JANET WERNER + SANDRA MEIGS
VIVIANEART is pleased to present I Feel Real; a two-person exhibition featuring accomplished Canadian artists, Janet Werner and Sandra Meigs. A powerhouse pairing, this exhibition realizes the artists’ long-held desire to work together, each admiring the work of the other for its honesty and rigor. Enticed by the quirky combination of their respective voices, when they first sat down to discuss the show Werner and Meigs talked about dolls, mannequins, vintage toys, the construction of characters and scale. They then returned to their studios, each taking her own unique path, to create these works.
For Sandra Meigs, the process began with her memories of the paper dolls she used to play with as a child. She created 3-dimensional miniature models using fruits and vegetables and painted them “from life” onto gessoed paper. These were then cut out. For Meigs, this was a very exciting part of the process, “I like them because as soon as you cut them out they seem to come to life”. She then set them against painted backdrops borrowed from various art historical references.
In her paintings, Janet Werner continues her exploration of what she calls, “the fictional female portrait”. Mining imagery from magazines and catalogues she uses collage to create characters that she then recreates in paint. Her pared down backdrops often include evidence of this process with overlapping pages and post it notes.
Taken together the paintings for I Feel Real effectively challenge traditional ideals of beauty and display in art history and popular culture with distinctive humor and intellect.
Janet Werner’s work appears courtesy of Parisian Laundry, Montreal
Sandra Meigs was born in Baltimore Maryland and moved to Canada in 1973. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design and went on to complete her Master of Philosophy at Dalhousie University. She taught art for over 25 years, most of those years spent at the University of Victoria. Since her retirement from teaching, she moved to Hamilton, Ontario where she lives and works. In 2015 Meigs was the recipient of a Governor Generals Award in Arts. That same year she was awarded the Gershon Iskowitz Prize in Visual Art. In 2017 she was named a Fellow of the Royal Society of Canada. She has been featured in numerous exhibitions including a 2017 solo presentation entitled Room For Mystics at the Art Gallery of Ontario. She has work in the collection of The National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, The Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Musée d’Art Contemporain, Montreal and the Canada Council Art Bank among others.
Janet Werner was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. She completed her Bachelor of Fine Art degree at Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and went on to complete her Masters of Fine Art at Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. She taught painting and drawing at the University of Saskatchewan from 1987 to 1999. Since 1999, she has been part of the studio arts faculty at Concordia University, Montreal. Her work has been featured in multiple exhibitions including the touring solo exhibition, Another Perfect Day, which showed at the Esker Foundation, Calgary in 2013 and her current solo exhibition at The Art Gallery of Guelph entitled What time is it Mr. Wolf? The placement of Werner’s works in collections of note is extensive and includes: Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, Musée d’ Art Contemporain, Montreal, Musée National des beaux-arts du Québec, The Canadian Embassy, Berlin, and the Canada Council Art Bank, Ottawa, among others.
Purchase the “I Feel Real” catalogue online at VIVIANEART.STORE or through the gallery directly.