new-york

Mimi Smith

Anna Kustera Gallery

Cross Meret Oppenheim with Barbara Kruger and you come real close to the acute feminism of Mimi Smith’s art of apparel. A welcome reprise of the excellent survey curated three years ago by Judith Tannenbaum at Philadelphia’s Institute of Contemporary Art, this recent exhibition of Smith’s sculpture and painting from the ’60s to the present began with her “teacups,” early sculptures that have so often served as textbook examples of “feminist art,” and that were to overshadow the next thirty years of her career. (Oppenheim suffered a similar fate—until the Guggenheim’s recent survey proved how extensively her oeuvre went beyond the 1936 fur-lined object.) Bringing Smith’s reputation up to date was one of the accomplishments of this recent gallery show.

Smith’s most famous work, Steel Wool Peignoir, 1966, deserves a place of honor in some museum’s permanent collection. It comes, like a sleeping

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