new-york

Colette

Rempire Gallery / Dorsky Gallery

Colette’s contribution to feminist esthetics has been underrated. Perhaps this is due, in large measure, to the fact that her frankly narcissistic posture unleashes several traits—self-indulgence, childishness, and seduction—that are anathema to mainstream feminism. At a moment, however, when so much of feminist practice verges on zipless decodings, these transgressions amount to a kind of personal realpolitik.

Colette’s show at Dorsky focused on the latest wrinkle in her career, while a concurrent show at Rempire covered the entire crinkly fabric of the last 18 years. The photos at Dorsky were organized around the device of a picture within a picture. In each, one or more figurines clad in puckered Colette-garb observes an artwork of sorts. With light bulbs for heads, her subjects bear an uncanny resemblance to the mannequins Giorgio de Chirico painted. In a related tableau at Rempire

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