Los Angeles

Erika Rothenberg

Rosamund Felsen Gallery

In their seven separate guises, the paintings and sculptures by Erika Rothenberg shown here moan the same infuriating note. It is the bleak, generalized utterance of futility and blame. The title of the show bluntly says it all: “America, the Perfect Country.” This kind of sarcasm elicits an equally taunting response. When Rothenberg’s not scolding her audience for being sexist, superficially altruistic, narrow-minded, ill-informed, and naive about themselves and the people around them, she’s announcing that the American conscience isn’t as spotless as it’s advertised to be. Is an art audience ready for this shocking information?

In Sex Piece (all works, 1989), three texts hover above pedestals displaying three corresponding plastic objects. Above a small purse, one reads, “74% of American women like money more than sex.” Above a fabricated McDonald’s hamburger and fries are the words,

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