Jerwood Gallery launched its new exhibition last Friday (30th Jan). The exhibition features new works by Chantal Joffe, whose powerful portraits of women and children combine insight, integrity and wit. This exhibition will celebrate Joffe’s strong connections with Hastings and St Leonards. Hastings beach, in particular, is featured in the background of many of her paintings.
The show features a number of new and unseen works painted specifically for the exhibition along with a selection of works spanning the past 13 years. Joffe has long-standing links with Hastings and regularly visits family who live in the town. The coastal landscape is an intoxicating inspiration for Joffe and she spends a great deal of time sitting on the beach, drawing.
Possessing a humorous eye for everyday awkwardness and an enlivening facility with paint, Joffe brings a combination of intuition and honesty to the genre of figurative art. She paints with expressive fluidity, using broad brush-strokes and distortions to capture personality and a sense of movement. She achieves this whether the image is a few inches square or ten feet high.
Often working from photographs, Joffe’s arresting portraits seduce and disarm simultaneously. Her paintings have a profound personal intensity to them; many on display at Jerwood Gallery depict women or young girls, in particular her daughter and niece.
The exhibition is co-curated by Rose Wylie an artist who in her late 70s saw blossoming critical recognition. Wylie launched Jerwood Gallery’s exhibition programme in 2012 with the first retrospective of her work in the UK, Big Boys Sit in the Front.
Liz Gilmore, Director of Jerwood Gallery, said: “ Chantal Joffe is an inspirational artist, long admired by her peers and critics alike. Beside the Seaside shows Joffe in full artistic flight but also reveals her longstanding and very personal relationship with Hastings. This important exhibition at Jerwood Gallery is the first of a number of key solo shows for Joffe in 2015, including exhibitions in New York and in London.”
The exhibition runs until the 12th April and is open from Tuesday – Sunday, 11am – 5pm.