Me When I’m With You, oil on canvas, 2011
Currently on view at Like The Spice Gallery in Williamsburg, is Jenny Morgan: One and the Many. For this, her second solo exhibition at the gallery since 2009, Jenny once again revisits the naturalistic figure in occasionally unnatural hues. Her paintings feature friends as well as several self portraits. Upon entering the gallery, director and founder Marisa Sage, was giving a welcome speech to the eager crowd. This was something that I had yet to see at an opening, but I admire Marisa’s obvious dedication to the gallery and artists. Her speech also kicked off Williamsburg Every 2:nd and Learn To Collect, now sponsored by At&t. My friend Penny and I wandered to the back of the space and wine in hand, proceeded to take in the crowd, spotting friend Barnaby Whitfield, and also the work.
The figures in Jenny’s paintings are mostly women. They are both doe-eyed and scheming, enticing the viewer and yet with blank stares, also pushing him/her away. The works are all oil on canvas, save for the drawing above, the paint having been thinly applied and scraped away in particular segments. This works better in the painted figures where the scraping feels like remnants of skin that has been pealed off. However in others, the scraped area carries too much weight and takes away from the rest of the canvas, creating a break in fluidity. Overall the effect is visually appealing and eerie, offering a ghostliness. The images I am posting here, my personal favorites, are not necessarily the truest examples of her body of work, but in showing the viewer less, I believe she is telling more. It is in the process of removing specificity that the work creates a stronger contemporary dialogue.
Arcadia, oil on canvas, 2011
Jenny Morgan: One and the Many is on view until June 19th. The gallery will host its monthly Artist Dinner, dedicated to Jenny’s show, June 3rd. Keep both artist Jenny Morgan and Like The Spice on your radar. Being that not many artists are making figurative work, she has my attention and I’m curious to see the to see where/how her work progresses.