In conjunction with New York Fashion Week, JoAnne Artman Gallery is proud to announce the opening of The Art of Fashion, featuring recent works by Jane Maxwell at the gallery’s New York location. Assorted works by artist Pedro Bonnin will also be on display in the gallery’s Projects Space. NYFW is a semi-annual, week-long, celebration of fashion and style where international fashion collections are shown to buyers, press, and the general public. Mixed Media artist Jane Maxwell and Photorealist painter Pedro Bonnin create work that emphasizes the movement of the human figure through space, including defining elements of fashion, style and design. Though Maxwell and Bonnin work in vastly different stylistic approaches and mediums, both artists find inspiration in the human form touching on universal themes of identity and perception through the lens of fashion.
For Jane Maxwell, it is the suggestion of the figure and the space that it occupies which is the primary focus in many of her compositions. The ideas of personal agency, the feminine ideal, and body image are explored through Maxwell’s study of the body in motion. The silhouette is the primary mode of portrayal as the figures stride through undefined space, emphasizing line and movement. Maxwell utilizes found paper ephemera such as posters, prints, and other printed materials in her compositions, collaging on wood panels in an organic accumulation of color and texture. Remnants of particular phrases, letters, and dates are left intentionally whole, allowing for interpretation through juxtaposition of image and text. In several instances, Maxwell utilizes the found printed matter in ways which imitate the hard-edged graphic look of branded apparel featuring logos or other signifying insignia, navigating the politics of identity, fast fashion, and advertising.
Pedro Bonnin’s twisting figures appear suspended in animation as they are captured in the stillness of a vacuum, their features arrested in mid-action. The captured moment allows for uninterrupted, uninhibited study as the figures float, jump, and turn through the air in physical mimicry of the dynamic complexities of human relationships. Bonnin favors portraying real people, and his work explores a full range of both motion and emotion, playing on the reserved ideals of classical portraiture. Through a meticulous portrayal of clothing and accessories, Bonnin dissects the narratives of perception showing articles of status and fashion statements as markers of identity. Such details give a vivid sense of individuality and physical presence while the drama of each scene is emphasized by Bonnin’s use of a monotone background and a tight cropping of the picture plane.