Angela Dufresne and Jennifer Pochinski, "A Summer Show: Portraits, Narratives, and Other Subversions,” opening Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 6–8 PM. The show runs June 27–August 3.

JJ MURPHY GALLERY is pleased to present a two-person exhibition of recent works by Angela Dufresne and Jennifer Pochinski, "A Summer Show: Portraits, Narratives, and Other Subversions,” opening Wednesday, June 26, 2024, 6–8 PM. The show runs June 27–August 3.

It is hard to think of a painter who has been more influenced by the art of cinema than Angela Dufresne. Dufresne has been obsessed with the work of filmmakers such as John Cassavetes, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Pier Paolo Pasolini, and Andy Warhol. She has done a very large number of portraits of Gena Rowlands over the years. Dufresne explains her attraction to Rowlands in an interview in Hyperallergic: “She is that person who is grotesque, terrified, gorgeous, and empowered at the same time. It is mind-blowing. There are actors who are agents, articulating their subject in ways that are more interesting than a lot of art I see around.” The artist often analyzes films frame by frame in search of a particular “moment.” In the case of Delphine Seyrig, Anna Magnani, Isabelle Huppert, and Viva—all subjects of paintings in the show—she is interested in depicting the interstitial points of transformation between emotions. Dufresne’s canvasses are either large- or small-scale. A number of the larger narrative works provide highly kinetic panoramas of what, in filmic terms, amount to superimpositions, with echoes of Reginald Marsh, James Ensor, and other art historical references. They are characterized by dense layering and a painterly frenetic energy.

Jennifer Pochinski has lived in Hawaii and Greece, as well as the West Coast, before recently relocating to Providence, Rhode Island, which might explain why her subject matter often involves beach scenes. Some have associated her work with Bay Area figuration—painters such as Elmer Bischoff and David Park—but, given her roots, the artist believes the connection to be more indirect than direct. Like Dufresne, Pochinski also creates highly expressionistic portraits. She seeks out quotidian moments: a young man in a bathing suit having coffee, a woman in a café, a food critic eating a meal, a guy whistling or shaving, but she heightens and transforms these moments through a concern with the sheer physicality of paint. Pochinski often paints her subjects' faces and bodies an intense pink or red, so that their bodies seem more sun-burned than glamorous. As the artist commented in an interview, “I want my painting to be authentic, to mirror my insides, but I’m also trying to engage with the act of creation—which includes destruction.” In a sense, she weaponizes color in the vengeful way she attacks her subjects using harsh brushstrokes and garish colors that have a strong visceral effect. As she explains, in the process of making a painting, to keep things more authentic, “at some point you’ve got to subvert yourself.”

Angela Dufresne received a BFA degree from the Kansas City Art Institute and an MFA from Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia, PA. She has had solo exhibitions at the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, and the Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art at the State University of New York, New Paltz. Group exhibitions include MoMA PS1, New York; deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, Lincoln, MA; and Portland Museum of Art, Portland, ME.

Jennifer Pochinski received her BFA in painting from the University of Hawaii. She had a solo exhibition at Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco, in 2021, and a second solo exhibition, entitled “No Shallow Pools,” that opens on July 11. Her work has been featured in the Paris Review, the Huffington Post, and the American Scholar.