June 5 – July 25, 2003
Opening Reception: Thursday, June 5, 6-8:30 pm
Thomas Erben is pleased to present Jenny Scobel's second solo exhibition of 13 new, exquisitely rendered graphite drawings created over the past year.
Scobel creates her imagery in a modular fashion. She collages a personalized repertoire of faces on bodies of famous women, such as Audrey Hepburn, Jane Russell or Ann Baxter. The seriousness in the face is contrasted against the frivolity of cartoon stills from the 30/40's, creating an atmosphere of alienation and estrangement within a comic context. The freckled face of a girl from the Montana farmlands is combined with an elegant body dressed in a shoulder-free cocktail gown and white gloves. The morphed figure is set in the cartoon scenery of a small town with airplanes and sky. Another combination using the facial image of Jackie Kennedy against a stylized background creates a space between the familiar, the vaguely remembered and the anonymous.
The repeated use of a single face which can appear in numerous works, assumes a hypnotic quality wherein subtle variations hold greater emphasis. While these portraits reveal personal emotion they simultaneously elicit our collective response by choosing familiar icons from popular culture.
Scobel's draftsmanship is impressive. Classical drawing skills are juxtaposed with the linear graphic quality of cartoons, creating a lenticular tension between the flat and three dimensional. The drawings are executed on gessoed wooden panels with hot wax poured onto the surface as a final layer. This process enriches the blacks and the pencil marks gain in volume approaching the appearance of painted brush strokes. Graphite loosened by the wax can result in painterly incidents.
Since the late '80s, Jenny Scobel's work has been exhibited at numerous venues. Most recently she had a solo exhibition with Zeno X Gallery in Antwerp, Belgium. She has also shown at Art Resources, Anna Kustera Gallery, Thread Waxing Space, The Drawing Center, The Clocktower, all in New York; GAle GAtes et al. in Brooklyn; Bard College in Annandale-on-Hudson, and Asher/Faure and Track 16 in Los Angeles.