Jeanne Jaffe is the recipient of fellowship grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Mid Atlantic/NEA. the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts, the Leeway Foundation,the Virginia A. Groot Foundation, New Forms Regional Grant from the Painted Bride Art Center, and was a sculpture discipline finalist for the Pew Fellowship in the Arts in 1995 and in 1998. Ms Jaffe has had artist’s residencies fellowships at Yaddo Artists Colony, Rutger’s Innovative Printmaking Workshop, New Jersey Printmaking Council, Yellow Springs Institute, and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts.
She is a Professor in the Sculpture department at the University of the Arts. She has also taught at Tyler School of Art and Swarthmore College, as well as in a multi-disciplinary program at the Annenberg Center’s Arts in Education Program at the University of Pennsylvania. Works by Ms. Jaffe have been exhibited both nationally and internationally at such places as The Kitchen, Delaware Art Museum, Hillwood Art Museum, Snug Harbor Cultural Center in Staten Island, Michener Art Museum, The Royal Scottish Academy of Edinburgh, Scotland, Museum Rijswijk in Holland, Museum fur Kunst und Gewerbe in Hamburg, Germany, Language Plus in Quebec, London Craft Council Gallery in England, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, and Fleischer Art Memorial in Philadelphia. Her work is currently represented by Gallery Joe in Philadelphia and has been reviewed extensively, including in Art in America, The New York Times and Sculpture Magazine.
Ms. Jaffe has conducted numerous lectures and workshops to present her work including at Dundee School of Art in Scotland, California College of Art and Craft , SUNY, New Paltz, Moore College of Art, Women’s Studio Workshop in New York State, and Pyramid Atlantic in Washington, D.C.
She has worked on collaborative projects involving her sculpture at The Kitchen in New York City with video artist Peter Rose, at the Painted Bride Art Center in Philadelphia with dancer Leah Stein, and she was commissioned by Arranged Introductions to create a piece in collaboration with Leah Stein for the Arts Bank in Philadelphia in 1995.
Ms. Jaffe’s work is included in many private and public collections in such places as Zimmerli Art Museum, New Brunswick, N.J., the Leeway Foundation, Philadelphia, Pa., Abington Sculpture Garden, Abington, Pa., Rutgers Center for Innovative Printmaking, New Brunswick, N.J., Mosby’s Publications, Phila., Pa., and Museum of Ceramics at Alfred University, Alfred, N.Y.
Jeanne Jaffe holds a B.F.A. from Tyler School of Art and an M.F.A. from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University.
My work explores symbolic mapping systems, giving visual form to abstract thoughts and feelings. Of particular interest are body mapping systems, such as medical anatomical illustrations, mapping of energy systems such as the chakra system, Tantric imagery and the mapping of sexual/spiritual energy, as well as visual language systems such as pictographs and hieroglyphic.
My sculptures function as a mapping system that examines the relationships between early somatic sensations of the body and the symbolic order of language and culture. This map is explored and developed by the creation of hybrid forms- fusions of disparate parts, animate and inanimate, familiar yet strange, inviting recognition while remaining enigmatic and open. Body parts, tools, toys, and biological entities share edges and identities and echo early somatic experiences where the distinction between things are not yet clear, and where boundaries between identities are still fluid.
These forms create an intuitive narrative that refers to visual, tactile, and auditory sensations which were felt before words could describe and thereby distance immediate experience. Longing, repulsion, fear, loss, curiosity, and discovery can all be located in a singular object or grouping of forms. My work has its roots in many historical influences. Archeology, Surrealism, Pop Art, and Animation have all influenced my work. The bold, child like, simplified, pneumatic, and sensual forms of Cartoon animation and a Pop sensibility are fused with the psychosexual overtones, disjunctures, and the dislocations of identity created by Surrealism and the fragmentation found in archaeological remains.
These objects function like pre-verbal thoughts, leading in many directions. This indeterminacy or multi determined quality of an object, memory, text or icon is the subject of my work. A visceral mapping system develops, which contains bodily memories and an open system of signs that is multivalent, mysterious, and available to a multitude of meanings and associations.