Victoria Jeffery can paint "after nature", meaning in a way that almost rivals photography, about as well as any other painter I have seen. Yet it's her non-representational painting, "Blue," that has attracted my attention most.
The notion that color can express mood has become a cliché in art ever since Van Gogh and especially since the German Expressionists. All the more noteworthy that Jeffery can embody this mood in a way that appears so fresh and new.
"Blue" still bears some traces of representational art. We clearly see a sitting, nude female figure, one hand resting upon her lap, the other holding her contemplative--what? For it seems like the young woman's head resembles a breast; like Picasso, Jeffery likes to play with the human form and place body parts--fluidly, compellingly and without the postmodern fragmentation that has become de rigueur in contemporary art--in surprising places. The painting is done in shades of blue: the body is outlined in purple tones that suggest a more frenzied state while the female form rests upon the more peaceful, soft blue of a block on the left. These bluish colors convey a contemplative, frustrated, sad mood that we nonetheless can't fully grasp. Like any psychological state, like expression in art itself, this painting only hints at identifiable emotions but ultimately allows our thoughts and feelings to wonder and circulate. Fraying the borders between representational and non-representational art, "Blue" represents a fluid state.
Professor Claudia Moscovici
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