Mattatuck Museum, Waterbury, Connecticut. Gift of the Estate of George Deem, 2013. Accession Number 2013.10.18
| Image Notes
Ingres, Man Ray, Matisse. Titled by the artist on face: Ingres, Man Ray, Matisse / George Deem
| Artist's Notes
Man Ray's photograph "Noir et Blanche" is a picture of a woman's head lying sideways on a reflective surface.
This photograph started my thinking of other heads that lay on their sides.
I found a figure in Ingres' painting "The Turkish Baths," then a figure that Matisse had painted called "Blue Eyes."
It was on a Saturday that I made a drawing of three women with their heads sideways. (Left), Ingres, in the middle, Man Ray, and on the right Matisse.
The drawing was so restful and so calm, just like my Saturday afternoons. The following week I began the painting, still remembering the ease and flow of that Saturday. Like the drawing, the painting is called Saturday Afternoon. (Unpublished notebook entry, 2001-2002).
Saturday Afternoon (1995) was inspired by a photograph of Kiki de Montparnasse by the American artist Man Ray. Kiki, a French artist's model, was Man Ray's companion in Paris from 1922 to 1926. The photograph,Noire et blanche(1926) shows Kiki's head lying sideways on a reflective surface. I thought of similar images of women's heads inThe Turkish Bath(1863) by Ingres and inThe Blue Eyes(1935) by Matisse. One Saturday afternoon, I made a drawing of the three images, Ingres on the left, Matisse on the right, Man Ray between them. The drawing became the study for the oil painting, completed several weeks later on another Saturday afternoon. (George Deem, How ToPaint A Vermeer: A Painter's History of Art, Thames & Hudson, 2004. 116)