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Janaina Tschäpe in #StaffPicksSaturday

Emma Karasz, Gallery Associate, has chosen Janaina Tschäpe’s painting, Bocaina 3, 2020 for #StaffPicksSaturday.

“I have always been drawn to Janaina’s work. Her distinctive use of color and abstraction in organic forms often evokes scenes from the natural world, suggesting growth, transition and metamorphosis. Sometimes the scenes in her paintings are more recognizable than others, as in the case of Bocaina 3. Janaina recently completed this painting in her studio in Bocaina, Brazil. At first glance, we are beckoned into a lush green forest, depicted beautifully through the artist’s masterful use of color.  This is the forest Janaina sees every day from her studio and she invites us to see what she sees. However, upon closer inspection, we see the artist’s conversation with the forest, her singular mark-making, drawn in watercolor pencil over the layers of casein. There is a palpable tension between these familiar, richly painted strokes across the canvas and her intimate language.  The relationship between these two distinct acts is incredibly physical and poetic. We may know the forest, but do we know the artist’s language? Or is this a universal language? For me, this painting invites the viewer to contemplate a connection between the external, natural world and one’s interior life. The artist allows us to see an intrinsic link between these two forces, one that perhaps exists in all of us.  In this challenging time of isolation, that message of universality is one of extreme comfort and optimism.

#JanainaTschäpe’s work, while very personal, rejects solipsism and creates a world for everyone without rules, and without borders. There is a certain subversive quality to the work, as Doris von Drathen writes: “This pictorial world of Janaina Tschape, which delivers its vibrant vitality so unreservedly to the viewer and simultaneously seals itself in the instant it is depicted, possesses a certain irreverence, a certain disrespect, but also proceeds with a certain pleasure and delight in her painterly freedom. This joy in painting can only be experienced with a joy in seeing.” - @emmakarasz

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