Judith, old Masters


Annette Kelm ( German, 1975 )

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General Description

Annette Kelm’s curiously staged images often do not distinguish between objects and people, and in her ongoing series of portraits, friends and fellow artists are depicted with the same deadpan style as inanimate objects [2016.16.1, 2016.16.3, 2016.16.5]. Judith, old Masters (2014) features the artist Judith Hopf seated in front of a patterned backdrop made of fabric that features a variety of “old master” paintings. While the context of the fabric would appear to celebrate her fellow artist, Kelm reveals the constructedness of the photograph’s making (pins and duct tape hold the backdrop in place) presenting her friend in a matter-of-fact and somewhat unceremonious fashion. Here, the tension between image and artifice is thus mixed with a dry sense of humor resulting in a strange but captivating portrait.

Adapted from

Gabriel Ritter, DMA unpublished material, 2016.