Jack Hanley Gallery is excited to present Hours, Elizabeth Jaeger’s third solo exhibition with the gallery.
Sitting for a portrait can be quite adventurous. It requires the time, patience and a stillness that goes against the usual day-to-day routine. I try to be as relaxed as possible. I start to think about parts of my body I usually don’t consider - my ears, my shins, my hairline. I start to feel sections of my body as I follow the artists eyes. I drift in and I drift out. My eyes dance around as I try to stay focused. I think about how my clothes sit on the body. It covers most of my skin, hanging off my shoulders. I breathe slowly and I can feel the air in my nostrils. It brushes against the hair follicles. I can feel the beat in my chest. It pumps blood that rolls through my veins, I can start to feel how busy my body must be. I am conscious of how many times I blink my eyes. I wet my lips. I start fantasizing, and I am still. - Maia
To pose for an artist is an act of surrender, like falling asleep in someone’s arms. Under the artist’s silent gaze you become aware of their gradual transformation of your physical self into a flat image that becomes a kind of imprint of their sustained observation. Lying down in the private space of the artist’s studio directs the mind inwards, like the psychoanalyst’s couch does, and whatever emerges – chatter, silent thoughtfulness or, in my case, drifting off into sleep – reveals something of the subject’s subconscious which can be transformed, in the artist’s hands, into the outward appearance of an inner self. The delicate tracing of ink onto silk makes visible the sensitivity of the artist to her subject. When I woke, the studio was almost in darkness. In these paintings, light operates as an emotional value, almost as a form of touch, drawing our eye to the surface of the image in order to enter it more deeply. - Chrissie
In the sunflux of your studio we sit, Tirzah’s Devotion on repeat. I still hear the room swell with her dizzily gentle romances. I still think of the cot that held my summer body when I needed it most. There I sit in my summer uniform, made comfortable in temporary home.
I am rarely the sitter, usually the portraitist in text or light etch. With you I am offered a new way of seeing myself, a sacred transference. I am the child I was and the the algae, the ghost, the gelatin I am now. I am now in ink and whispers. - Sean
For the subject of a portrait there is a tremendous weight of expectation—a burden of representation—placed onto the artist rendering them. The subject perhaps wants a type of veracity, but it is not veracity in the traditional photographic sense, but a mediated or codified veracity of the subject’s likeness through the painter’s eyes and hands. I couldn’t help but think when I was laying down as still as possible about how the interpersonal relation between the artist and myself was also being inscribed into the work. How does she want me to be seen? How does she think I would like to be seen? What does the tension between those two things look like? In my second portrait, I attempted to exert some control over the process of my representation by wearing lingerie—adorning myself so that she would be forced to portray me as I wanted to be seen. I think Elizabeth responded in kind, depicting with great honesty the resignation as well as self-satisfaction on my face as I lay supine with my hands delicately on my chest. The result was not a portrait of Ludovico Capponi by Bronzino, as I had imagined, but a portrait of Elizabeth and I pushing against and pulling into one another. - John Arthur
Elizabeth Jaeger (b. 1988) lives and works in New York, NY. Previous solo exhibitions include Pommel and Six-Thirty at Jack Hanley Gallery, 8.30 at And Now in Dallas, and Music Stand at Eli Ping, New York. The artist has participated in numerous group exhibitions including Zombies: Pay Attention! at the Aspen Art Museum, Mirror Cells at the Whitney Museum of American Art, Moma PS1’s Greater New York and Sculpture Center’s In Practice: Fantasy Can Invent Nothing New. Other exhibitions include Pine Barrens at Tanya Bonakdar, New York, People at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, New York, Dreamers Awake at White Cube, London, and The Sun and the Rainfall II at Galleria Zero, Milan.
Jaeger co-founded and operates Peradam with Sam Cate-Gumpert, a publishing house specializing in artists’ books.