Wendy Vogel

  • Sara Greenberger Rafferty, Untitled (detail), 2018, ink-jet-printed vinyl, grommets, 10 x 35'.
    picks October 02, 2018

    Sara Greenberger Rafferty

    Dramatically unfurling down the entryway of this gallery, a thirty-five-foot-long, untitled ink-jet-on-vinyl piece (all works 2018) hangs from grommets, on which Sara Greenberger Rafferty seems to have dumped the contents of her Google Drive. Dotted with rectangular icons ordered roughly by color, the work reveals Rafferty’s preoccupations with various kinds of staging. In it are a number of selfies the artist took in a Dior shirt that pays homage to art historian Linda Nochlin—emblazoned across it is “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists,” the title of Nochlin’s famous 1971 essay—alongside

  • Ruby Sky Stiler, Seated Woman (Facing Right), 2018, acid-free foamcore, aqua-resin, paint, graphite, and thermal adhesive on panel, 50 x 60".
    picks September 21, 2018

    Ruby Sky Stiler

    Feminists have made a project of decoupling womanhood from motherhood, even going so far as to denaturalize it. This impulse informs groundbreaking bodies of work, such as Mary Kelly’s Post-Partum Document, 1973–79, a conceptual piece that records the parent-child relationship through various means, such as diary entries and stained diapers. But there are fewer examples of how paternity might be reimagined—even celebrated—through this lens.

    In “Fathers,” Ruby Sky Stiler applies her syncretic method to depicting the intimacies of fatherhood. Her reliefs, grids of painted foamcore panels, make

  • Justine Kurland, Bathroom, 1997, C-print, 11 × 14".

    Justine Kurland

    A few years after Justine Kurland started shooting her “Girl Pictures,” 1997–2002, she was dubbed a “girl photographer.” Although the label feels limiting, if not downright misogynistic, Kurland artistically came of age in the 1990s, a decade that celebrated the more renegade aspects of female adolescence. The “Riot Grrrl Manifesto,” published in a zine put out by feminist punk band Bikini Kill in 1991, plainly stated the case for reclaiming the word: “BECAUSE we are angry at a society that tells us Girl = Dumb, Girl = Bad, Girl = Weak.”

    At Mitchell-Innes & Nash, Kurland’s series, exhibited for

  • NAAMA TSABAR

    The famous guitar smashers of history have traditionally been men: Jimi Hendrix, Pete Townshend, Kurt Cobain. Naama Tsabar first appropriated this macho gesture in a 2014 performance, during which she wielded her instrument like an ax to destroy the stage. Tsabar’s recent sonic sculptures merge the visual language of Minimalism with raw acoustic power. Activated by female-identified performers and audiences, these works question the auratic untouchability of the art object and the gendered conventions of popular music. For “Melody of a Certain Damage” at CCA Tel Aviv—which

  • Wide Rainbows curatorial director Lola Kramer, Bevin Butler, artist Elizabeth Jaeger, Wide Rainbows founder Ashley Gail Harris, curator Eliza Ryan, Morgan Connellee, and Wide Rainbows director Maia Ruth Lee. (Photo: Dan McMahon)
    diary May 18, 2018

    She Brakes for Rainbows

    IT’S HARD FOR ME to feel at home at most “gala season” events. For starters, I can’t hold my alcohol. I also start to feel a serious disconnect between my roots—as the Jersey-born offspring of a family of public school teachers—and the way certain sectors of the art world court the one percent. Not to mention the fact that soigné events almost never take place in my neighborhood.

    But Wide Rainbow’s first annual gala on May 14 was the exception to the rule. The nonprofit organization, founded three years ago by Ashley Gail Harris, is a DIY female-empowerment engine providing free after-school arts

  • Isaac Pool, Starter Pack, 2017, ceramic and wire base, plastic cucumber, rubber band, lightbulb, eyeliner, mascara, and Heatherette for MAC lipgloss, 16 x 6 x 4".
    picks February 09, 2018

    Isaac Pool

    “Good sister, bad sister / better burn that dress, sister / scar tissue blood blister / suck upon the dregs, sister.” The lyrics to this Hole song, from their unrelentingly rage-filled 1991 album Pretty on the Inside, are chanted like a spell by the actors in Isaac Pool’s object-play 40 Volume, 2016. The work stars four sculptures on pedestals (moved from the gallery into an adjacent black-box space for the performance’s two-night run). The characters, voiced live by actors, include a robust head of fennel—the diva—and three vases composed of tube socks suggestively encrusted with hair gel. The

  • Ebecho Muslimova, Fatebe Self Possession, 2017, acrylic and gouache on canvas, 42 x 60".
    picks January 12, 2018

    Ebecho Muslimova

    It’s one thing for a woman to be nasty; it’s quite another thing for her to be unapologetically fat. A little over a year ago, before the #MeToo movement showed the power of collective voices by calling out sexual abusers, Donald Trump deflected criticism, during the presidential debates, about his misogynist attitudes by throwing Rosie O’Donnell’s body up as a rhetorical shield. Add Rosie to a list of full-figured feminists who are brash, excessive, and unafraid of men’s opinions of their bodies. Also enter Fatebe, the flexible, bug-eyed, ultravoluptuous avatar of the Russian-born artist Ebecho

  • View of “Françoise Grossen,” 2017–18.
    picks December 15, 2017

    Françoise Grossen

    In the two years since septuagenarian Swiss-born artist Françoise Grossen mounted her first show here, several institutional exhibitions have positioned her as one of the most inventive fiber artists of her generation. Grossen’s strange, corporeal forms speak to her eclectic training—she studied architecture and textiles in Europe, got an MFA in California, and spent a great deal of time in Africa, observing various craft techniques. This show features twenty works from 1970 to the early 1990s, showcasing the breadth of a practice that, as she describes it, “broke with the wall.”

    Based in New

  • Jessica Vaughn, South Beach Blue No. 389, 2017, fabric scraps on Plexiglas, 57 x 39 x 1/2".
    picks November 17, 2017

    Jessica Vaughn

    Earlier this fall, Omer Fast drew the ire of Chinatown antigentrification activists for his installation at James Cohan’s downtown space, which mimicked a stereotypical neighborhood discount storefront. Jessica Vaughn’s current exhibition, “Receipt of a Form,” confronts similar issues of urban movement and displacement, but she wields her materials with a lighter hand. Vaughn’s modus operandi is simple: She relocates the everyday elements of city life, such as worn-out public-transportation seats and their upholstery scraps, into the gallery. Yet her sculptural works mostly function as frames

  • Victoria Fu, Double Curtain 1, 2017, dye sublimation print on silk, 17' 1“ x 8' 4”.
    picks September 22, 2017

    Victoria Fu

    The California-based artist Victoria Fu appropriates the tactics of illusion used within theater, film, and digital media. Double Curtain 1 (all works 2017), a dramatic piece near the entrance to her exhibition, is coldly spotlit on one side by a digital projector. Printed images on the work’s two diaphanous curtains—hanging back-to-back from a rod suspended from the ceiling—appear to match. But the front-facing curtain, its imagery originally filmed on 16-mm and then digitized, depicts a still from an abstract screen saver full of colorful paint daubs floating against a heavily pixelated

  • Sanford Biggers, BAM (Seated Warrior), 2017, polished bronze, fabric, 78 x 24 x 24". From the series “BAM,” 2015–17.
    picks September 15, 2017

    Sanford Biggers

    Two years after the debut of Sanford Biggers’s controversial sculpture Laocöon, 2015—an inflatable ten-foot-long rendition of the 1970s cartoon character Fat Albert, laid out like a corpse (a eulogy to African Americans murdered by police and to the “character assassination” of Bill Cosby, according to the artist)—he has retooled his kill-your-idols theme. For “Selah,” Biggers moves away from depicting literal scenes of black death toward a more symbolically complicated process where icons of black culture are both cannibalized and consecrated. The exhibition features several sculptures from

  • Sofiyah McCormack, Chin up, 2017, watercolor and collage on paper, 15 x 11".
    picks September 01, 2017

    “Pearls”

    “I don’t enjoy it here / squatting on this island / looking picturesque and mythical,” says the narrator of Margaret Atwood’s 1974 poem “Siren Song,” a second-wave-feminist retort to Homer’s amphibious temptresses in the Odyssey. Today, it appears that sirens have been culturally domesticated, seen less as femmes fatales than as ethereal beauty inspirations for #mermaidhair and #seawitch looks. “Pearls,” curated by Natalie Yang, brings together works by seven female artists in their early twenties who reclaim the siren as a symbol of desire, ecosorcery, and vulnerability.

    A recent New York