Skip to content

Joan Semmel



Big Orange, 1992, Oil On Canvas

Big Orange, 1992

Oil On Canvas

68h x 96w in (172.72h x 243.84w cm)

Overlays Series "Twins", 1973/1992, Oil on canvas

Overlays Series "Twins", 1973/1992

Oil on canvas

68h x 58w in (172.72h x 147.32w cm)

Bottoms Up, 1992, Oil On Canvas

Bottoms Up, 1992

Oil On Canvas

68h x 78w in (172.72h x 198.12w cm)

The Overlays series (1992—96), combines conceptual and formal concerns that echo many of Joan Semmel’s previous investigations. For this body of work, she used pre-existing paintings from her Erotic Series (1972) as a background for gestural images of nude, middle-aged female bodies taken from her prior Locker-Room paintings (1988—91). These works represent a fertile moment of formal experimentation as Semmel began exploring color and transparencies—compositional elements that she continues to refine in her present day work. Writing about this series, she observes, “both non-naturalistic color and linear overlays of complementary or contrasting images, again recall abstract elements, but also provoke a suggestion of time, motion, or memory.”