blankets is an MFA exhibition of new large scale paintings by Jeff Broekhoven, who attends the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The exhibition will be on display December 7-13, 2013 at the Art Lofts Gallery. There will be an opening reception on Saturday, December 7, from 5:00-8:00 p.m. For additional details click here: UW-Madison School of Education Events

blankets - MFA Exhibition by Jeff Broekhoven

MFA Showcard

Thesis statement for blankets, an MFA exhibition by Jeff Broekhoven:

“Perhaps that is why desire causes men calamity. By identifying with our desires and taking them too seriously, we not only increase our susceptibility to disappointment, we actually create a climate inhospitable to the free and easy fulfillment of those desires.” -Tom Robbins

A variation on the title could be Security Blankets, and an alternate title to this exhibition could be Comfort Calamity, which more clearly translates the scenes depicted in these paintings, which are, among other things, inhospitable despite their invitations.

What has proven to be rewarding in making these paintings is how the work engages a handful of binary themes including comfort and security, abstraction and figuration, presence and absence, and aerial and frontal perspectives coupled with all the identifiers used to depict space (shadow, light, color). Keyed-up color reinforces a discombobulated foreground set against a gridded, organized and regularized ground. However, all areas of the painting are the subject–grids as blankets, margins as grass, tiled sweatshirts, wigs, pants and shoes, arms and legs, hands and gloves, shadows and hot-spots, silhouettes–and all are competing for attention.

The figural components interact with the reoccurring grid structure that suggests picnic blanket, tile floor, life raft, tabletop, or window. These blanket scenes recall both picnic on the lawn and Linus’ security blanket, calling to question if they are carefree or require some protection.

The compositions of the paintings include figures on a blanket, impression of figures on a blanket, objects assembled by figures on a blanket, and a still life of figures on a blanket. These changes in structure reinforce the presence and absence of the figures and question what role they have in constructing the scenes–are they showing up for the picture or are they arranging it? A primary thesis for these paintings is to explore building a place of comfort with very little knowledge of how to do so. Such an endeavor is bound to result in calamity.

2 responses to “blankets”

  1. I love the different type of paint applications and line work. Very playful and fun work.

  2. JB says:

    Shelley, thanks!

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