Cathy Wilkes, Untitled, 2010, oil on canvas, 9 7/8 x 14 1/8"


Cathy Wilkes

Aspen Art Museum
637 East Hyman
May 20–July 17

Curated by Heidi Zuckerman Jacobson

In his 2009 essay “Painting Beside Itself,” David Joselit makes an argument for a new mode of artistic “transitivity”—in certain contemporary practices, he claims, paintings are not so much isolated, autonomous things as parts of larger, more complicated systems of association (networks is Joselit’s word). Cathy Wilkes’s work, which is installation based and yet strikingly medium-specific in its components, hews to such a description, while pointing provocatively to the gendered aspect of nearly every aspect of our cultural milieu. For her first one-person museum show in the US, the Glasgow-based artist has opted to focus on a single aspect of her multifaceted practice: painting. Installing some twenty canvases produced over the past seven years, Wilkes will be asking her paintings to stand alone, separate from the hybrid constructions of her installations, leaving their normally conspicuous “transitivity” to be inferred.