New York

Hannah Wilke, So Help Me Hannah Series: Portrait of the Artist with Her Mother, Selma Butter, 1978–81, two Cibachrome prints, each 42 × 31 3⁄4".

Hannah Wilke, So Help Me Hannah Series: Portrait of the Artist with Her Mother, Selma Butter, 1978–81, two Cibachrome prints, each 42 × 31 3⁄4".

Hannah Wilke

Ronald Feldman Gallery

Hannah Wilke (1940–1993) had her first exhibition with Ronald Feldman Gallery in 1972. Feldman—who retired from running his eponymous space last October—represented her for almost fifty years. The depth and familiarity he and his colleagues bring to her work is palpable, as the thirteenth solo exhibition of her art here, “Force of Nature,” demonstrated. With its revealing mix of greatest hits and deep cuts, the show was a tribute not only to Wilke’s singular blend of female pleasure and feminist critique, but also to her defenders, who, particularly since her death, have resisted pigeonholing her practice as “politically ambiguous” narcissism. Lucy Lippard, for one, labeled her work as such in 1976, pointedly accusing the artist of selling her body, even as Wilke professed to parody the transaction. But she did far more than offer up her naked (and yes, beautiful) physique to our attention.

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