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"Kathleen Gilje: 48 Portraits, Sargent’s Women," installation view, at Francis Naumann Fine Art
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BREAST MILK
by Charlie Finch



I stopped by Francis Naumann's 57th Street gallery last week to watch Kathleen Gilje install her altered series of 48 female portraits by John Singer Sargent, women that Kathleen has undressed and given the breasts of 48 living women. I got to know Kathleen in 2005, when she painted my portrait as the young Rembrandt for a show at Naumann three years ago featuring paintings of critics and curators, such as Rosalee Goldberg and the late Robert Rosenblum, posed in the guise of famous paintings from art history. That exhibition and its subject matter have retained surprising legs, as it was the subject of a paper by Dr. Beth Gersh-Nesic of SUNY Purchase at the College Art Association meeting in Los Angeles last month.

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