Ann-Marie James: L'Origine du Monde

22 June - 28 July 2023 Rome

Richard Saltoun Gallery is delighted to present a new body of work by the former British School at Rome residence artist Ann-Marie James, inspired by L'Origine du monde (1866), the infamous scandalous painting by Gustave Courbet, together with works from three series of paintings: Museé Imaginaire, Rome and Forum.

Commissioned by an Ottoman diplomat, L’Origine du Monde was the first time that female genitalia had been depicted in such a blatant fashion, deployed in any religious or mythological context. James takes this iconic painting and abstracts it to such an extent, that she renders it unidentifiable, unravelling the relationship between the male artist and his muse.

James’ artistic production uniquely explores two main themes: one is the idea of change, of metamorphoses; the other is a connection, or dialogue, with art history via the use of found imagery and texts. A cultural conversation that stretches right back to ancient Greek and Roman myths. She is interested in using the found material to investigate her own responses to individual historical works, to the artists that made them, and to their themes and origins.

Installation Views