Ellen Altfest is renowned for her intensely detailed, tightly cropped and small scale oil paintings of rocks, trees, plants, gourds and fragments of the male body. The sheer physical and mental attention invested in these paintings has left many commentators with a feeling of intense claustrophobia. Excessive and obsessive, Altfests lines and strokes push realism to the edge of abstraction, a hallucinatory process not far from the expressionism of, for example, Jackson Pollock. Bringing together a broad range of perspectives by art historians, critics and curators, this book provides rare behind-the-scenes insight into the everyday processes behind her paintings.
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