Julia Jacquette, Swimming Pool Water (Hand), 2015, Gouache on paper, 9½ x 12½ in. Courtesy of the artist, New York. © Julia Jacquette, Image courtesy of the artist.
Exposing our insatiable longing for the ideal, the work of Julia Jacquette, who is based in New York and Amsterdam, focuses on commercialized objects of desire: liquor and food, ornate interiors of the wealthy, shimmering swimming pools, and deceptively flawless women. Utilizing images from glossy lifestyle magazines, luxury brand catalogs, and 1950s and 1960s cookbooks, Jacquette renders these objects with photorealist precision, often in views so close that the subject becomes abstracted. Her crisply detailed paintings question the seductive attraction of consumer goods, the unattainable perfection of feminine beauty, and the ways that advertising influences our feelings of identity and self-worth.
Original gouache drawings from Jacquette’s graphic memoir, Playground of My Mind, will be on view concurrently in the Joe and Marité Robinson Strolling Gallery. Providing a distinctive account of the artist’s childhood, the book is inspired by the “adventure playgrounds” of the 1970s that encouraged constructive, imaginative play. In this memoir, Jacquette acknowledges the influence of these and other design principles that she absorbed growing up in New York City during the 1960s and 1970s.
Julia Jacquette: Unrequited and Acts of Play is an abridged version of an exhibition organized by the Ruth and Elmer Wellin Museum of Art at Hamilton College, where it was on view February 18 – July 2, 2017. It was curated by Tracy L. Adler, Johnson-Pote Director of the Wellin Museum.