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Janet Werner
From September 10th 1998 to October 17th 1998
Trust

Janet Werner's recent paintings are a significant departure from her earlier work both in scale and theme. While her earlier paintings and installations sought to represent the silent process of thought, in this work it is the face of the thinking subject which is turned toward the viewer. The current work is a series of invented portraits which referencethe decayed genre of classical portrait painting (subsumed by photography and video in the contemporary world) but departs from that tradition both in process and intent. Her portraits are of imagined figures rather than actual people which nevertheless uncannily remind us of people we have known. Though employing the exaggerated features and fixed expressions of cartoon figures, they diverge from the stereotypical cartoon subject frenetically engaged with an exterior world of action and events. Instead, these figures look inward to a psychological space or stare fixedly at some invisible exterior action. The viewer is left with an uncertainty about who they are and what they want. Werner's preoccupation, however, is not with portraiture but with the act of seeing - with the condition of the figure as both subject and object, looker and looked at. In the one-to-one encounter with the paintings, the viewer too is implicated in the process of looking, and the voyeuristic act of viewing itself becomes an integral part of the subject of the work.

Janet Werner was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She received her MFA degree from Yale University, School of Art and Architecture, in 1987, and currently lives and works in Saskatoon where she teaches in the Department of Art and Art History, University of Saskatchewan. Werner has had exhibitions of her work at the Robert Birch Gallery (Toronto), the Southern Alberta Art Gallery (Lethbridge), Plug In (Winnipeg), Mercer Union (Toronto), the Charles Scott Gallery (Vancouver), La Centrale (Montréal), the Mendel Art Gallery (Saskatoon), and Garnet Press Gallery (Toronto). An exhibition of her work is scheduled to open at the Art Gallery of Mississauga in March 1999.

Bibliographie
- Mark, Lisa Gabrielle, «Getting our hands dirty», C Magazine, no 59, septembre–novembre 1998, pp.18–22.
- «Best Bets», The Gazette, 25 septembre 1998, p.D1.
- «Fast Forward», Canadian Art, automne 1998, p.28.
- «Janet Werner», Voir, 1–7 octobre 1998, p.62.
- «Trust», Mix Magazine, vol. 24, no 2, automne 1998, p.22.