New York

Erika Rothenberg

P.P.O.W

Erika Rothenberg maintains a political focus of which her paintings’ format and formal devices are a direct emanation. In Rothenberg’s recent exhibition of works from 1986 and ’87, “New! Ideas for a Better World,” the 11 paintings and an installation were all based on the marketing strategies and story-board structure of television commercials. They develop the notion of advertising infused with moral prescriptions—an idea that she first outlined in her 1983 book, Morally Superior Products—and they demonstrate, more successfully than her previous works, how advertising is inextricably linked with the American political agenda.

All of the paintings consist of single or multipanel canvases painted in acrylic (with, in one work, an additional painted wooden piece). Parodying the aggressive look and techniques of television advertising, they supplement a strident imagistic rhetoric with verbal

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