An exhibition (19 May–2 September 2018) of works from across Joffe's career addressing themes of portraiture, motherhood, passing time and art's relationship to history.
Joffe has talked about her images of mothers and children in terms of transitions – not only of ageing but also an attempt to mark a life’s milestones, as universal as they are personal. The title of the exhibition is taken from Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876 – 1907), whose paintings of women and children are an enduring influence on Joffe, and the exhibition includes a number of works by the German artist. Modersohn-Becker died shortly after giving birth to her first child, at the age of 31.Today she is recognised as being among the first female artists to paint nude self-portraits.
Speaking about Modersohn-Becker’s work, Joffe has said: ‘That she was able to make these paintings a hundred years ago: for me that’s incredibly helpful and enlightening… It is as if someone is reaching across time and saying: You can paint these subjects and you can do it in a way that is incredibly modern and of your time.’ The works on display have been selected by the artist to resonate with the broader theme of The Lowry’s biennial, cross-arts Week 53 festival – Coming of Age.
A new book is published by Elephant and Victoria Miro.
Image: Chantal Joffe, The Squid and the Whale, 2017