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Chantal Joffe, Victoria Miro Gallery | reviews, news & interviews

Chantal Joffe, Victoria Miro Gallery

Chantal Joffe, Victoria Miro Gallery

Theory and art battle it out: art wins, just

Chantal Joffe: 'Untitled' (2010)All pictures courtesy Victoria Miro Gallery

Chantal Joffe first came to attention in the 1990s with a series of paintings reproducing pornographic images, using a typically thick, impastoed paint and heavy brushstroke to depict hard-core acts in a defiantly flat, emotionless tone. Since then she has moved on, first to paintings reproducing fashion photographs, and now, in her new show, to images that re-imagine 19th-century aspects of femininity and femaleness in a 20th-century mash-up of psychology, anthropology and literary and art history. This sounds, unfortunately, rather less appealing than it is, for the images themselves mostly reward attention, even if the theoretical statements behind them have become increasingly divorced from meaning.

The images reward attention, even if the theory behind them has become increasingly divorced from meaning

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