Elizabeth Peyton: Angel

7 Jun-28 Jul 2023

David Zwirner
London W1S 4EZ


David Zwirner will present a solo exhibition of new paintings and works on paper by Elizabeth Peyton (b. 1965) at the gallery’s London location in June 2023. The exhibition, titled Angel, will be accompanied by a fully-illustrated catalogue that will be published by David Zwirner Books in collaboration with the artist. 

Peyton finds feeling in everything she depicts—friends, flowers, strangers, and familiar faces. The exhibition’s title can be traced back to the Ancient Greek term angelos, meaning messenger, protector, someone who comes to tell us something to guide us on our way. Peyton’s subjects become angels in her work, traces of light and emotion rendered with the intensity of her particular humanism: a close looking akin to love. In each subject’s specificity, the artist reveals the universal feelings that connect us to each other and to art, and that stretch from our present moment back through time. 

This will be the first presentation of Peyton’s work in London since Aire and Angels, her 2019 exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery which placed the artist’s paintings alongside historical works of portraiture drawn from the museum’s permanent collection. The work featured above, which will be on view in Peyton’s forthcoming exhibition at David Zwirner London, is a portrait depicting Omai (Mai), inspired by Sir Joshua Reynolds’s Portrait of Omai (Mai), 1776. The National Portrait Gallery and Art Fund are working together to raise the funds needed to acquire the painting by Sir Joshua Reynolds, so that it can be in public ownership and on public view in the UK, in perpetuity.