Jean Conner’s (b. 1933 in Nebraska) practice encompasses painting and drawing in addition to collage, the medium for which she is best known. Her imagined scenes —playful and uncanny, but formally sophisticated — are knotty riddles in which people, images, and places come together in extraordinary, and often impossible, ways. Colorful and seductive in their intimacy, they are subversive and slyly humorous — in the spirit of the Dada movement.
With imagery taken primarily from advertisements in the women’s magazines that developed in the American post-war economic boom, she fragments, re-contextualizes and re-stages narratives of middle class life. The resulting representations leave the viewer to re-orient their Madison Avenue-manipulated aspirations to align with Conner’s rule-bending reality.
TOO MANY COOKS was included in the artist’s career spanning 2022 retrospective at the San Jose Museum of Art, San Jose, CA.