Carnegie Museum of Arts, Pittsburgh, PA
Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris, France
Kunstmuseum, Wolfsburg, Germany
Museum fur Gegenwartskunst, Basel, Switzerland
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY
San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco, CA
Seattle Art Museum, Seattle, WA
St. Louis Art Museum, St. Louis, MO
Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN
Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, NY
Gagosian Gallery, New York, NY
Gavin Brown's Enterprise, New York, NY
Sadie Coles HQ, London, England
The artist Elizabeth Peyton, described as "a forerunner of new Realism" by the New York Times is one of the most significant portrait painters working today, known for her Warholian figurative paintings that rose to popularity in the 90s. Her portraits of historical figures like Napoleon, rock stars like David Bowie, and her own friends and lovers are linked through their depiction of celebrity and the artist's distinctive style of the idealized, feminized, androgynous male. Her contrast between overt simplicity and representational complexity exaggerates the subtle space between celebrity and personhood, and the act of looking and being looked at; many of her paintings are of people in intimate, private spaces—at home reading or in bed sleeping, for instance—and are modeled after photographs or pre-existing artworks.
In 2008 Peyton painted Michelle and Sasha Obama Listening to Barack Obama at The Democratic National Convention for W Magazine. Appearing like a candid scene, Sasha lays on her mother's lap looking tired and bored, as Michelle looks intently toward Obama as he accepts the nomination. "I'm interested in my subjects being able to be themselves while occupying this extreme role in the public imagination," the artist says. "You can see their will, and that's incredibly beautiful."
In 2008, Peyton was the subject of a midcareer survey at the New Museum, Live Forever: Elizabeth Peyton, which traveled to the Walker Art Center, the Whitechapel Gallery in London, and Bonnefanten Museum in Maastricht.