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Birgit Megerle

Ohne Titel (2019)

The musical film „Les Demoiselles de Rochefort“ (1967) is a frolicky tour de force by Jacques Demy, in which real-life siblings Catherine Deneuve and Françoise Dorléac star as twin sisters, accompanied by an all-star cast including Gene Kelly and Michel Piccoli. Demy’s romp is a kind of genre mash-up: part homage to the American musicals of yore, part self-reflexive Nouvelle Vague flick. The film’s co-star, Dorléac, along with the flamboyant pastel palette of the costumes and domestic scenery that Demy brings to life, serve as source material for a striking lithograph by the German artist Birgit Megerle: someone who has done much in her career to reimagine the language of portraiture, specifically of female subjects.In this three-color lithograph – her first ever work in this medium – Megerle focuses on a single image from the movie, in which Dorléac’s character turns away from an upright piano to face the camera. For all of the vibrancy and beauty of this ’60s film star, here Megerle, as she often does, steals something of her vitality, wresting it from a potential moment of simple identification or straightforward attraction. Dorléac remains firmly imbedded in the domain of the print, the world of two dimensions. Megerle’s lithograph manages nonetheless to preserve a glimmer, however distant, of the original scene, and in so doing, extracts the mere semblance of beauty from its source. The resulting distance is historical and psychological – elegantly measuring the space between our world and that of the actress.

3-color lithograph on 250 g vellum paperboard, 36 × 44 cm, edition: 100 + 20 A. P. + 1 P. P., numbered and signed on the back, € 480.- plus shipping