Sunday, April 07, 2013

Jenny Dubnau's Studio

Overview of Jenny Dubnau's paintings in her studio, March 25, 2013. I first saw her work in "Heads" at K&E Gallery in Soho, 1996.
Her portraits combine the best of Chardin and David (someone she thinks about often), with photographs staged by Jenny in the studio. The combination of air-borne facture and photographic portraiture yields strange perceptual resonance, slowing the rapid scan of visual data to a fleshy crawl.
On her website,, Jenny speaks about slapstick in her work. It's an ideal way to frame the extreme vulnerability in these works.
With plenty of formal structure, these portraits reveal avid interest in psychological impact in expression, position and posture.

They join the humanist tradition of great, western figure painting.

And achieve mastery equal to same. Lavender skips over bone and muscle, gathering and pooling on glass.

A hogshair brush, singed by turps scraped on canvas, builds ovoid and elliptical forms; passages of neutral colors model facial features glimpsed in moments of transition.

Form of empty space around flesh space. T shirt loops in one direction, head, glasses, ears, in others.

Within a symphony of ovals and ovoids one traverses the cross contour mountain scape: a mouth.

Warm and cool balances moisture with dry

Wresting flesh from image

With a touch that floats and liquefies

In atmospheres filled with breath

and feeling.
Jenny Dubnau's website

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