Caldwell Snyder Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of Recent Works by mixed-media artist, Jane Maxwell. Jane Maxwell is interested in exploring what she calls our “cultural bombardment with imagery of the feminine ideal,” and the allure and pressure we feel when chasing the elusive myth of perfection. Advertising plays an enormous role in perpetuating this unattainable ideal—and nothing is more symbolic of this than the billboard, with its larger-than-life images.
On a recent trip to Europe, Maxwell found large walls plastered with layers upon layers of advertising, many of them covered in peeling papers built up over decades. Recognizing “a collage artist’s dream”—layers of incredible material that, being made of ads, matched the message of her paintings—she peeled down sections of paper, shipped them back to her Boston studio, and got to work.
The result is her most recent series, built entirely of European billboard papers. The canvases portray silhouettes of fashion models that have been constructed (and deconstructed) from this original material. In Maxwell’s words, the “aim was to create tension between the beauty and chaos surrounding these women,” with each figure referencing the ideal—the trim, fashion-forward silhouette—as well as the struggle, represented through rips and tears, enigmatic text, and layering.