Jansson Stegner is a figurative painter most markedly known for his mannerist depiction of the human form. Although often his staging and handling of paint is reminiscent of traditional European portraiture and 19th-century genre painting, his work is a distinctively modern-day, albeit idealized, depiction of contemporary life. The figure is Stegner's currency - and with an understanding of the established history of Western painting's fixation on the female form – he ascribes exaggerated physiques and poses to the figure, exploring the inversion of gender roles within aspects of authority, dominance, submission and beauty. Stegner’s practice is equally as much a critique of norms of sexuality and attractiveness, as it is a revelation on the psychological structure and process by which beauty is ordered, sustained and perpetuated. Stegner's women have elongated necks, endless thighs and cinched waists against a background littered with object symbolism - Stegner's men also receive the same treatment within their composite tableaux, with elongated forms instead of counterpoint of hyper-masculinity. Stegner’s women can be sardonically read as coquette-ish fantasy, but in truth, his women, like his men, are saturated with palpable power, style and intelligence: their eyes match the viewers gaze, their pliable, long limbs heroic and muscular, and their sexuality is unequivocally their own. Stegner plays with our perception of the human form and narrative tableaux by emulating or subverting art historical canons and subjects under a weighty, contemporary gaze.
Jansson Stegner (b. 1972, Denver; lives and works in California) received his MFA from the University of Albany, New York. Stegner has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions with Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels; Bellwether Gallery, New York; Mike Weiss Gallery, New York, and most recently, Almine Rech Gallery, New York. Stegner was the recipient of the 2010 Art Brussels: Collectors’ Choice Award and was the 2015 Deutsche Bank NYFA Fellow. Stegner is represented by Nino Mier Gallery, Los Angeles and Sorry We’re Closed, Brussels.