New York

Sue Williams

303 Gallery

In 2000, the New Yorker congratulated Sue Williams on her metamorphosis from “the angriest woman in the art world” to a “sort of blissed-out innocent,” a feminist turned formalist (as if these terms were mutually exclusive) who nonetheless was still resigned to playing “Ginger Rogers” to Willem de Kooning’s “Fred Astaire.” Now, five years later, such insidiously sycophantic gender politics are all but displaced, even if it is hard to see Williams’s recent work apart from her earlier agitprop exercises in aggressive desublimation. But perhaps that’s the point. Here as elsewhere, Williams’s work challenges easy circumscription—as style, as ideology, as teleology, and as rhetoric—and likewise refuses neat definition. Her apocalyptic wallpaper renders power, whether patriarchal or otherwise, potently visceral, productively slipping the noose of absolutist readings with each gummy

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