Falmouth School of Art will welcome artist Chantal Joffe on 15 February, for an ‘In Conversation With’, with the School’s Director, Dr. Ginny Button.
Chantal Joffe’s figurative paintings – both large and small scale – usually depict women or girls, from catwalk models, porn actresses and literary heroines to mothers, children and loved ones. A 2016 Telegraph interview quoted her as saying, ‘I don’t find men very interesting to look at’. Her paintings question expectations of what a feminist art might be, often pointing to how appearances are constructed – whether in a fashion magazine or the family album – and to the choreography of display. Sometimes shown in groups but recently in iconic portraits, her images of women draw loosely on a range of sources such as photographs, magazines and even reflections in the mirror, using distortion to make her subjects seem more real.
Mindful of the seductive power of paint to engage and hold our attention, her fluid, seemingly casual brushstrokes work in tandem with the image to achieve a psychological and emotional force, prompting reflection on ever-changing human relations and the endless complexity of looking.
Joffe has been represented by Victoria Miro since soon after her inclusion in the 1996 New Contemporaries exhibition at London’s Tate Gallery. She was born in Vermont in 1969, and lives and works in London. She studied Painting at Glasgow School of Art (1988–91) and gained an MA from the Royal College of Art in 1994. Joffe has exhibited widely nationally and internationally from London, Margate, Middlesborough and Glasgow to Venice, Oslo, Paris and New York with recent shows at the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík in 2016, and at the National Portrait Gallery, London, the Jewish Museum, New York and the Jerwood Gallery, Hastings in 2015. She was awarded the Royal Academy’s prestigious Woollaston Prize in 2006, elected to the Royal Academy in 2013.
Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Anne Sexton Inspire Chantal Joffe’s New Confessional Paintings – Artsy interview, January 2016.
‘I don’t find men very interesting to look at’ – Telegraph interview, January 2016
Chantal Joffe: Me and My Mentors – RA feature, Spring 2015
I Paint to Think – Independent interview, 2014