Rachel Feinstein


There’s something slyly diabolical about Rachel Feinstein’s imaginary universe. The American sculptor is fixated on the most hedonistic and decorative manifestations of eighteenth- and early-nineteenth-century European court culture, whose visual codes she seems to enjoy re-creating in her own cultural backyard, but in an increasingly poisoned and desiccated way. Her sculpture used to be brightly colored; now it has become ghostly white and gray. To call this increasing austerity puritanical would make it sound too pious. Instead, hers is a sort of gleefully sabotaged rococo. This artist sets dreams afloat, only to slay them.

Feinstein’s second solo show in London was presided over by the formidable Aunt Pittypat (all works 2002), a half-length portrait of a middle-aged woman painted on an oval mirror in a slipshod, Fragonard-esque style in white and gray enamel (with a touch of pink). She

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