Inside the Studio

Jenny Hager

What are the major themes you pursue in your work?

I am currently investigating an ambiguous, constructed, and animated space that utilizes open, abstracted imagery in order to bypass or delay immediate recognition and access a state of suspended wonder.  Central to this is the creation of painting as palimpsest through process, negation, and reinterpretation in the service of exploring the tension between the explicable and inexplicable, whether it be celestial, spiritual, the natural world, or other.

What was the best advice given to you as an artist?

Pursue the highest education possible, then spend years forgetting what you learned. Have the courage to destroy any work that does not lead to more questions.

Prefer to work with music or in silence?

There are many days that I listen to NPR in order to not  feel completely isolated in the studio and maintain a connection with the wider world. However, when I need to move more deeply into the work, I listen to deep house or witch house through headphones, creating a space divorced from concerns of everyday life and reflection.

If you could only have one piece of art in your life, what would it be?

Leon Golub’s “Wounded Sphinx, 1988.”

Who are your favorite writers?

Vladimir Nabokov, Joyce Carol Oates, Andrew Forge, William Durell, Haruki Murakami, and Natania Rosenfeld.