Posing with the Anti-Christ, 1937, 2015
Jerome Witkin, Study for Hitler-Face (Entering Darkness Panel V), 2002
Joel-Peter Witkin, The Fool, Budapest, 1993
Jerome Witkin, New York Movie, 1945, 2013 – 2015
Joel-Peter Witkin, Face of a Woman, 2004
Jerome Witkin, In The Drawing-Studio, Carla Posing, 2003
Joel-Peter Witkin, Marriage, Bogotá, 2009
Jerome Witkin, Bride-Noir, 2011
Joel-Peter Witkin, Woman Masturbating on the Moon, 1982
Jerome Witkin, First Study for Panel II – After Division Street, 2015