Paintings in Paintings
Blau International Art Magazine, No 6, Summer 2022

From early modern religious rows to contemporary self-reflexivity, the meta-image has always held a mirror to its time – and handed hifalutin viewers the keys to interpretation.

When paintings appear within other paintings, they often function as stand-ins for the artist, or indicate wealth and status. Yet above all they mark a moment of visual self-awareness as human-made things. The emerge of meta-paintings marked the moment when art first asserted itself as an "art object." A declaration that painting was no longer merely about craftsmanship or religious transcendence, but also about representation and meaning in itself. Artists were making very clear that their images knew they being looked at. (...)

At Mary Ramadan's recent show (...), embedded paintings were presented as rectangles in space, grounding the work. They were keys to legibility in blue and green interiors, slipping into abstraction. A nod to modernism, these works play with space and perception, ushering ghostly, ambiguous objects into her composition. The paintings, like an occasional chair or laptop, locate the human within the canvas. (...)

Francesca Gavin: Paintings in Paintings, Blau International, Art Magazine, No. 6, Summer, 2022, p. 56 – 61