Spotlight: Artist Roxana Halls’s Depictions of Women Skewer Societal Expectations
Halls's work will be featured by TW Fine Art at Scope art fair in Miami.
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Figurative painter Roxana Halls (b. 1974) is best known for her depictions of women who don’t neatly fit into traditional societal roles or conform to cultural expectations. Originally from Plaistow, London, Halls had an early interest in theater, performance, and acting, which is evidenced by her penchant for creating dramatic compositions that evoke movement and capture moments. Though she completed a course at the Plymouth College of Art and Design, Halls is largely self-taught, learning through rigorous practice and studying art at museums such as the National Gallery, London. Alongside her artistic practice, Hall is also a curator and educator, having undertaken curatorial projects with galleries across London, and has appeared at interview events on both BBC Radio Four and BBC One.
Mining lived experiences, memory, and photographs, and influenced by art history and philosophy, Hall deftly captures the zeitgeist of womanhood in contemporary times. Materiality and physical environment are core elements of the artist’s pictorial worlds, conveying a sense of immediacy and relatability with an alluring glamour and sardonic humor.
Within her oeuvre, Hall has created a number of intriguing and long-running series such as “Laughing While” (2012–2019). In these compositions, Hall explores the idea of “self-surveillance,” or the manner in which women police themselves or are influenced by prevailing notions of accepted conduct. In the work Carvery (2013), for example, Hall uses her self-portrait and food as starting points to investigate the reciprocities that can be found between what we eat and personal identity—employing elements of nostalgia to reference the lifetime scope of the project.
Meanwhile, Threesome (2018) taps into cliché representations of the female body and frames it within ideas of the gaze, both male and female. Underpinning the series are the writings of theorists Laura Mulvey and Hélène Cixous, as well as photographer JEB (Joan E Biren), engaging with concepts of perception and visibility.
This year, Hall was the subject of a solo exhibition at Haus Kunst Mitte Museum in Berlin, “Die Augen der Roxana Halls,” and forthcoming her work will be showcased with TW Fine Art at Scope art fair in Miami Beach, Florida. TW Fine Art—a gallery recognized for fostering and promoting thought-provoking projects and platforming artistic talent. Ahead of the fair, explore some of Halls’ most intriguing artworks with TW Fine Art.
Explore Roxana Halls work with TW Fine Art here.
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