Jaqueline Cedar Interview - The Hopper Prize

Jaqueline Cedar

Jaqueline Cedar on working towards an upcoming solo exhibition, paintings as visual poems, & juggling roles as a painter, educator, & gallerist.

How did you get into making art?

I started taking classes in photography and painting in middle school and became obsessed with figure drawing in high school. Growing up in a family of actors and filmmakers, I was always interested in the mannered ways in which people move through space and connect with each other physically/emotionally. In college I started focusing on different ways to incorporate these ideas into my 2D and 3D work.

What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on a group of small paintings (all 7×5 and 10×8 inches) for an upcoming solo exhibition at Shelter Gallery NYC opening October 2023.

I think of these recent paintings as visual poems.

Jaqueline Cedar

What inspired you to get started on this body of work?

I think of these recent paintings as visual poems. They each pull from fleeting moments in dreams or daily observations that I’m working to slow down in translating the imagery from memory.

Do you work on distinct projects or do you take a broader approach to your practice?

I tend to take a broader approach to my practice in that I work fairly responsively in gathering information and material for content. I collect ideas (phrases, images) and record them daily in lists of words and sketches. When it’s time to begin a new body of work certain imagery and language float to the top of my mind and I pull from these notes in selecting which group of images will bump up against each other in dynamic ways.

What’s a typical day like in your studio?

I have a pretty erratic schedule but my general routine involves some teaching in the morning, painting in the afternoon, and gallery work at night. I juggle three roles as a painter, educator, and gallerist and I find that each job feeds my overall sensibility as an artist and creative professional. My studio is in my apartment so I spend a lot of time there regardless of whether or not I’m actively developing new work. I love being able to stay up late with the paintings after everyone else has gone to bed. Fewer distractions and lots of time and space to think and get connected with process.

Who are your favorite artists?

There are many but I often come back to Paul Klee as a major influence in terms of his poetic sensibility with line and color. There is a sensitivity and simplicity of forms that I find magical and surprising. I love the way Bonnard conceals figures in space. Balthus does psychological drama well. I’m totally inspired by the way Faith Ringold tells stories.

Where do you go to discover new artists?

Museums. The internet. Gallery openings. Also, when I travel I like to seek out contemporary artist studios – it’s so awesome to get a window into how artists live/work in different cities around the world.

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