° 1969, St. Albans, Vermont (US) – lives and works in London (UK)
Possessing a humorous eye for everyday awkwardness and an enlivening facility with paint, Chantal Joffe brings a combination of insight and integrity to the genre of figurative art. Hers is a deceptively casual brushstroke. Whether in small or large-scale images, fluidity combined with a pragmatic approach to representation seduces and disarms simultaneously. Almost always depicting women or girls, sometimes in groups but recently in iconic portraits, the paintings only waveringly adhere to their photographic source, instead of reminding us that distortions of the brush or pencil can often make a subject seem more real.
Joffe questions assumptions about what makes a noble subject for art and challenges what our expectations of feminist art might be. She ennobles the people she paints by rehabilitating the photographic image but, crucially, recognizes that it is painting itself rather than attendant sociopolitical ideas that give her paintings complexity and keep us looking.
Chantal Joffe – Esme on the Blue Sofa, 2018
Chantal Joffe – Self-Portrait Naked with My Mother II, 2020
Chantal Joffe – Looking Towards Bexhill, 2016
Chantal Joffe – Coney Island, 2018
Chantal Joffe – Teenagers, exhibition view at Lehmann Maupin, Seoul 2021
Joffe has exhibited widely in such institutions as the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík; National Portrait Gallery, London; Jewish Museum, New York; Jerwood Gallery, Hastings; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy; MODEM, Hungary; Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow; Il Capricorno, Venice; Turner Contemporary, Margate; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York; University of the Arts, London; MIMA Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art; Royal Academy of Arts, London; Galleri KB, Oslo and Bloomberg Space, London. In 2006 Joffe received the prestigious Charles Wollaston Award from the Royal Academy.
Her work is part of the numerous public collections such as, among others, Saatchi Gallery, London; Berardo Collection Museum, Lisbon; Museo Arte Contemporanea Isernia, Itay; Museo d’Arte Classica, Zola Predosa, Italy and the West Collection, Oaks, Pennsylvania.
Chantal Joffe is represented by the following galleries;
click through to discover more of her work.
Chantal Joffe – My Mother in a Blue Shawl in her Doorway, 2020
Chantal Joffe – Beside the Seaside, installation view at Jerwood Gallery, Hastings (Photo by Mike Fear)
Chantal Joffe – Poppy, Esme, Oleanna, Gracie and Kate, 2014
Chantal Joffe – The Conversation II, 2016
Chantal Joffe – Bella Reclining, 2016