American artist Vanessa Prager’s first solo exhibition in London, Soft Serve, is an exploration of the female form, sexuality and voyeurism.
An evolution of her acclaimed impasto work, using fleshy, thick daubs of colour, her new oil paintings reference images from art history, often figures of women under the male gaze.
In Soft Serve, she carves out a series of figures, oozing with her signature thick, sculptural paint on brightly coloured backgrounds. Dripping red lips, chunky skin and thick spidery eyelashes, the women she paints come sharply into focus, reclining either alone or in small groups.
In earlier works, such as the series Dreamers, Prager’s work appeared abstract up close, while the distance between viewer and canvas revealed faces – ostensibly the artist’s own. In newer works, such as In the Pink, conceptual shapes take more solid forms, presenting an illuminated pastoral.
Born and raised in Los Angeles, Vanessa Prager is known mainly for her large-scale, abstract oil paintings. Her recent collaboration with her sister, artist Alex Prager, featuring Maya Rudolph, was featured on the cover of New York Times Magazine. Her work has received critical praise from international press including W Magazine, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Elle, Flaunt, Angeleno Magazine, Interview, Huffington Post, LA Weekly and Nylon.