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Currently shown
John Currin

Sister

Artist

John Currin
Born in Boulder, Colorado, in 1962

Title

Sister

Date

1992

Materials

Oil on canvas

Dimensions

92.2 x 81.7 cm

Credits

Purchase, Horsley and Annie Townsend Bequest, inv. 1992.6

Collection

International Contemporary Art

One of the most well-known figurative painters of his generation, Currin was renowned for his technical virtuosity and for his blending of the beautiful and grotesque. In a manner that was at times provocative, his work interweaves numerous references to art history, advertising and popular culture.


This painting belongs to a series of portraits of women of different ages and backgrounds. They share a strange sense of the familiar conveyed by the artist’s raw style, well-defined outlines and angular forms. The expressionless gaze of this woman with large dark eyes creates a sort of disconcerting physical intimacy. Based on a photograph, the portrait represents a character who is both fictional and real. In the same year in which this painting was made, the artist reproduced it in an almost identical manner. The copy is sometimes called “the evil sister.”

© John Currin. Courtesy Gagosian Gallery

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