Kristin Hjellegjerde Gallery is pleased to present, Soft Serve, an exhibition of new oil paintings by American artist Vanessa Prager.
The series is an evolution of Prager’s acclaimed impasto work, exploring the female form, sexuality and voyeurism through fleshy, thick daubs, where women recline either alone or in small groups. It is the artist’s first solo exhibition in London.
Referencing images from art history, often figures of women under the male gaze, Prager has established her unique practice with an approach rooted in both agility and acute detail. In earlier works, such as the series Dreamers, (2015), Prager’s work appeared abstract up close, while distance between viewer and canvas revealed faces—ostensibly the artist’s own. In newer works, as evident in In the Pink, (2018), conceptual shapes take more solid forms, presenting an illuminated pastoral tableau—a twisted dejeuner sur l’herbe.
Now, in Soft Serve, Prager carves out a series of more concrete figures—melting realities, oozing with sculptural paint on brightly colored backgrounds: dripping red lips, chunky skin and thick spidery eyelashes, where brushstrokes evoke the tradition of the nude female au plein air. Here the women Prager paints come sharply into focus, daring bare skin, yet intangible and out of reach in their hazy world.