Canadian, b. 1959
Girl with Red Shirt, 2005
oil on canvas
203.2 x 167.6 cm
Collection of the Winnipeg Art Gallery; Gift of an anonymous donor
One of Canada’s leading figurative painters, Janet Werner was born and raised in Winnipeg, but is now based out of Montreal, where she teaches painting at Concordia University. The inspiration for Girl with Red Shirt is a magazine advertisement for children’s clothing. In this painting, Janet Werner reduces this image to the most abstract elements, both simplifying and enlarging the original source in a grand manner. Starting with a hot-pink ground, the work is exquisitely crafted using multiple layers of paint. For the artist, models are like blank canvases, which can be adorned with one’s imagination to create invented personas of a sort. Although a child, the sitter in the painting takes on adult characteristics.