3.27.2007

Yo, I'm Michelangelo


Gallery Lelong exhibits signs of the recent wave of interest in the roots of feminism in art over the last few decades.


Up now in the New York space are works by Marina Abramovic, Helena Almeida, Eleanor Antin, Lynda Benglis, Helen Chadwick, Valie Export, Anna Bella Geiger, Birgit J├╝rgenssen, Shigeko Kubota, Anna Maria Maiolino, Ana Mendieta, Senga Nengudi, Lorraine O'Grady, Yoko Ono, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, Carolee Schneemann, Hannah Wilke, and Francesca Woodman."

Ana Mendieta, the late wife of Carl Andre, was raised in the U.S. foster care system, after being exiled from Cuba. She later either fell, or was pushed from an apartment window to her death. Like Hannah Wilke, Ana used her body as her primary medium of expression in performances, super 8 films, videos, drawings, sculptures, and installations. Also, like Hannah, there has been a marked emphasis on her large body of work, and her early mythic fall.

Blake Gopnik, writing for the Washington Post, about her retrospective at the Hirshhorn said in 2004,


"Boil down art, all and any art, to its purest essence, and it's nothing more than a gesture that affirms a human ego. You do something to something, and thereby leave a mark upon the world. All of art's other goals, functions and aspects -- pleasing gods or creating beauty or crafting a commodity or exploring an idea -- come after that blunt fact. Any masterpiece, and every piece of schlock as well, has at its heart the graffiti artist's tag: "Yo, I'm Michelangelo." "Picasso was here!" "This is Pollock's turf...

...Not that a Mendieta silueta is just a neutral record of some generic human's presence.

In this art, that human being is specifically a woman. "



image: Ana Mendieta Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints – Face) , 1972 (detail) Suite of 13 lifetime black & white photographs Each 8 x 10” (20.3 x 25.4 cm) © The Estate of Ana Mendieta Collection Courtesy Galerie Lelong, New York

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

That's an excellent photograph of Manohla Dargis!