zurich

Lucy Stein, Gambas al Pil-Pil, 2011, oil on canvas, 47 1/4 x 35 1/2".

Lucy Stein

Galerie Gregor Staiger

Lucy Stein, Gambas al Pil-Pil, 2011, oil on canvas, 47 1/4 x 35 1/2".

After an interviewer in 2009 asked the then thirty-year-old Lucy Stein how her career had thus far been marked by feminism, the Glasgow-based English artist noted, “I fully expect to be marginalized and then become a grande dame and then a ‘treasure’ at the age of eighty or so, the usual trajectory for a woman making so-called raw paintings.” Her acerbic answer evoked a rainbow of greats: from late-life images by painters Maria Lassnig, Alice Neel, and Joan Semmel, to sculptors such as the Louises Bourgeois and Nevelson—all scraped-back hair and jutting, geometric jewelry—each of whose careers might fit this depressingly familiar narrative, “raw painting” or not. But Stein’s offhand remark also contains the wit, wile, ambition, irony, and, yes, feminism of her practice itself, which attends to the history of painting and then takes it, with virtuosity and intelligence

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