Chantal Joffe: Night Self-Portraits

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    text by Louise Yelin
    Chantal Joffe is known for larger-than-life, boldly-colored oil paintings of often solitary women. Culled from fashion spreads and photographs, her subjects exude a sort of fearless exhibitionism while simultaneously conveying an intimacy and emotion expected from more familial sources. Fascinated by beauty and the female form, Joffe has commented on the "imaginative narrative" these images provoke, encouraged by the patterns, fabrics and textures-as well as the gaze-of sumptuously-clad models. Yet while she finds inspiration in popular culture and art historical precedents (Alice Neel and Paula Modersohn-Becker are noted influences), she has also continued to revisit her own image with similarly incisive observation, delving into truly personal territory. This exhibition at Cheim & Read brings together 14 of her recent self-portrait paintings, which question notions of motherhood, femininity, perception and representation.
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