Jeff Bailey Gallery is pleased to present Irena Jurek: Smooth Jazz an exhibition of new drawings, painted assemblages and sculpture.
Jurek’s drawings are populated by a host of suave characters. Hirsute men, luscious ladies and human/animal hybrids seductively interact in Edenic landscapes or stage-like settings. Taking the role of storyteller, Jurek celebrates life in all its forms, the joys as well as the struggles, and always with a sense of humor.
This sybaritic world reaches a fever pitch in Jurek’s assemblage paintings: pompoms, hair rollers, plastic fruit, fake flowers, ribbons and glitter are just some of the “dollar” store items that Jurek pushes beyond banality. They are a fusion of the handmade and the readymade, of both personal and store bought objects transformed through unlikely combinations and partially painted. Likening her process to jazz improvisation, these works are built intuitively, through gesture and spontaneity.
This is Jurek’s first solo exhibition with the gallery. She recently had a solo exhibition with Zurcher Gallery, Paris and her work has been included in group exhibitions in New York at Know More Games, 247365, Denny Gallery and others. She received her BFA in 2008 from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago and her MFA in 2008 from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, Michigan. She lives and works in Brooklyn.