Sunday, January 9, 2011

SEDUCTIVE SUBVERSION: WOMEN POP ARTISTS, 1958–1968 / THE DINNER PARTY, JUDY CHICAGO- THE BROOKLYN MUSEUM


No I’m not writing this just as an excuse to post some naughty pictures, but after all it seems to have been what these pop art feminists’ preferred.  
This eye opener of an exhibit is not all ironic smut, the captivating sculpture of a sea cucumber (not really, but the floppy fabric phalluses could be underwater) encrusted easy chair by Yayoi Kusama, a protégé of Louise Bourgeois grabs your attention.
Directly adjacent are the very 3-D busty busts of Marjorie Strider. The triptych of a carved wood bikini clad lass owes much to Warhol & Lichtenstein, but would have made a good backdrop for an episode of Johnny Carson.
Dorothy Iannone’s kooky canvas “I Love To Beat You” displays a primitive looking Amazonian goddess enjoying the attentions of her real-life partner known for sculpting in chocolate. Yummy.
Kay Kurt’s large-scale homage to super realism manifests as an open chocolate box. Pick your poison.
Since 2007 the Brooklyn Museum has devoted a significant portion of the 4th floor to a well designed home for “The Dinner Party” Judy Chicago’s iconic sculpture/memorial to women, goddesses, and go-go girls.
I’d never seen the original and wasn’t expecting to be particularly enthralled being the macho chauvinist that I am, but I was won over immediately. This sincere yet at times irreverently playful compendium of ancestral sisters centers around 39 ceramic 3-D plates placed in a triangle. The engaging conceit that these place settings represent a party about to take place adds urgency to the sense of presence. Although not all the platters entice, the better ones are cleverly crafted innuendoes glorifying the female genitalia in a delectable manner.
Wish I’d been invited.











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