Jennifer Packer creates expressionist portraits, interior scenes, and still lifes that suggest a casual intimacy. Packer views her works as the result of an authentic encounter and exchange. The models for her portraits – commonly friends or family members – are relaxed and seemingly unaware of the artist’s or viewer’s gaze.
Packer’s paintings are rendered in loose line and brush stroke using a limited color palette, often to the extent that her subject merges with or retreats into the background. Suggesting an emotional and psychological depth, her work is enigmatic, avoiding a straightforward reading. “I think about images that resist, that attempt to retain their secrets or maintain their composure, that put you to work,” she explains. “I hope to make works that suggest how dynamic and complex our lives and relationships really are.”
Born in 1984 in Philadelphia, Jennifer Packer received her BFA from the Tyler University School of Art at Temple University in 2007, and her MFA from Yale University School of Art in 2012. She was the 2012-2013 Artist-in-Residence at the Studio Museum in Harlem, and a Visual Arts Fellow at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA, from 2014-2016. Her most recent solo show, Tenderheaded, exhibited at the Renaissance Society, Chicago in the fall of 2017 before travelling to the Rose Museum at Brandeis University in March of 2018. Packer currently lives and works in New York and is an assistant professor in the painting department at RISD.