reviews

Romina Bassu, Intervallo (Interval), 2017, acrylic on canvas, 39 3/8 x 31 1/2".

Romina Bassu

Studio SALES di Norberto Ruggeri

Romina Bassu, Intervallo (Interval), 2017, acrylic on canvas, 39 3/8 x 31 1/2".

In “Male Gaze,” Romina Bassu explored a certain model of femininity whose genesis can be traced back to the idea of the mindless, submissive, “perfect” housewife of the 1950s. Inspired by vintage photos, films, and TV ads she has collected for years, the Italian artist borrows atmospheres and poses from that era to look beneath its pervasive and subtly abusive propaganda for a world built around the demands of dominant male culture and the consumer society. While the female subjects of Bassu’s paintings are defined by the artifice of their socially prescribed roles, she alters their appearance to intensify the grotesque element of their unnatural perfection.

The nine paintings in this show, with their rapid, fresh brushwork, are animated by a sense of absurdity and sarcasm in which the mordant irony of the artist’s own critical gaze counters the tyrannical male gaze. The focus is

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 March 2018 issue for $17 or the ONLINE EDITION for $5.99.

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