Nina Childress Eyelashes, Body Hair and Hair
Nina Childress. Eyelashes, Body Hair and Hair
Since 1980, Nina Childress has created painted works which, under the guise of iconographic heterogeneity, examine the elements shaping Western popular culture. Depiction of the body is always key, even when the approach is allusive or abstract. Yet the body is not just evoked for its own sake, but also as a means of representation. Nina Childress addresses this issue by blurring her images or by “badly” repainting her pieces. She paints celebrities identifiable by their hair, such as Patrick Juvet, to whom an entire room is devoted. Lastly, she uses phosphorescent pigments and plunges certain artworks into semi-darkness, which are then transformed under dim torchlight.
The exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts in La Chaux-de-Fonds traverses Nina Childress’ work from the perspective of the evocation of the body precisely by one of its constituent parts particularly related to the representation of self: hair. The artist applies to it all her painting’s stylistic repertoire. Her work is thus endorsed by one aspect of 20th century art history which made the representation of hair an equivalent of Renaissance drapery: the place for representation by the artist through their style.
Nina Childress was born in 1961 in Pasadena, USA. She lives and works in Paris.
In the Company of
To complement the exhibition’s theme, Nina Childress wished for her paintings to be brought to resonate with those of artists she loves and who have influenced her work. She has accordingly chosen a selection of artworks in which eyelashes, body hair and hair are painted with precision, obsession, virtuosity or fantasy. These are works by Sylvie Fanchon, Caroline Tschumi, Franz Gertsch, Jean-Frédéric Schnyder, Jean-Luc Blanc and Stéphane Zaech.
The writer Fabienne Radi has also been invited to respond by means of a literary piece to Nina Childress’ visual artwork. This has resulted in three new texts on the passion for hair shared by both artists being presented in a micro-press edition available to visitors.