Chantal Joffe

Chantal Joffe brings a combination of insight and integrity, as well as psychological and emotional force, to the genre of figurative art. Hers is a deceptively casual brushstroke. Whether in images a few inches square or ten feet high, fluidity combined with a pragmatic approach to representation seduces and disarms. Almost always depicting women or girls, sometimes in groups but recently in iconic portraits, Joffe’s paintings only waveringly adhere to their source – be it a photograph, magazine page or even a reflection in the mirror – instead reminding us that distortions of scale and form can often make a subject seem more real.

Joffe’s paintings always alert us to how appearances are carefully constructed and codified, whether in a fashion magazine or the family album, and to the choreography of display. There’s witty neutrality in a career-spanning line-up that has given equal billing to catwalk models, porn actresses, mothers and children, loved ones and literary heroines. Joffe questions assumptions about what makes a noble subject for art and challenges what our expectations of a feminist art might be. Appropriation of existing imagery has been a cornerstone, particularly in the works for which she first became known. Joffe ennobles the people she paints by rehabilitating the photographic image but, crucially, recognizes that it is paint itself – its spatio-temporal complexities rather than attendant theories or sociopolitical ideas surrounding subject matter – that keeps us engaged.

Born in 1969, Chantal Joffe lives and works in London. She holds an MA from the Royal College of Art and was awarded the Royal Academy Wollaston Prize in 2006. Joffe has exhibited nationally and internationally at venues including the National Museum of Iceland, Reykjavík, 2016; National Portrait Gallery, London, 2015; Jewish Museum, New York, 2015; Jerwood Gallery, Hastings, 2015; Collezione Maramotti, Reggio Emilia, Italy, 2014 – 2015; Saatchi Gallery, London, 2013 – 2014; MODEM, Hungary, 2012; Mackintosh Museum, Glasgow, 2012; Il Capricorno, Venice, 2011; Turner Contemporary, Margate, 2011; Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase, New York, 2009; University of the Arts, London, 2007; MIMA Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, 2007; Royal Academy of Arts, London, 2005; Galleri KB, Oslo, 2005 and Bloomberg Space, London, 2004.

[Victoria Miro Gallery]

I’m Yours
Encounters with Art in Our Times
The events of this year have brought the world to a halt, affecting commerce and security, putting our own...
International Women’s Day / 2021
Artpil / Prescription .121
Love is not all: it is not meat nor drink nor slumber nor a roof against the rain; nor...
The Shadow Pandemic
Artpil / Prescription .118
This other virus, which has existed for a far greater period of time and whose rate of contagion is...
CHART Art Fair 2020
August 28–30, 2020
CHART, marking the eighth edition of the annual Nordic festival for contemporary art, launches its de-centered program of exhibitions...
Elimination of Violence
Art, Women & Awareness
In many societies femicide is still classified as honorable, sex-trafficking is often protected under the guise of marriage, and...
International Women’s Day / 2019
March 8, 2019
Often our better halves, and without whom we could not be, we renew our commitment to engage. Once again,...
Works on Paper
January 26 – April 6, 2019
There is something spontaneous and incredibly personal about drawings. They take us closer to the artistic act of creation...
Rehang: Archives
March 3 – July 28, 2019
The new exhibition itinerary of Collezione Maramotti reflects an interest in the evolution of pictorial language, an attention to...
Chantal Joffe: Pastels
April 14 – May 19, 2018
Focusing on relatives, friends and herself in scenes of leisure and domestic life, Chantal Joffe brings images robustly to...