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Judith Bernstein, HOOVER COCK, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 84 × 84".

Judith Bernstein

Mary Boone Gallery | Chelsea

Judith Bernstein, HOOVER COCK, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 84 × 84".

Judith Bernstein doesn’t mince words—or symbols. Her solo exhibition “Dicks of Death” at Mary Boone Gallery, curated by Piper Marshall, featured a wealth of phallic imagery, from scatological cock-faces and engorged missiles to handsomely forbidding screws. Part of an ongoing rediscovery of a prolific and extraordinary artist who was overlooked for decades, this show paired a selection of Bernstein’s early works with recent paintings to focus on her sharp appraisal of US foreign policy. Fueled by a potent mix of castrating ridicule and antiwar rage, her critique is rendered in the most bellicose visual terms—that is, in the vernacular of men’s-room graffiti.

As a graduate student at Yale in the 1960s, she was inspired by the ubiquitous dick drawings and homosocial musings produced by her classmates as they used the toilet. Works from this period filled the back gallery,

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