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Painting Perspective

Medium:Oil on canvas
Size inches:40 x 72
Size cm:101.6 x 182.9
Signature:Signed and dated lower right and inscribed on the reverse
Location:Private Collection, Syracuse, New York

Now, let us look at painting not as product but as action. In Painting Perspective perspective is caught in the act of trying to deceive us. Smudges of paint and lines drawn through the wall with its leaded-glass windows draw the eye to a perspectival image whose vanishing point swerves to the left. But then we hit the wall directly before us where a map tells not about the wide world but about the flatness of the picture.
Deem's probing of representation as the production of imaginary spaces is not limited to Vermeer. The hanging glass orb, evoking the mirror in Van Eyck's famous Arnolfini wedding scene, does not mirror us but in its roundness reflects the smudges of paint on the left wall.  The curtain is raised so that we can look into the kitchen where the miraculous world of painting is fabricated. The mirror reflects the act of painting in history, Vermeer after Van Eyck, Deem after Vermeer. Now, and then.
(Mieke Bal, Exhibition brochure announcement Pavel Zoubok Gallery, New York, March-April 2002).

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