Sunday, January 9, 2011

Spotlight on Jennie Ottinger

Hello out there! Gillian here. I was out in Oakland on Friday night for Art Murmur with some friends and came across SF-based artist Jennie Ottinger's show at the Johannson Project gallery.
Her work drew me inside, away from the vegan cupcake hawkers in the streets, and I was completely captivated. The show featured many paintings, all with her signature minimalist renderings of folks. Spare though they are, each portrait transmits a surfeit of emotional content.

For me the highlight of the show was her collection of "books". The dust jackets of each of these classic novels displays an original cover design conceived and painted by Ottinger, but inside are the real treats. Ottinger has distilled the essence of each of the novels into tight, irreverent, and highly opinionated summaries; post-modern CliffsNotes for Twitter attention spans.

Ottinger's synopsis of Moby Dick begins with, "This book is more tedious than the war parts of War and Peace but the character names are so much better!" Each of her boiled down summaries is smarter and more hilarious than the last.

Thanks to MKC for several of the photos, and thanks to the Johansson Project in Oakland for putting together such a great show!


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