Janet Werner is known for her fun house of female figures. Bending source material from fashion magazines and other forms of popular culture to her imagination, Werner typically distorts both classical and corporate ideals of beauty. Yet what prevents even her quirkiest compositions from becoming mere kitsch is the Canadian painter’s virtuosic technique. Having mastered the medium, Werner seems to have tasked herself with a new imperative: to avoid making her work too gorgeous. This can be difficult when your primary subjects are pretty girls.
The works on view in “Sticky Pictures” were a bold departure from Werner’s usual practice. In a suite of paintings that either marginalized or completely elided the figure, the artist dared the viewer to contemplate empty spaces from which bodies have been deliberately evacuated, suggesting that the figure may be nothing more than an ontological
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