Bonnie Lucas, Smiling Girl, 1983, mixed media, 30 × 21 1/2".

Bonnie Lucas


Bonnie Lucas, Smiling Girl, 1983, mixed media, 30 × 21 1/2".

Since the 1970s, Bonnie Lucas has been reconfiguring the icks and discomforts of feminine aesthetics, revealing the precise flavor of subjugation imposed by sweetie-pie girlishness. Combining frilly garments, plush animals, hair grips, jelly shoes, flowers, bunnies, decorated eggs, wedding cake figurines, sequins, baby toys, and ballet ribbons, the artist constructs unstable bodies that burst open at the seams. “Young Lady,” at JTT, curated by Marie Catalano, was a timely presentation of works made by the artist between 1983 and 1987: intricate, wall-based assemblages she calls “object collages,” and small paintings that have been accumulating in Lucas’s apartment in New York’s Little Italy for decades.

The earliest works in the show were the object collages, in which Lucas brings various items together to create delirious portraits, such as Smiling Girl, 1983, a white face with

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