Author Archives: Jessica

Close: Drawn Portraits

Close: Drawn Portraits

22 November 2018 – 3 February 2019

Private View Wed 21 November, 6-8.30pm

Curator’s tour 6.30-7pm

Mounira Al Solh, Frank Auerbach, Paul Cézanne, Virginia Chihota, Lucian Freud, Dryden Goodwin, Barbara Hepworth, David Hockney, Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres, Horst Janssen, Claudette JohnsonMichael LandyMaria LassnigJoyce PensatoDeanna Petherbridge, Francis Picabia, Pablo Picasso, Paula RegoNicola TysonJessica Voorsanger and Clifton Wright

Jessica Voorsanger, The Ladies who Knit for Peace and their Favourite Artists, watercolour on paper 2018

 

Bringing together historic figures such as Ingres, Picasso and Hepworth, and recent and contemporary artists including Lassnig, Hockney and Landy, this exhibition reveals intimate encounters between artists and their subjects over the past 200 years. Remarkable drawn portraits, rarely seen, sit beside those made today, and demonstrate drawing’s enduring ability to bring characters to life.

Drawing creates the illusion of presence. Using precise lines, Picasso and Freud capture a posed subject, whereas Hockney catches his sitter unaware in a calligraphic flourish of ink. Portraits of family members by Cézanne, Auerbach and Goodwin convey the sense of an intimately unfolding situation through multiple, restless pencil or charcoal lines.

In self-portraits by Maria Lassnig and Nicola Tyson, evocative colours are used to express psychological states and bodily sensations. Landy, in contrast, conveys the demands of self-representation through spidery black lines that knit into staring eyes and a furrowed brow.

The individuality of Mounira Al Solh’s migrant and refugee subjects is captured through experiments with style and medium. Drawn on yellow legal pads, they evoke not only an illusion of presence, but act as a material reminder of the contemporary human condition.

 

Exhibition supported by The Tavolozza Foundation.

SUFFRAGETTE MARCH, 10 June 2018 [Still We Rise: Margate]

PROCESSIONS, SUFFRAGETTE MARCH, 10 June 2018 [Still We Rise: Margate]

On June 10th 2018, thousands of participants from all over Great Britain attended one of the large scale marches organised by Artichoke Trust and 14-18 Now! in London, Edinburgh, Belfast or Cardiff. From above the crowds of participants become green, violet and white stripes (all wearing scarves), the colours of the suffragette movement to celebrate 100 years of the Woman’s Suffrage Movement.

Artichoke Trust and 14-18 Now! Commissioned 100 artists all over Great Britain to create banners with diverse groups of women. Jessica Voorsanger was commissioned to work with a group of female participants at The Turner Contemporary in Margate to create one of these banners. The participants came from UCA (University of Creative Arts, Canterbury), POW! Thanet, Mencap, Wimbledon School of Art (University of the Arts, London) and other local artists. Over 6 weeks of workshops the group devised a large scale banner (with individual contributions from the participants), chanting phrases and costumes. Hence Voorsanger’s Posse of Protesters were formed!

Watch this space … Jessica Voorsanger will be leading a new procession on the 8th of March 2019 in Margate in association with POW! for International Women’s Day. POW! is a festival of Arts and Culture celebrating and exploring issues around Feminism, Women and Girls. If you [ladies and people who recognise themselves as ladies] would like to get involved contact POW! here.

Read about it here:

   

The project received a great deal of press, appearing on BBC London News, BBC Kent News, The Art Newspaper, The Guardian Newspaper amongst others … 

Here are some images from the event …        

 

The Secret to a Good Life, Royal Academy of Arts, video interview

The making of ‘The Secret to a Good Life’

Bob and Roberta Smith RA, Jessica Voorsanger and Etta Voorsanger-Brill discuss their collaborative project, The Secret to a Good Life. (4 September 2018 – 3 February 2019). This special project by Bob and Roberta Smith RA explores the story of women artists and the Royal Academy – through the lens of his own family history. Bob and Roberta Smith’s mother, the artist Deirdre Borlase, regularly exhibited in the RA’s Summer Exhibition. She thought she was more likely to be selected if she submitted works without her first name, to avoid giving away her gender.

Three new sculptures include This is Deirdre Borlase ARCA, 2018, by Bob and Roberta Smith RA and sculptures of the Academy’s female founders, Mary Moser RA and Angelica Kauffman RA, created by Smith in collaboration with his wife, Jessica Voorsanger, and their daughter, Etta Voorsanger-Brill.

“The secret of a good life is to get a good pencil: a 2B or a 3B, not an HB. HBs are for architects.”

Deirdre Borlase

Angelica Kauffman Sculpture (collaboration with Bob and Roberta Smith)

Angelica Kauffman Sculpture (collaboration with Bob and Roberta Smith) was made as part of THE SECRET TO A GOOD LIFE exhibition, The Ronald and Rita McAulay Gallery, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts (held 4 Sept 2018 – 3 Feb 2019)

This special project by Bob and Roberta Smith RA explores the story of women artists and the Royal Academy – through the lens of his own family history. Bob and Roberta Smith’s mother, the artist Deirdre Borlase, regularly exhibited in the RA’s Summer Exhibition. She thought she was more likely to be selected if she submitted works without her first name, to avoid giving away her gender. Members of Borlase’s family explore her story, and some of the other – sometimes strained – relationships between women and the Royal Academy over its history.

Three new sculptures include This is Deirdre Borlase ARCA, 2018, by Bob and Roberta Smith RA and sculptures of the Academy’s female founders, Mary Moser RA and Angelica Kauffman RA, created by Smith in collaboration with his wife, Jessica Voorsanger, and their daughter, Etta Voorsanger-Brill.

The sculpture of Angelica Kauffman, a collaboration with Jessica Voorsanger is covered in 15 portraits of women artists she is inspired by starting with Angelica Kauffman (as the head) to Mona Hatoum and Alice Neel amongst others.

Portraits     

The portraits of women artists on the collaborative sculpture are: Laurie Anderson, Sofonisba Anguissola, Sonia Boyce, Claude Cahun, Mona Hatoum, Frida Kahlo, Angelica Kauffman, Lee Krasner, Yayoi Kusama, Edmonia Lewis, Ana Mandieta, Alice Neel, Georgia O’Keefe, Lorna Simpson and Kara Walker.

               

Publication
The accompanying book Bob and Roberta Smith: The Secret to a Good Life explores the role of women artists, the sexism of the art world and the benefits of drawing every day. Find out more.

 

SECRET TO A GOOD LIFE, The Ronald and Rita McAulay Gallery, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts, London

SECRET TO A GOOD LIFE at The ROYAL ACADEMY 

4 September 2018 – 3 February 2019, free admission

This special project by Bob and Roberta Smith RA explores the story of women artists and the Royal Academy – through the lens of his own family history.

Bob and Roberta Smith RA’s mother, the artist Deirdre Borlase, regularly exhibited in the RA’s Summer Exhibition. She thought she was more likely to be selected if she submitted works without her first name, to avoid giving away her gender.

In this special project to mark the RA’s 250th anniversary, members of Borlase’s family explore her story, and some of the other – sometimes strained – relationships between women and the Royal Academy over its history. The display will include a selection of historic paintings by Deidre Borlase from the 1940-80s, as well as a portrait of her by her husband, Frederick Brill.

Three new sculptures include This is Deirdre Borlase ARCA, 2018, by Bob and Roberta Smith RA and sculptures of the Academy’s female founders, Mary Moser RA and Angelica Kauffman RA, created by Smith in collaboration with his wife, Jessica Voorsanger, and their daughter, Etta Voorsanger-Brill.

The sculpture of Angelica Kauffman, a collaboration with Jessica Voorsanger is covered in 15 portraits of women artists she is inspired by starting with Angelica Kauffman (as the head) to Mona Hatoum and Alice Neel amongst others.

The sculpture of Mary Moser is a collaboration with Etta Voorsanger-Brill and Bob and Roberta Smith. It is covered in Risograph printed fanzines which explores women in a patriarchal society and include Mary Moser’s work.

Publication
The accompanying book Bob and Roberta Smith: The Secret to a Good Life explores the role of women artists, the sexism of the art world and the benefits of drawing every day. Find out more.

 

Venice Biennale 2017 – Jessica Voorsanger’s film Klingon Key Phrases included

EMPIRE II

La Biennale di Venezia 2017

13TH MAY – 26TH NOV 2017

CASTELLO 1610/A
RIVA DEI SETTE MARTIRI VENEZIA 3012

140 SHORT FILMS > 140 ARTISTS

Gavin Turk, Jessica Voorsanger, Sarah Sparkes, Fiona Banner, Cedric Christie, John Plowman, Spizz Energi, Lee Maelzer, Danny Pockets, Martin Creed, Ray Gange, Sarah Pager, Toni Gallagher, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Liz Sheridan, Julian Firth, Geraldine Swayne, SHUBY, Rebecca Scott, Pascal Rousson, Kerry Baldry Graham Tunnadine, Lauren Heckler and many more.

Empire II is an artist led project designed for forthcoming 57th La Biennale di Venezia.

Empire II are focused on creating a dedicated cinema hub space for artists and makers which will contain 3 separate areas and remain functional over a designated period of 7 months.

Room 1; Lounge/library as a quiet ambient reading area and a chill out zone + Room 2; movie screening space playing a selection of short art house lms specially created for this occasion and programmed on a continuous loop + Room 3; an immersive VR gaming space evolving as a spontaneous separate augmented reality point.

Exhibition will follow with a 160 page limited edition catalogue. We will host a number of intermediate events during our stay with and including participating artists and makers in form of presentations, talks and group discussions related to  making and associated topics.

Panel Discussion @Jerwood Gallery Hastings June 3, 2017

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Overlap – relationships, reputation and legacy of women artists

Saturday June 3, 2017 (11.30-12.30pm), Studio, Jerwood Hastings

Curators Day+Gluckman, authors of A Woman’s Place Project, will be in conversation with artist Jessica Voorsanger and Tate curator and art historian Carol Jacobi to discuss the complex relationship of a woman artist to her personal biography and relationships.  As two Jerwood exhibitions of women artists overlap, that of Jean Cooke and Eileen Agar, the panel will have an honest and frank conversation about the legacy of women artists and how their art is often overlooked in favour of their relationships to male artists.

Jessica Voorsanger’s art practice looks at the construct of self, often through humorous installations or performances to unpick popular and celebrity culture. Voorsanger has exhibited extensively internationally, and she also happens to be married to Patrick Brill (AKA the artist Bob+Roberta Smith).

Carol Jacobi is Curator, British Art 1850–1915 at Tate.  Her research is centred on nineteenth- and twentieth-century British painting, sculpture and photography. She has backgrounds in science and literature, preferring an interdisciplinary approach, and has a long term commitment to challenging the canon and looking at the legacy of overlooked women artists.

A Woman’s Place is a contemporary arts, heritage and education project where female equality provides the contextual backbone. A two year programme rolls out across the South East in 2017.  The project is funded by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, The National Trust and South East partners.  Other events across SE venues can be found at www.dayandgluckman.co.uk and significant new commissions at Knole House (National Trust), Sevenoaks, Kent in 2018.£10 (£8 for Jerwood Gallery Members)

For further information and to book tickets please click here
Image: Jessica Voorsanger, Claude Monet, from The Bald Series, 2013 by Jessica Voorsanger at Liberties exhibition 2016

Copyright © 2017 Day + Gluckman, All rights reserved.

Secrets & Lies (TATE Film Club)

Secrets & Lies

Tate Modern has had a long running film club, which over the past 10 years (+) has successfully explored themes surrounding London and its environs in relation to Tate. Initially created as a way to interact positively with the community, the group’s success has grown in audience and subject. As Tate embarks on a ‘new’ Tate with the opening of the extension in May 2016 this is the opportunity for the film club to also reinvent itself. For this initial start to the new season of film club viewings – Jessica Voorsanger has been commissioned to show 3 interlinked immersive film events exploring artists and their lives through the film sub genre of ‘docudramas’ also known as ‘biopics.’ Focusing on artists that have either shown or are in the collection of Tate. This will mark the bringing together of Tate Modern’s Film Club and Tate Britain’s Soapbox to work together to co-create events that engage with film (and their audiences) in alternative ways.

The 3 events will explore the ideas surrounding Secrets & Lies (the title being a reference to the Mike Leigh film of the same name). There will be 3 events (27 March, 22 May & 31 July 2017). These events will each explore the concept of the life (and/or culture) of one/or many artist(s) in three distinct ways. As through storytelling, especially within a ‘Hollywood’ drama scenario, the question of how much is actually true in the depiction of real life? Is anything exaggerated to make the story more engaging? As with documentaries, which we generally view as ‘truth’ can give a biased view of the director through the selection of interviewees and editing.

The1st event featured Frida Kahlo. The Salma Hayek film ‘Frida’ was aired. Aside from the film showing there was a quiz with questions associated with Frida Kahlo. The audience members were each given a ‘lucky bag’ which comprised of the elements to ‘dress up as Frida’ and a bespoke newspaper for the event. This first event was focussing on the ‘biopic’.

           

The 2nd event featured Pablo Picasso. The were three films aired: ‘Trimming Picasso’ (a docudrama by filmmaker Tim Newton), ‘Meeting Picasso’ (a documentary by filmmaker Tim Newton), and ‘Surviving Picasso’ (a docudrama starring Anthony Hopkins, the full feature was not aired). Aside from the films being shown there was an ‘In conversation’ between the filmmaker Tim Newton and Jessica Voorsanger. There was a quiz with questions associated with Frida Kahlo. The audience members were each given a ‘lucky bag’ which comprised of the elements to ‘dress up as a Picasso Cubist painting’ and a bespoke newspaper for the event. This second event was focussing on the differences between the biopic and the documentary.

The 3rd event will feature Peggy Guggenheim. The documentary ‘Peggy Guggenheim” Art Addict ‘will be shown. The focus of this event will be on documentaries. This event will take place in late July 2017.

The Trouble with Tribbles

The Trouble with Tribbles (named after the icon episode of Star Trek Original Series), was an interactive immersive experience offered at The Art Car Boot Fair, 2010. The participants were invited to experience the unleashing of zillions of ‘tribbles’ being poured on their heads, as Captain Kirk did in the episode aired in the 1960’s.

       

The Apathy Band

Jessica Voorsanger is the lead vocalist for the Apathy Band. The band recently released it’s first LP featuring Bob and Roberta Smith, Jessica Voorsanger, Leonardo Ulian, George Lionel Barker, George Cleghorn & Calvin Tsai in 2016. 

The band is the brainchild of contemporary artist Bob and Roberta Smith. The band has had many incarnations but this version has the experimental funk fusion sounds that George Cleghorn brings with saxophone, Calvin Tsai brings with his guitar, George Lionel Barker (also known from The Fucks) on piano, Leonardo Ulian on the Theremin and Jessica Voorsanger on spoken word.

The LP is available to buy on eBay while stocks last. The ‘A’ side of the LP is Bob and Roberta reading the text from his painting Letter to Michael Gove (as seen at The Royal Academy), his protest at the Conservative Party’s reconfiguring of secondary education which has had a detrimental effect on arts and humanities education. The ‘B’ side is the band performing their musical interventions.

The Apathy Band LP is now available!

Hot off the presses is The Apathy Band’s new LP! Available on eBay. This is the first LP for the Apathy Band. The band has had many incarnations but this version has the experimental funk fusion sounds that George Cleghorn brings with saxophone, Calvin Tsai brings with his guitar, George Lionel Barker (also known from The Fucks) on piano & bass, Leonardo Ulian on the Theremin and Jessica Voorsanger on spoken word. fullsizerender-5

LIBERTIES at The Exchange, Penzance (20 Oct 2016 – 7 Jan 2017)

22 Oct 2016 – 07 Jan 2017
The Exchange, Princes Street, Penzance, TR18 2NL

Guler Ates, Helen Barff, Sutapa Biswas, Sonia Boyce, Jemima Burrill, Helen Chadwick, Sarah Duffy, Rose English, Rose Finn-Kelcey, Alison Gill, Helena Goldwater, Joy Gregory, Margaret Harrison, Alexis Hunter, Frances Kearney, EJ Major, Eleanor Moreton, Hayley Newman, Freddie Robins, Monica Ross, Jo Spence, Jessica Voorsanger, Alice May Williams and Carey Young

Liberties presents a snapshot of the evolving conversations that have contributed to the mapping of a woman’s place in British society through work by 24 artists.  Film, photography, sculpture, performance and painting reflect personal and political issues and changes in art practice in the 40 years since the introduction of the Sex Discrimination Act in the UK.

The curators do not presume to have surveyed the past 40 years of women’s art practice, but to consider the intervening years since a significant equalitarian law was introduced, and to remind ourselves of what has been fought and won over the years, and what there is still to do.

 

Curated by Day+Gluckman

This exhibition first showed at Collyer Bristow Gallery, London 2nd July – 21st October 2015 and was part of the outcome of a research and development grant for A Woman’s Place project supported by Arts Council South East. With thanks to Collyer Bristow LLP.

Copyright © 2016 Day + Gluckman, All rights reserved.
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EMPIRE Magazine, MASSIVE WINTER EDITION (Oct 2016, Issue 328) solo exhibition at Kornhaussen (Aschaffenburg Germany)

Jessica Voorsanger’s solo exhibition ‘EMPIRE Magazine, MASSIVE WINTER EDITION (Oct 2016, Issue 328)’ ran from 25th of October until January 2017 at Kornhauschen in Aschaffenburg Germany. The work in this exhibition continued to explore the fusion between painting and collage, inspired by the current edition of the movie magazine ‘Empire’.

EMPIRE Magazine, MASSIVE WINTER EDITION (Oct 2016, Issue 328) 
Jessica Voorsanger
 
Eröffnung: Dienstag, 25. Oktober, 19 Uhr
25.10 – 10.12.2016 (extended to January 2017)

 voorsanger_image
Kornhäuschen freut sich, neue Arbeiten von der in London lebenden amerikanischen Künstlerin Jessica Voorsanger zu zeigen. Sie präsentiert eine Serie von insgesamt 50 Bildern in Form einer Collage, das verbindende Element ist die aktuelle Ausgabe des Filmmagazins EMPIRE.

Als Collage wird das Nebeneinander von Elementen aus unterschiedlichen Quellen in einem Bild bezeichnet. In ihrer Serie hat Voorsanger das Gegenteil gemacht – sie schuf 50 verschiedene Improvisationen aus einer einzigen Quelle. Entstanden ist eine imaginäre Reise, die Betrachter an 50 verschiedene Orte führt. Voorsangers Thema ist die Populärkultur und die Welt der Prominenten. Retrostoffe in Verbindung mit leuchtenden, grellen Farbinterventionen sind ein neues Element in ihrem Zyklus, den Voorsanger “gemalte Collagen” nennt.

EMPIRE Magazine, MASSIVE WINTER EDITION (Oct 2016, Issue 328) ist Voorsangers dritte Einzelausstellung im Kornhäuschen nach Crimefighter (2009) und Worldstaronestoppopshop, die 2013 in der Museumsnacht eröffnet wurde.

 
Jessica Voorsanger (*1965) ist Absolventin der Rhode Island School of Design und des Londoner Goldsmith Colleges. Einzelausstellungen beinhalten Eastenders / Whitechapel Art Gallery, London / London Mystery Train, Art on the Underground & ICA, London / The Woody Allen Show, Gallery-33 FON, Berlin / I Think I Love You, Collective Gallery, Edinburgh / The Retrieval Series: Bob Geldof, Modern Culture, New York / Baby Shower, Camden Art Centre, London. Gruppenausstellungen: Star Struck, New Art Gallery Walsall, England / Hearing Voices, Seeing Things, Serpentine Gallery, London / Forward/Backward Reloading, Island 6 Art Center, Shanghai China / Air Guitar, touring show including Milton Keynes Gallery & Cornerhouse, Manchester / To Whom it May Concern, CCAC, San Francisco CA
 

 

Kornhäuschen
Webergasse am Schloss
63739 Aschaffenburg

Live Long and Prosper at Work Gallery (21st July to 16th September 2016)

Jessica Voorsanger’s solo exhibition Live Long and Prosper at Work Gallery, 10A Acton Street, London WC1X 9NG  from 21st July – 16th September 2016. There was also an ‘In Conversation’ with Jean Wainwright at the closing event on 14th September 2016.

LiveLong&Prosper

In Live Long and Prosper, Jessica Voorsanger is presenting a new series of paintings in which she imagines the paintings she would make if she were artist-in-residence on The Starship Enterprise.

Voorsanger’s established practice exploring issues surrounding popular culture and celebrity takes a radical departure in this new series of paintings juxtaposing vintage fabrics with toxic and vibrant colours. She refers to them as ‘painted collages’. The faded, patterned vintage fabrics in contrast with the vibrant poured and dripped paint locate the work in its questioning of what a sci-fi utopian future could hold.

Jessica: Oh hello Captain Kirk! What do you think of my new paintings?

Captain Kirk: Fantastic!

Mr.Spock: This cacophanous colour is not logical.

Jessica: Actually, I think you will find Mr.Spock that the melding of the patterned fabrics are indicative of the time period in which they exist. The bright poured and dripped paint is a reaction to what the potential futures could be.

Mr.Spock: Very interesting.

Invite BDP

Shakespeare hits Scunthorpe High Street

Shakespeare hits Scunthorpe High Street

JV as Shakespeare

Jessica Voorsanger payed homage to William Shakespeare on the 11th of June 2016 by leading a parade of Tudor musicians and actors through the town centre of Scunthorpe. It was one of the many events connected to Shakespeare400 that North Lincolnshire Library have organised. The actors were drama students from North Lindsey College. The reaction that they received was a combination of celebration and confusion!

Tudor Parade

Captain Kirk at the Art Car Boot Fair (June 2016)

Jessica Voorsanger appeared at the Art Car Boot Fair this 12th of June 2016 as one of her favourite Star Trek characters, Captain Kirk. She proceeded to show Captain Kirk’s drawing skills off by drawing portraits to the ACBF as Mr. Spock. Live Long and Prosper…

Captain Kirk at the ACBF

Captain Kirk drawing

Cath Hawes has been ‘Spocked’Cath Hawes has been 'Spocked'

Jessica Voorsanger joins The Apathy Band

Apathy Band Acoustic Set Grow BarJessica Voorsanger joins The Apathy Band as a vocalist. Watch this space for performance news. They recently performed at Grow Bar, Hackney Wick on the 2nd June 2016. The members of the band are: Bob and Roberta Smith, Jessica Voorsanger, George Lionel Barker, Leonardo Ulian, Calvin Tsai and George Cleghorn.

Apathy Band at Grow Bar

Imprint 93 on show at The Whitechapel Gallery until 25th September 2016

Jessica Voorsanger is showing work from the early 1990’s in the archival exhibition which chronicles the curatorial projects of Matthew Higgs’ Imprint 93 (1993-1997) at the Whitechapel Art Gallery running until the 25th of September 2016.

Voorsanger is interviewed in this article from the Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2016/mar/17/imprint-93-matthew-higgs-mail-art-whitechapel-gallery