Born 1958 in Woburn, Massachusetts
Lives and Works in Brooklyn, New York
Dawn Clements’s large-scale drawings depict interior domestic spaces, either her own surroundings or those in classic 1940s and 1950s Hollywood melodramas. She is especially interested in the idea of the home as a place of both comfort and confinement: “They are places, no matter how beautiful and wonderful they may appear, that are incarcerating of all these characters. The doors may be unlocked, but somehow the women can’t walk out the door.”
Mrs. Jessica Drummond’s (‘My Reputation,’ 1946) portrays the main character—a recent widow whose new romance with a man in the military sets tongues wagging—in the film My Reputation lying in bed the morning after her husband’s funeral. This drawing is a composite of several scenes of the film that were shot in Drummond’s bedroom. The different moments and angles reflect the pan of the camera, recording its shifts in focus and scale as it moves across the room.
Clements draws directly from objects or images; she never invents elements to complete a picture. Her dedication to working from images—in this drawing she uses parts of My Reputation paused on screen—often results in gaps or omissions and a flattening of space and time. The result is an image that appears seamless but is in fact uncannily distorted—a constructed portrait of a space, both physical and psychological.
Read About the Artist
Offering an intimate look into 2010 artist Dawn Clements' studio, this video includes footage of Clements watching My Reputation (1945), the film that her drawing Mrs. Jessica Drummond's ("My Reputation", 1945) is based upon.