Jane Lewis from the UK - Girl with a Toy Cat

Girl with a Toy Cat 2014 

Oil on canvas


Jane Lewis first thought of the composition for ‘Girl With a Toy Cat’ many years ago. She abandoned the idea at the time and reworked it at a later stage, making what was initially a real cat into a toy or a puppet cat. The artist explains how she was ‘pleased to see that the toy animal became rather ambivalent and also looked a bit like a monkey’. In the girl’s earrings you can read words from a poem by Christopher Smart, "For I Will Consider my Cat Jeoffry". It reads: ‘for he can spraggle and waggle at the word of command.’

About the Artist: Jane Lewis studied at the Slade School of Art at UCL, where she won the prestigious Slade Prize upon her graduation. Her successful entrance into the art world was followed by residencies, fellowships and commissions, among others by the Kent Opera in 1985. Her technique is influenced by early Italian and Northern European Renaissance artists, strengthened by study-visits to Italy to research Roman frescoes at Pompeii, Herculaneum and Ostia. Regularly occurring elements in Lewis’s works are cats, masks, sculptural works and geometrical shapes executed in serene colours that radiate a dreamlike sensa- tion. Lewis has exhibited works at The National Portrait Gallery (London), The Institute for Contemporary Art and Whitechapel Art Gallery, as well as at galleries throughout the United Kingdom and internationally.

text by Jesse Voetman