los-angeles

Allison Schulnik, Pink Shells, 2012, oil on canvas and board, 16 x 20".

Allison Schulnik

Mark Moore Gallery

Allison Schulnik, Pink Shells, 2012, oil on canvas and board, 16 x 20".

For such gendered mythological creatures, mermaids have a peculiarly sexless anatomy, at least below their scaled hips. So when Allison Schulnik paints a work like Mermaid with Legs (all works cited, 2012)—a large canvas depicting a seated nude spreading her legs to the viewer—she grants these half-women not only their sexuality but their personhood too. Similarly positioned, Mermaid with Legs #2 features a figure surrounded by brushy, flowerlike patterns that radiate across the surface of the canvas. Included in her recent exhibition “Salty Air,” these pictures are typical of Schulnik’s candy-colored impastos of marginal, otherworldly characters. However, this body of work expanded the artist’s language to include a brash, quasi-feminist/polygendered visual vocabulary.

In this group of thirty-one works—a family of oil paintings, sculptures, and works in gouache on

Sign-in to keep reading

Artforum print subscribers have full access to this article. If you are a subscriber, sign in below.

Not registered for artforum.com? Register here.

SUBSCRIBE NOW for only $50 a year—65% off the newsstand price—and get the print magazine plus full online access to this issue and our archive.*

Order the PRINT EDITION of the October 2012 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

* This rate applies to U.S. domestic subscriptions.