New York

Mary Beth Edelson

A.I.R. Gallery

Mary Beth Edelson’s work at A.I.R. Gallery is avowedly feminist; it’s about fabricating and discovering images that glorify women. Artist as spiritual Prometheus plunges deep into her subconscious to bring back the dripping symbols for the new world. That’s what I gather from the archival quantity of material—including texts both boxed and bound, and large yellow paper collages bestrewn with pencilled quotes, strips of photos, symbological indexes, and larger motifs (mostly circles and wavy lines)—that she’s unloaded for this exhibition. Unlike ’30s Surrealists and ’50s abstractionists concerned with myth-making and archetype retrieval, Edelson neither obscures her symbology nor heroizes herself. Instead, launched within a conventional lectern Conceptual all-white installation, Edelson has constructed her works to perform a didactic function.

In Outward/Inward, a white-painted table and

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