New York

Judith Bernstein

Mitchell Algus Gallery

Those familiar with Judith Bernstein’s work tend to know it for only one reason—its role in a fiasco. Horizontal, 1973, her charcoal drawing of a screwlike penis (or a penile screw?), was infamously withheld from a Museum of the Philadelphia Civic Center exhibition titled “Women’s Work: American Art 1974,” sparking protests from fellow artists and reducing Bernstein to the status of a lightning rod. Whether because of this incident or not, she has skirted the art world’s fringes ever since, showing mostly in group exhibitions. Her last solo effort in New York was in 1984 at women’s collective and exhibition space A.I.R. Gallery. Since then, she’s become one of a slew of first-wave American feminist artists to slip through the canon’s cracks, something that “WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution” (currently on view at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center) gestures toward rectifying.

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