British, born 1969
Oil on plywood board
The Ted and Roberta Mann Foundation Endowment Fund, 2012.37
Gallery 371 – On View
Chantal Joffe is a talented young painter who, while building on art historical traditions in painting and portraiture, has found her own voice within this genre. Her paintings tend to be dominated by girls and young women—often androgynous figures and female archetypes. The subject of Moll could be described as elfin, with haunting eyes and a Lolita sexuality. While she seems to be small in stature, here she is a ten-foot giant who can barely be contained by the painting. She looms out at the viewer, anxious, nervous, intelligent, and strangely seductive.
A similar description could be made of the nearby painting by Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Seated Girl, created exactly 100 years before the Joffe. Both artists use adolescent models and accentuate their sensual qualities. The artists also share stylistic similarities, including strong color, distinct contours, and forceful brushstrokes, designed to reveal unapologetically raw emotion.