February 17 – March 26, 2005
Opening Reception: Thursday, February 17, 6-8:30 pm
Thomas Erben is pleased to present Jenny Scobel’s third solo exhibition with the gallery, comprised of exceptional drawings created over the past year. Recently, in New York, her work was a standout inclusion in a prestigious survey of contemporary figurative art, She’s Come Undone, at Artemis Greenberg Van Doren.
Iteration refers to Scobel’s process of drawing recurring and recombined visages, figures, backgrounds, and motifs. As in previous bodies of work, the artist continues her somewhat obsessive exploration of the various ways in which alternate meaning can be constructed.
While older work drew its tension from the disconnect between the appropriated vintage cartoon backdrops and the disaffected gaze of the young female composites in the foreground, the new drawings contain faces that are more individualized and detailed. The schisms between backdrops (drawn from Indian mogul miniatures) and figures, as well as figures and faces, are lessened, while the pervasive discomfort remains. The persons still seem to inhabit both a body and a setting in which they do not entirely belong.
Stylistically, Scobel has become increasingly varied, integrating elements of camp, hyperrealism, pulp, and academy, in addition to incorporating iconography from different cultures and époques. Within a group of works she also raises subtle questions about the entitlement of racial representation while retaining her usual formal approach.
Acquiring a sustained and continuously increasing audience, Scobel’s work appeared this past fall in an exhibition examining aspects of contemporary drawing by women, In Erster Line…, at the Museum Fridericianum, Kassel. Since the late 1980s, Scobel’s work has been exhibited at numerous venues, including The Drawing Center, Bard College, and Thread Waxing Space, and had solo exhibitions with Anna Kustera, New York, and Zeno X Gallery, Antwerp, Belgium.