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University of Iowa News Release


Oct. 27, 2006

Elizabeth Peyton, Painter Of Celebrities, Will Speak At UI Nov. 9

Elizabeth Peyton, a painter known for her portraits of rock musicians, actors and other popular culture icons, will give a lecture on her work at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 9, Room 116 of the University of Iowa Art Building West.

Peyton's talk, sponsored by the UI School of Art and Art History, will be free and open to the public.

Peyton is most famous for painting images of Kurt Cobain, Leonardo DiCaprio, the British royal princes and numerous other celebrities. Her work was famously featured in the 2004 Biennial exhibition of the Whitney Museum of American Art, when her work was shown alongside paintings by David Hockney.

Reviewing the exhibition for The New Yorker, Peter Schjeldahl wrote "The distilled allure of [Peyton's] little pictures makes them, for me, the moral center of the Biennial. Her romantic aestheticism charges her swift line and intense color with a sense of the sacred."

A review in the Village Voice proclaimed Peyton's "amazing knack for capturing pop-idol images of exhaustion and celebrity with the perfect virtuosic ennui for our time."

Asked about her concentration on portraiture, Peyton commented, "I don't ever feel portraiture's antiquated. Since I was little, I always wanted to make pictures of people." She also said, "People are so affected by other people in their life; they can't help but to relate to paintings of people."

Peyton was born in Danbury, Conn., and studied in the 1980s at the School of Visual Arts in New York. She currently lives and works in New York City. For more information and views of Peyton's paintings:

The School of Art and Art History is part of the UI College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. You may visit the UI School of Art and Art History web site at

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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500.

MEDIA CONTACT: Peter Alexander, 319-384-0072; cell: 319-541-2846;