new-york

Evelyne Axell, Valentine, 1966, oil on canvas, gold leaf spray paint, zipper, helmet, 52 3/8 x 32 5/8".

Evelyne Axell

BROADWAY 1602 | Uptown

Evelyne Axell, Valentine, 1966, oil on canvas, gold leaf spray paint, zipper, helmet, 52 3/8 x 32 5/8".

Cut short by a fatal car crash in 1972, Evelyne Axell’s career burned fast and bright. At the age of twenty-eight, the Belgian artist abandoned a promising career in acting and took up painting, enlisting René Magritte for a year of bimonthly art lessons as she developed a style characterized by lusty, unembarrassed sexuality, vibrant colors, and groovy, psychedelic Pop-Futurism. Axell’s well-received show at Broadway 1602 in 2009 introduced her to New York audiences. This more recent exhibition, “The Great Journey into Space,” again emphasized her utopian inclinations, while problematizing claims that her vision of utopia is straightforwardly proto-feminist.

The show’s centerpiece was Valentine, 1966, an assemblage striking for the unsolemn way in which it commemorates its lofty subject, Valentina Tereshkova, the pioneering Soviet cosmonaut and first woman in space. On a

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