Opening: April 15, 2010 at 8pm.
For the first time in Spain, Jenny Scobel (Ohio, USA) presents her latest work at Michel Soskine, Madrid. The exhibition gathers a dozen portraits painted with a technique specific to Scobel: graphite, wax and watercolour on wooden panels.
Drawing is the basis of these works. Nevertheless, its atmospheric character, rather than a linear one, turns it into a painterly work. The graphite defining each feature evaporates due to a wax layer, generously applied all over the surface of the panel. This softens the linear nature of graphite drawing and merges it with the colour, giving an aerial nature to the work.
Scobel’s paintings are rooted within the Flemish Primitives and the Cinquecento portrait tradition. She opts for the more complex and nuanced three quarters portrait, with a low perspective angle, reminiscent of a cinematographic angle.
The paintings in this exhibition are all portraits of women. A display of diverse features and psyches, marked by a profound individuality, each one protecting the mystery in which they are intimately absorbed. What they all share is this disturbing sense of introspection and the feeling that all we are aloud to see is not all there is…
Oblique eyes, tangent to the viewer… Their look escape us: it is projected into something or someone hidden, observing a complex World, invisible to us. Such a psychological tension comes from these grown apart portraits and the distance between them and us.
These are only human portraits, flesh and blood characters, but after a second reading, they gain some sort of iconic aspect: Whether movie stars or anonymous people, these personages are equally unattainable. They are lost in their thoughts, ranging from a dangerous femme fatale to the most fragile of women, from some sort of secular Madonnas to modern bold Amazons. Nuances that can be found even within the same portrait ...
The pictorial space, although reduced to a notion, is a real scenario in the theatrical sense of the term. One of the recurring backgrounds in Scobel paintings are the plastered walls with prints of the 30's and 40's, as in Glass Grey, (2009) or allusions to art history- introducing this fascinating game of painting within the painting- like the fragment of a Mantegna art piece in the work Tilt (2009). The urban setting is also a familiar background, as in the work Helicopters (2009).
Jenny Scobel lives and works in Harlem, New York. She has starred solo exhibitions in Europe and USA, including Unsolved Mysteries in Rockville Center, (New York) and Holde Frauen Sagt: 15 zeitgenssische Kunstlerinnen und das Medium Zeichnung in the Fridericianum Museum (Kasel).