Larissa Goldston Gallery is pleased to present Women in the Bedroom, a group exhibition of work by Orly Genger, Jane Hammond, Suzanne McClelland, Sophia Petrides, Laurie Simmons, Erica Svec and Whitney Van Nes. The bed has understandably become an object that is commonplace in contemporary art, as it is the stage for many of life’s key experiences—birth, death, love, sex, sleep, dreams. It can also be a place of competition, abuse, fear, oppression, or repression. The works in this exhibition represent a wide range of women artists’ responses to, and visual interpretation of, female sexual stereotypes circulating in our culture. Each painting, photograph and sculpture explores, within a bedroom setting, the way that women are constantly negotiating the power of their own sexuality.
Inspired by the feminine sensitivity revealed in Rauschenberg’ s Bed combine, McClelland’s abstract painting, Real Princess, relates to the story of “The Princess and the Pea”. Whimsical dripped lines form words that infer the wishes of the Queen and anticipate the innate sensitivity of the Princess. Van Nes’ modern portrait, Dressing, on the other hand, was inspired by a Memling painting, and depicts a proper older woman repressing her inner sexuality.
Hammond, Petrides and Simmons have all deconstructed and re-assembled existing photographs and objects, resulting in final images that reflect new fictions made from facts. Hammond’s photographs re-contextualize found images to explore a variety of ways in which female sexuality is interpreted, from Marilyn Monroe, to her self-portrait, to photography as a vehicle for sexuality (pornography). Simmons’ photographs, already well known for inverting the idea of the photo as reality, here abandon the desexualized and sanitized images of dolls in perfect domestic maquettes by specifically re-sexualizing her female subjects, giving them a new and even disturbing power over the viewer despite the obvious inauthenticity of the images. In Paskal Your Mirror 2, Petrides creates an atmosphere of isolation, anticipation and sexual tension, portraying a partially clothed woman standing on a mattress.
The only two works in the exhibition to directly reference a male figure are Genger’s On Top, and Svec’s Children, Chairs, Tables, Hangers, Housewares. Genger’s hand crocheted and layered sculpture suggests an extreme example of a woman’s quest for equality resulting in a total reversal of the typical relationship imbalance, with the man (in this case her boyfriend) laying under the sculpture, completely overwhelmed and on the verge of suffocation. Deriving from a news article on the underground international child sex trade and a fashion spread using underage female models, Svec’s diptych depicts an interior suggestive of a male super-hero figure appearing as protector on one side and a predator on the other.
As the painting Bed was the inspiration for the above exhibition, the north room is dedicated to prints by Robert Rauschenberg, all which reference women.
The exhibition will be on view from Thursday, February 16 through Saturday, March 25, 2006.
Larissa Goldston Gallery is located at 530 West 25th Street, 3rd floor. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11am-6pm. For more information, please contact the gallery at 212-206-7887, email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.larissagoldston.com.