Egle Jauncems started making lemons last summer, in her bid to rival the old masters. The humble lemon exalted in Spanish Baroque still lifes, connotes luxury, nostalgia and melancholia. The lemon, perfectly ripe, is both her companion and seducer, symbol of power, wealth, purity, and not least, her daily salad dressing. On the radio, she remembers Yotam Ottolenghi choosing the lemon tree to take onto his ‘Desert Island’. It connects him to his cooking recipes, but also to the history of trade, migration and painting. Such overheard and overseen fragments will launch Jauncems into a new body of work.
Ambivalent, conflicted representations of masculinity is Jauncems’ core subject. Her wide-ranging practice combines painting, drawing, sculpture, weaving, printmaking, and performance. This exhibition Laesae Majestatis brings together new and recent bodies of work, including a large installation, drawings, paintings and sculpture. Here Jauncems reveals the vulnerabilities of traditional masculine typologies, be they princes, canonical painters, bodybuilders or famous chefs. She extracts humour and eroticism from the frilly excess that accompanies projections of power and competence. Yet her work is a fundamentally empathetic and playful critique, albeit indulging the urge to undress the emperor, to see what might be hiding under his tunic.
Jauncems was active in the alternative music scene in Vilnius, before moving to Taiwan to learn the Chinese language and craft techniques in remote villages, and finally moving to London to study fine art. In 2017, Jauncems graduated from the Royal College of Art, where she was the inaugural David Hockney scholar.
Born in 1984, in Vilnius, Egle Jauncems lives and works in London, where she continues to make lemons