welcome to Artspace online!
MAR / APR   2009 
Human Kind
Oil on Canvas

'Amazing Grace', 2008 by Janie Samuels
Amazing Grace, 2008
Oil on canvas
40 x 44 in.

March 27 - April 19

Main Gallery

Artist Statement

My work is simultaneously political and personal, universal and intimate. It is often humorous and ironic, emotional, sensual and feminine. In creating images that challenge but not alienate, I hope to remind people that human relationships are basic and primary to life. The work captures a glimpse of a provocative or emotionally charged moment, and as such is either situational or narrative. Something happened before the depicted scene and something will happen after, the painting being the key to both.

The work is a result of a current political or moral bias. The images are derived from a variety of publications and personal photos. The subject is timeless. The work is not literal; rather, the composition is dictated by formal pictorial concerns that depict, for example, movement or emotion. The images are often magnified and cropped, creating a scale that pulls the observer into the canvas so that he is grabbed by the immediacy of the image and then slowly absorbed into the experience of the narrative.

The effect I want the painting to have is mirrored in its color, its drawing, and application of the paint. I believe, like Kandinsky, that color and form have inherent expressive qualities. Like Matisse, I am interested in how color, pattern and form break down abstractly. I use line to convey movement. The painting works narratively and abstractly, and the canvas has an intrinsic balance of form and content.

The titles are an integral part of the work, often revealing my bias.

-Janie Samuels


Janie Samuels was born in Canandaigua, NY in 1959. She received her BA from Bennington College, Vermont, in 1981 after having returned from studying a year in Southern France. She returned to France to live and paint for another year, and then came back to New York City in 1983. She received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts, New York, in 1986.

She has had three solo exhibitions, the most recent at Monster Gallery in Brooklyn, NY in 2005. Her next solo exhibition is scheduled for March 27 thru April 19, 2009 at Artspace in Richmond, Virginia. She has additional solo exhibitions planned for 2010, but are yet to be confirmed.

She has been in over 50 group exhibitions in the United States and Southern France, including 9 group shows in 2007 (including Sarah Brown Gallery, Williamsburg, Brooklyn)- 6 in 2008 (including the Alexandria Museum of Art in Alexandria, LA thru 11/22, Pen and Brush, Inc., curated by Morley Safer, thru 11/30, New York, NY)-an upcoming group show at George Segal Gallery, Montclair, NJ, 1/18-2/14/09 and the Noyes Museum of Art in New Jersey in March 2009.

From 1989 to 1994, she designed and built the sets and co-produced several plays, written by several playwrights including her husband, Evan Gubernick, which ran Off-Broadway and Off-Off Broadway.

She had worked as Nancy Graves's assistant from 1988 to 1994, at which time Graves passed away from ovarian cancer. Janie chose to stay at the studio as its director until late 1996 when the Nancy Graves Foundation was established. She continued at the foundation until March 1999 when she was offered a position as Chuck Close's Studio Manager. In July 2006 she resigned her position in order to focus her attention more fully on her own art career.

In discussing her oeuvre, Samuels describes her work as being simultaneously political and personal, universal and intimate. Her subject is inspired by political or moral concerns, her titles often revealing her bias. The images, although derived from the media and personal photos, are intended to reference broader topics.

Technically, she is interested in how color, pattern, line and form break down abstractly and how she can manipulate them to create cohesive expressive qualities, such as rhythm and movement. She creates the boldest expression by using line and color so that the image works narratively and abstractly, and the canvas has an intrinsic balance.

'Coney Island Getaway', 2007 by Janie Samuels
Coney Island Getaway, 2007
Oil on canvas
24 x 48 in.

Visit Janie's website at: janiesamuels.com

Opening Reception Fourth Friday
March 27, 7-10 pm

Musical guests: Gypsy Roots
a small combo playing works inspired by the swinging guitar jazz of Django Reinhart

Free and Open to the Public

'Helping Hands', 2008 by Janie Samuels
Helping Hands, 2008
Oil on canvas
20 x 24 in.

'Lean on Me', 2008 by Janie Samuels
Lean on Me, 2008
Oil on canvas
57 x 57 in., overall

'No Words', 2008 by Janie Samuels
No Words, 2008
Oil on canvas
57 x 57 inches, overall

'Summer Play', 2008 by Janie Samuels
Summer Play, 2008
Oil on canvas
57 x 57 inches, overall

'Waiting in Limbo', 2008 by Janie Samuels
Waiting in Limbo, 2008
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 in.

'Diner Duo', 2008 by Janie Samuels
Diner Duo, 2008
Oil on canvas
14 x 18 in.

'Bali Beach Boys', 2007 by Janie Samuels
Bali Beach Boys, 2007
Oil on canvas
24 x 30 in.

'Exodus', 2007 by Janie Samuels
Exodus, 2007
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 in.

'Talk to Me Baby', 2006 by Janie Samuels
Talk to Me Baby, 2006
Oil on canvas
12 x 16 in.

'Un Bistro a Paris', 2006 by Janie Samuels
Un Bistro a Paris, 2006
Oil on canvas
30 x 40 in.

all content copyright : may not be reproduced in any form without written permission