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PRINT January 2020

Artist Project: Michele Abeles

Michele Abeles, Couch, 2019, offset print, dimensions variable.

WHEN ARTFORUM invited MICHELE ABELES to photograph the reinvented Museum of Modern Art, she refused paeans to architecture or views of works in situ. Instead she zoomed in on the overlooked surfaces, training her gimlet eye on the museum’s armature of hospitality—the seatings’ black leather, the fountains’ brushed stainless steel.

In her project, Abeles denatures the macho hallmarks of the modern—the disarticulated nudes, expansive grids, and expressive splooges. She gives us a gestural drip across one of Florence Knoll’s iconic quilted benches; an Ouroboros of rubber-lined alligator nipple clamps; a modish clitoral stimulator balancing a reflection of Sol LeWitt’s Wall Drawing #1144: Broken Bands of Color in Four Directions, 2004. Perverting without titillating, she somehow, incredibly, shows us the museum as we have never seen it before.

Michele Abeles, Paddle, Charm, Mirror, Lube, 2019, offset print, dimensions variable.

Michele Abeles, Vibrator, 2019, offset print, dimensions variable.

Michele Abeles, Faucet, Sink, Water, 2019, offset print, dimensions variable.

Michele Abeles, Nipple Clamps, 2019, offset print, dimensions variable.

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