Figures of Reality assembles figurative-based approaches that build on the great traditions of painting. Natural and urban landscapes, portraits, genre scenes and still lifes continue to occupy contemporary pictorial space, providing pretexts for artists’ ongoing exploration of the visible world through figuration.
Figures of Reality assembles figurative-based approaches that build on the great traditions of painting. Natural and urban landscapes, portraits, genre scenes and still lifes continue to occupy contemporary pictorial space, providing pretexts for artists’ ongoing exploration of the visible world through figuration.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

painting of Mike Bayne, 2010, figurative approache, Hyperrealism

Photo: Mike Bayne, courtesy Katherine Mulherin Contemporary Art, Toronto

Mike Bayne
2010
Oil on wood panel
20 x 30,5 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Mike Bayne’s paintings deceive the eye with a photorealist style and a diminutive format reminiscent of miniatures. Working from his own photographs, Bayne paints snapshots of everyday, mundane life. His minutely observed depictions of buildings, businesses, malls and signage convey the banal isolation of the North American suburban landscape. In Liquor, the absence of human presence and the stillness of the scene call attention to the painstaking rendering of the details. The precisely nuanced working of the light is stunning, as is the masterful execution of the asphalt paving, where tire marks, imperfections and oil stains are meticulously reproduced. The artist captures a reality that escapes the camera, and the time-consuming care invested in each work creates a strange paradox between the ordinariness of the subject and the virtuoso technique required to represent it.
Mike Bayne’s paintings deceive the eye with a photorealist style and a diminutive format reminiscent of miniatures. Working from his own photographs, Bayne paints snapshots of everyday, mundane life. His minutely observed depictions of buildings, businesses, malls and signage convey the banal isolation of the North American suburban landscape. In Liquor, the absence of human presence and the stillness of the scene call attention to the painstaking rendering of the details. The precisely nuanced working of the light is stunning, as is the masterful execution of the asphalt paving, where tire marks, imperfections and oil stains are meticulously reproduced. The artist captures a reality that escapes the camera, and the time-consuming care invested in each work creates a strange paradox between the ordinariness of the subject and the virtuoso technique required to represent it.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

painting of Jack Bishop, 2011, landscape

Photo: Jack Bishop, courtesy Gallery Page and Strange, Halifax

Jack Bishop
2011
Oil on canvas
127 x 157 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Jack Bishop explores the notion of landscape through the themes of mass consumption and urban sprawl. His paintings teem with cars, gas stations, traffic lights and illuminated signs schematically reproducing those of big chains like McDonald’s, Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, Costco, Wendy’s and Tim Hortons. They revisit the Canadian landscape tradition in terms not of natural but of commercial space, where ubiquitous retail outlets dictate use of the land and proclaim its occupation. The densely crowded compositions map out a geography of anonymity, a sort of nowhere typical of the outskirts of large North American cities. For source material, the artist uses montages of his own photographs. Winter Business Park combines multiple spaces in an image whose formal density results from the repetition of motifs and the manipulation of perspective.
Jack Bishop explores the notion of landscape through the themes of mass consumption and urban sprawl. His paintings teem with cars, gas stations, traffic lights and illuminated signs schematically reproducing those of big chains like McDonald’s, Canadian Tire, Wal-Mart, Costco, Wendy’s and Tim Hortons. They revisit the Canadian landscape tradition in terms not of natural but of commercial space, where ubiquitous retail outlets dictate use of the land and proclaim its occupation. The densely crowded compositions map out a geography of anonymity, a sort of nowhere typical of the outskirts of large North American cities. For source material, the artist uses montages of his own photographs. Winter Business Park combines multiple spaces in an image whose formal density results from the repetition of motifs and the manipulation of perspective.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

painting of Pierre Dorion, 2010, Minimalism, Monochrome

Photo: Richard-Max Tremblay, courtesy Galerie René Blouin, Montréal, Diaz Contemporary, Toronto, and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York

Pierre Dorion
2010
Oil on canvas
243,8 x 183 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Photography precedes painting in the art of Pierre Dorion. While visiting museums and galleries on his frequent travels, he takes snapshots of whatever catches his eye as a motif for potential translation into paintings. But the resulting works rarely reveal where the pictures were taken, since the setting is not the artist’s primary motivation. The challenge he sets for himself is to closely approach reality without identifying a location, hence the use of generic titles like Sans titre [Untitled]. The parenthetical reference to James Turrell suggests that the subject is a fragment of one of the American artist’s works. Dorion’s art often alludes to Minimalism. His preferred motifs refer to geometric abstract and sometimes monochrome painting, and many are set in a deserted exhibition space. Sans titre (James Turrell) speaks of his varied interests: on the surface, representation rubs shoulders with abstraction, and painting with photography and architecture.
Photography precedes painting in the art of Pierre Dorion. While visiting museums and galleries on his frequent travels, he takes snapshots of whatever catches his eye as a motif for potential translation into paintings. But the resulting works rarely reveal where the pictures were taken, since the setting is not the artist’s primary motivation. The challenge he sets for himself is to closely approach reality without identifying a location, hence the use of generic titles like Sans titre [Untitled]. The parenthetical reference to James Turrell suggests that the subject is a fragment of one of the American artist’s works. Dorion’s art often alludes to Minimalism. His preferred motifs refer to geometric abstract and sometimes monochrome painting, and many are set in a deserted exhibition space. Sans titre (James Turrell) speaks of his varied interests: on the surface, representation rubs shoulders with abstraction, and painting with photography and architecture.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

painting of Kim Dorland, 2010, portrait, impasto

Photo: Kim Dorland, courtesy Angell Gallery, Toronto and Mike Weiss Gallery, New York

Kim Dorland
2010
Oil and acrylic on linen canvas
50,8 x 40,6 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Kim Dorland’s works suggest a fascination with the substance of paint and a pleasure in copiously laying oil and acrylic on canvas. Known for his use of impasto, Dorland frequently incorporates diverse materials into the heavy paint surface, pushing the medium to new limits, testing its possibilities. His preferred subjects are familiar ones: the suburban areas where he grew up, the woods surrounding the town, people close to him. He is also interested in the mythology of Canada’s landscape and in artists who have marked the country’s art history. His portrait of Tom Thomson – embellished with phosphorescent paint that makes the face glow in the dark – is a salute to a legendary painter who helped shape Canadian cultural identity.
Kim Dorland’s works suggest a fascination with the substance of paint and a pleasure in copiously laying oil and acrylic on canvas. Known for his use of impasto, Dorland frequently incorporates diverse materials into the heavy paint surface, pushing the medium to new limits, testing its possibilities. His preferred subjects are familiar ones: the suburban areas where he grew up, the woods surrounding the town, people close to him. He is also interested in the mythology of Canada’s landscape and in artists who have marked the country’s art history. His portrait of Tom Thomson – embellished with phosphorescent paint that makes the face glow in the dark – is a salute to a legendary painter who helped shape Canadian cultural identity.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Dorian FitzGerald, 2010, pictorial illusion, acrylic

Photo: Tony Hafkenscheid, courtesy Clint Roenisch Gallery, Toronto

Dorian FitzGerald
2010
Acrylic and caulking on canvas mounted on panels
274 x 274 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Dorian FitzGerald’s grand-scale paintings document the excesses of society by depicting its opulence. This work reproduces a photograph of part of British singer Elton John’s legendary sunglass collection, an image associated with consumerism and often seen in the tabloids. Over the years the artist has refined a technique that consists of transferring a line drawing of the chosen image onto canvas, outlining each motif with a ridge of clear caulking and then filling the delineated areas with acrylic paint, using a squeeze bottle. The process, which requires extreme attention to detail, produces “liquid mosaics,” images that appear to be composed of nothing but colour. As a result, they are legible from a distance but dissolve into indistinct camouflage patterns at close range. This compositional technique creates a hypnotic effect that adds a new dimension to pictorial illusion and traps the gaze in contemplation. Here, the painted image points up the frivolous extravagance of the more than 4,000-pair collection.
Dorian FitzGerald’s grand-scale paintings document the excesses of society by depicting its opulence. This work reproduces a photograph of part of British singer Elton John’s legendary sunglass collection, an image associated with consumerism and often seen in the tabloids. Over the years the artist has refined a technique that consists of transferring a line drawing of the chosen image onto canvas, outlining each motif with a ridge of clear caulking and then filling the delineated areas with acrylic paint, using a squeeze bottle. The process, which requires extreme attention to detail, produces “liquid mosaics,” images that appear to be composed of nothing but colour. As a result, they are legible from a distance but dissolve into indistinct camouflage patterns at close range. This compositional technique creates a hypnotic effect that adds a new dimension to pictorial illusion and traps the gaze in contemplation. Here, the painted image points up the frivolous extravagance of the more than 4,000-pair collection.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Sky Glabush, 2011, abstraction, regionalism

Photo: Frank Piccolo, courtesy MKG127, Toronto

Sky Glabush
2011
Oil on canvas
213 x 274 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Sky Glabush explores the way painting “looks at” and captures its subjects, and how the imagination is translated through the conventions of pictorial representation. Looking through the prisms of abstraction, Modernist architecture and the spiritual in art, he revisits here the legacy of regionalism by giving the familiar new expression. Sun Weeds offers a view of backyards in London, Ontario. The suburban background is suffused with an ethereal luminosity, and a certain haziness envelops dormant nature gripped by autumn’s chill. Glabush captures an ordinary, domestic environment which, though devoid of flamboyance and human presence, sketches a sort of social portrait.
Sky Glabush explores the way painting “looks at” and captures its subjects, and how the imagination is translated through the conventions of pictorial representation. Looking through the prisms of abstraction, Modernist architecture and the spiritual in art, he revisits here the legacy of regionalism by giving the familiar new expression. Sun Weeds offers a view of backyards in London, Ontario. The suburban background is suffused with an ethereal luminosity, and a certain haziness envelops dormant nature gripped by autumn’s chill. Glabush captures an ordinary, domestic environment which, though devoid of flamboyance and human presence, sketches a sort of social portrait.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Kym Greeley, 2009, screen printing, composition, preliminary sketching

Photo: John Haney, courtesy Christina Parker Gallery, St. John’s

Kym Greeley
2009
Acrylic on canvas with screenprint
213,4 x 304,8 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Kym Greeley endlessly explores and draws her subjects from the Newfoundland landscape. Combining multiple techniques, she constructs images pared down to the formal essentials. Her toolbox includes photography, preliminary sketching, digital imaging and screen printing. Each of these processes brings a different element to the composition and helps portray Newfoundland’s geography in graphic form. Alone Together 2 is a panoramic landscape whose horizon lines and spatial depth denote a keenly observant eye and reveal how a simple Trans-Canada Highway overpass can become subject matter for exploration. With her formal treatment and choice of colours, the artist endows the commonplace with personality while portraying it from a familiar vantage point.
Kym Greeley endlessly explores and draws her subjects from the Newfoundland landscape. Combining multiple techniques, she constructs images pared down to the formal essentials. Her toolbox includes photography, preliminary sketching, digital imaging and screen printing. Each of these processes brings a different element to the composition and helps portray Newfoundland’s geography in graphic form. Alone Together 2 is a panoramic landscape whose horizon lines and spatial depth denote a keenly observant eye and reveal how a simple Trans-Canada Highway overpass can become subject matter for exploration. With her formal treatment and choice of colours, the artist endows the commonplace with personality while portraying it from a familiar vantage point.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Dil Hildebrand, trompe l'oeil pentimenti, oil, canvas

Photo: Dil Hildebrand, courtesy Pierre-François Ouellette Art contemporain, Montreal

Dil Hildebrand
2010
Oil on canvas
193 x 152 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Painting can be a means of creating space, an opportunity to invent an original physical perception, or a pretext for constructing an intimate sense of place. For Dil Hildebrand, these three avenues of exploration are fundamental, particularly in the Studio series. Studio H creates the impression of looking through a window veiled by colours by means use of trompe l’oeil, a technique designed to fool the viewer into thinking that objects or scenes are real rather than painted. Here, the complex optical space is composed of layers of material, pentimenti, reframings and textured lines of colour. Conflating painting and photography, the surface is divided into a grid of fragmented forms. Unlike the artist’s earlier works, this window opens neither onto the world nor onto the landscape. Instead, it offers an introspective view of a closed space, a space of creation, where the “doing” of painting takes place.
Painting can be a means of creating space, an opportunity to invent an original physical perception, or a pretext for constructing an intimate sense of place. For Dil Hildebrand, these three avenues of exploration are fundamental, particularly in the Studio series. Studio H creates the impression of looking through a window veiled by colours by means use of trompe l’oeil, a technique designed to fool the viewer into thinking that objects or scenes are real rather than painted. Here, the complex optical space is composed of layers of material, pentimenti, reframings and textured lines of colour. Conflating painting and photography, the surface is divided into a grid of fragmented forms. Unlike the artist’s earlier works, this window opens neither onto the world nor onto the landscape. Instead, it offers an introspective view of a closed space, a space of creation, where the “doing” of painting takes place.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Wanda Koop, 2011, information, news, landscape, appropriation

Photo: Bruce Spielman, courtesy Division Gallery, Montreal, and Michael Gibson Gallery, London

Wanda Koop
2011
Acrylic on canvas
76,2 x 101,6 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


The motifs and places represented in Wanda Koop’s paintings are drawn from the real world, and the gestures involved in gathering, selecting and appropriating them are central to her approach. The paintings of the series No News use TV news visuals to address the same theme as Green Zone, a previous project based on military images from the war in Iraq. Category 5 is a response to a frenetically media-driven world in which, paradoxically, the more news items become accessible, the less time is devoted to each one. Dozens of news channels put out a constant stream of images 24 hours a day. Koop uses painting, as seen in this marine landscape, as a means of pausing the moment, giving currency to the viewer’s experience. The title, Category 5, refers to a hurricane’s level of intensity, turning a seemingly harmless seascape into a scene of impending natural disaster. In the lower left-hand corner, five squares of flat, bright colour recall the test pattern used to calibrate TV settings.
The motifs and places represented in Wanda Koop’s paintings are drawn from the real world, and the gestures involved in gathering, selecting and appropriating them are central to her approach. The paintings of the series No News use TV news visuals to address the same theme as Green Zone, a previous project based on military images from the war in Iraq. Category 5 is a response to a frenetically media-driven world in which, paradoxically, the more news items become accessible, the less time is devoted to each one. Dozens of news channels put out a constant stream of images 24 hours a day. Koop uses painting, as seen in this marine landscape, as a means of pausing the moment, giving currency to the viewer’s experience. The title, Category 5, refers to a hurricane’s level of intensity, turning a seemingly harmless seascape into a scene of impending natural disaster. In the lower left-hand corner, five squares of flat, bright colour recall the test pattern used to calibrate TV settings.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Norma Jean Maclean,  composition, landscape

Photo: Norma Jean MacLean, courtesy the artist

Norma Jean Maclean
2011
Oil on canvas
122 x 122 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Norma Jean MacLean creates fictional realities that are directly shaped by her personal observations. Her interest lies in painting’s capacity to transport the viewer into a parallel world, and this conditions her approach to the landscape. Coleman refers to a rural community on Prince Edward Island and revisits a site associated with the artist’s childhood: the asphalt plant where her father worked during summer months. Because it operated seasonally, the plant often had an abandoned look, which MacLean captures in the deserted, almost mysterious parking lot. Paring down the composition to a few visual elements (lines and planes) and with a limited palette of cold tones, she creates an impression of isolation. The minimal means used to render the subject underscore the power of painting to evoke an actual place.
Norma Jean MacLean creates fictional realities that are directly shaped by her personal observations. Her interest lies in painting’s capacity to transport the viewer into a parallel world, and this conditions her approach to the landscape. Coleman refers to a rural community on Prince Edward Island and revisits a site associated with the artist’s childhood: the asphalt plant where her father worked during summer months. Because it operated seasonally, the plant often had an abandoned look, which MacLean captures in the deserted, almost mysterious parking lot. Paring down the composition to a few visual elements (lines and planes) and with a limited palette of cold tones, she creates an impression of isolation. The minimal means used to render the subject underscore the power of painting to evoke an actual place.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Michael Merrill, hyperrealism, photograph, gouache

Photo: Christine Guest, courtesy Galeries Roger Bellemare et Christian Lambert, Montreal

Michael Merrill
2010
Vinyl gouache on wood panel
44,3 x 60,8 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Michael Merrill is interested in the way art can be defined by its context. He observes places devoted to the exhibition or production of art and portrays them in the manner of still lifes. Artist studios, storage spaces, galleries, museums and private collections provide subject matter for his work. Ducts (Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion) is part of a series of gouaches on the construction of a new building at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Based on a photograph taken by the artist, it conveys the captured likeness of storage areas and scaffolding with little painterly effect. Ducts is like a bridge between painting and photography, seeking to link its iconography to its future exhibition environment.
Michael Merrill is interested in the way art can be defined by its context. He observes places devoted to the exhibition or production of art and portrays them in the manner of still lifes. Artist studios, storage spaces, galleries, museums and private collections provide subject matter for his work. Ducts (Claire and Marc Bourgie Pavilion) is part of a series of gouaches on the construction of a new building at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. Based on a photograph taken by the artist, it conveys the captured likeness of storage areas and scaffolding with little painterly effect. Ducts is like a bridge between painting and photography, seeking to link its iconography to its future exhibition environment.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Paul P., landscape, pochade

Photo: Daniel Reich Gallery, New York, courtesy Galleria Massimo Minini, Brescia, Maureen Paley, London, and Marc Selwyn Fine Art, Los Angeles

Paul P.
2010
Oil on canvas
35 x 27 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Paul P. works in the landscape genre. Untitled, a free evocation of Florence, is one of many pochade-like pieces inspired by his travels. Painted in studio from photographs and on-site sketches, the small work is reminiscent of the late-19th-century pictorial aesthetic. Like the photogenic city itself, where light is so important, the picture is charged with drama by intense colours and luminosity. The ghostly presence of the Ponte Vecchio spanning the Arno River imbues it with sensuality, as if the nostalgia of a skyline fading in the sunset were a seat of desire. Paul P. is a master of the theatrical. He captures fleeting impressions and the fluidity of light phenomena, depicting not only the flux but the grandeur of nature.
Paul P. works in the landscape genre. Untitled, a free evocation of Florence, is one of many pochade-like pieces inspired by his travels. Painted in studio from photographs and on-site sketches, the small work is reminiscent of the late-19th-century pictorial aesthetic. Like the photogenic city itself, where light is so important, the picture is charged with drama by intense colours and luminosity. The ghostly presence of the Ponte Vecchio spanning the Arno River imbues it with sensuality, as if the nostalgia of a skyline fading in the sunset were a seat of desire. Paul P. is a master of the theatrical. He captures fleeting impressions and the fluidity of light phenomena, depicting not only the flux but the grandeur of nature.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Brad Phillips, autobiography, oil on canvas

Photo: Byron Dauncey, courtesy Monte Clark Gallery, Vancouver and Toronto

Brad Phillips
2011
Oil on canvas
122 x 91 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Much of Brad Phillips’s painting is autobiographical. He mines his own experience for subjects and creates images of a personal nature that admit us into his inner world, as if laying him bare. This is true of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, a painted version of one of his medical prescriptions, presented as a self-portrait. The content lends the work a confessional tone, whereas the large format and the realistic rendering are exhibitionist in nature. In transforming personal information into a representational motif, Phillips also plays on the stereotypes associated with the artist figure, characterizing the artist as a tormented, ultrasensitive and, in this case, mentally troubled being. But at the same time he reveals the truth behind the cliché by exposing himself in all his failings and vulnerability.
Much of Brad Phillips’s painting is autobiographical. He mines his own experience for subjects and creates images of a personal nature that admit us into his inner world, as if laying him bare. This is true of Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, a painted version of one of his medical prescriptions, presented as a self-portrait. The content lends the work a confessional tone, whereas the large format and the realistic rendering are exhibitionist in nature. In transforming personal information into a representational motif, Phillips also plays on the stereotypes associated with the artist figure, characterizing the artist as a tormented, ultrasensitive and, in this case, mentally troubled being. But at the same time he reveals the truth behind the cliché by exposing himself in all his failings and vulnerability.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Ehryn Torrell, 2011, acrylic on canvas, composition, contrats, architecture

Photo: Steve Farmer, courtesy the artist

Ehryn Torrell
2011
Acrylic on canvas
91,4 x 121,9 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Ehryn Torrell came upon the inspiration for Aspects of Voyeurism in 2008 while wandering the Old Town of Shanghai, an area then undergoing major urban renewal. She was struck by the sight of a ramshackle building still bravely standing in the midst of demolition and gentrification. It was a vestige of a heritage doomed to disappear in the transformation of one of the world’s largest cities. Inspired by the neon and fluorescent light of nearby night markets, she photographed it with a view to an eventual painting. The depicted façade owes its painterly aspect to the collage-like architecture. It is a fine example of random composition, strong contrasts, arbitrary lines and colours. But, for the artist, the building goes beyond its fragile, marginal appearance to speak of the vulnerability and precariousness of the human condition.
Ehryn Torrell came upon the inspiration for Aspects of Voyeurism in 2008 while wandering the Old Town of Shanghai, an area then undergoing major urban renewal. She was struck by the sight of a ramshackle building still bravely standing in the midst of demolition and gentrification. It was a vestige of a heritage doomed to disappear in the transformation of one of the world’s largest cities. Inspired by the neon and fluorescent light of nearby night markets, she photographed it with a view to an eventual painting. The depicted façade owes its painterly aspect to the collage-like architecture. It is a fine example of random composition, strong contrasts, arbitrary lines and colours. But, for the artist, the building goes beyond its fragile, marginal appearance to speak of the vulnerability and precariousness of the human condition.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Painting of Janet Werner, portrait, women, oil

Photo: Guy L’Heureux, courtesy Parisian Laundry, Montreal and Birch Libralato, Toronto

Janet Werner
2010
Oil on canvas
221 x 167 cm
© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.


Over the years, Janet Werner has accumulated a stockpile of images from magazines and books that serve as source material in constructing her characters. True to the interpretive function of portrait art, she focuses on capturing and shaping the individuality of the human figure. It is all a matter of how things are presented: facial appearance, expression, gaze, pose, proportions and dress imply choices and are indications of personality. Most of Werner’s paintings are of women, subjectively observed and depicted with special attention to the standards of beauty that they embody. Genie presents a misshapen figure whose disproportionate body parts mock a certain feminine ideal. The face is too small, the eyes too close together and the naked back too long for the rest of the body. The raw, direct treatment emphasizes the exaggerated features and creates a distorted morphology that critiques the aesthetic norms promoted by fashion magazines.
Over the years, Janet Werner has accumulated a stockpile of images from magazines and books that serve as source material in constructing her characters. True to the interpretive function of portrait art, she focuses on capturing and shaping the individuality of the human figure. It is all a matter of how things are presented: facial appearance, expression, gaze, pose, proportions and dress imply choices and are indications of personality. Most of Werner’s paintings are of women, subjectively observed and depicted with special attention to the standards of beauty that they embody. Genie presents a misshapen figure whose disproportionate body parts mock a certain feminine ideal. The face is too small, the eyes too close together and the naked back too long for the rest of the body. The raw, direct treatment emphasizes the exaggerated features and creates a distorted morphology that critiques the aesthetic norms promoted by fashion magazines.

© 2013, Galerie de l'UQAM. All Rights Reserved.

Learning Objectives

Appreciate works of art
Learn and use vocabulary appropriate to contemporary art


Teachers' Centre Home Page | Find Learning Resources & Lesson Plans