This geometric grid of painted panels exhibits the mathematical precision associated with Minimalism, but is in fact an abstract portrait of Kim’s son. The work is a touching inventory of twenty-five different colors found on Emmett’s body―from his hair, eyes, and lips, to his inner wrist and the heel of his foot. The uniform size of the panels was determined by the span of Emmett’s hand when he was twelve months old. This painting is Kim’s first use of egg tempera, a medium that gives the painting an appropriately rich and sensual presence, while also connecting the work to a tradition of portraiture from an earlier time.

Byron Kim
American, born 1961
Emmett at Twelve Months, 1994
Egg tempera on twenty-five individual panels
The Ella Gallup Sumner and Mary Catlin Sumner Collection Fund, 1994.34.1A–Y

From Our Collection

1915, Redon 1840, Michel Bearden, 1970 Louis, 1959

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