The images in this print are drawn from a variety of sources including contemporary media (JonBenet Ramsay), popular culture, Royal Doulton figurines and Hollywood film stills. Tiny figures in historical costume are juxtaposed with contemporary figures and 1950s fashion icons. Removed from their original contexts and floating in a sea of colour, only their expressions and gestures remain: aloof, beseeching, funny, sad, dreamy, curious, surprised, resigned, or beckoning. A tenuous narrative thread suggests a familiar Cinderella story but here prince and princess never meet and all action is reduced to whistful sighs and sidelong glances.
Janet Werner was born in Winnipeg, and lives and works in Montreal where she is an Associate Professor of Painting at Concordia University. She received her BFA from the Maryland Institute in Baltimore and her MFA from Yale University, New Haven, CT. Janet Werner’s subject matter is romantic and, at times, painfully sweet—gorgeously painted surfaces feature cute animals, snow globes, figurines, and beautiful young women. Each figure is treated differently, infused with personality, sometimes vacant and lost, and sometimes deeply attuned to her environment. Werner’s collection of female characters take on extremely human forms but suggest archetypal avatars suspended in a make-believe world of hyper color.
Werner has shown widely across Canada including solo shows at the Liane & Danny Taran Gallery, Montreal, The Mendel Art Gallery, Saskatoon, The Contemporary Art Gallery, Vancouver, The Ottawa Art Gallery and Plug In Institute of Contemporary Art, Winnipeg. Recent exhibitions include Too much happiness, Parisian Laundry, Montreal in 2008, Generation, Art Gallery of Alberta, Intrus/Intruders, Musée du Québec and Entre/Voir, Galerie de l’UQAM, Montreal. Internationally, her work was presented at the Prague Bienale in 2003 and was featured in a solo exhibition at Galerie Julia Garnatz, Cologne, Germany in 2007. Werner’s work is in the collections of the Department of Foreign Affairs (Canadian Embassy in Berlin), the Musée du Québec, The Owens Art Gallery, The Leonard and Bina Ellen Art Gallery, The Mendel Art Gallery and The Winnipeg Art Gallery. A survey show of Werner’s work entitled Is Anything Alright ? is currently on view at the Art Gallery of Windsor.
Represented by Parisian Laundry, Montréal,
Birch Libralato, Toronto,
and Galerie Julia Garnatz, Cologne