Artists: Bharti Kher, Yayoi Kusama, Eva Rothschild, Mindy Shapero
Venue: Marianne Boesky, New York
Date: October 17 – November 14, 2009
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York
Marianne Boesky Gallery is pleased to present the works of Bharti Kher, Yayoi Kusama, Eva Rothschild and Mindy Shapero. Through diverse materials these artists create their own language using repetition to build upon a single unit exploring themes of fantasy, myth, and the spiritual/physical realms.
Bharti Kher is perhaps most recognized for her use of the bindi, the dot worn on the forehead by Indian women. The artist uses this traditional Indian symbol as much for its actual meaning – the third eye (the link between the physical and spiritual worlds) – as for its frequent misinterpretation – a symbol of marriage. In “Mimic” Kher uses the serpent bindi, which she acknowledges is commonly misconstrued as sperm, to create repeated abstract circular patterns. Referring to her repetitive use of the bindi, she has said “if I work with [the bindi] enough, I turn it into my own language, and then I can create a different layer of meaning.” Themes of cultural hybridity and identity pervade her work where traditional social roles are examined not with a political agenda, but in the weaving of modern myths. While Kher does not describe her work as specifically feminist, her work reflects the spaces women occupy and influence. In “Sing to them that will Listen” home life and the lessons of home are presented as Hindi words written on to grains of rice – the most basic foundation of life in India.
Yayoi Kusama is inextricably linked to her “infinity nets,” the artistic representation of her hallucinations of repeated dots and patterns covering all surfaces. This exhibition includes one of the artist’s earliest works “Compulsion Furniture,” an almost literal interpretation of the artist’s view of the world covered in dots and patterns paired with her iconic soft phalluses. “Narcissus Garden” created in 2004 for the Whitney Biennial consisting of 500 stainless steel balls is an architectural and physical extension of the artist’s “net” paintings. It revisits Kusama’s seminal 1966 work done on the occasion of the Venice Biennale where she was not an invited participant, but rather a provocateur, installing the works outside the Giardini offering the globes for sale under a sign that read “Your Narcissism for Sale”.
Eva Rothschild’s work merges culture, religion, spirituality and superstition. She has remarked “I am interested in the ways of looking that go with concepts of faith and in how things are invested with a power above and beyond their materiality, the transference of spirituality onto objects.” “Cyclops” combines the basic shapes of circles and triangles to create a modern pyramid, a structure inherently imbued with power and meaning that exceeds its form. The artist describes her recent work as experiential, rather than narrative. Her 2009 monumental installation “Cold Corners” in the Duveen Galleries of the Tate Modern invites visitors to walk through seemingly endless triangles. She uses the same simple repeated triangle in “Empty Page” on a more intimate scale to create a delicate work that floats in a corner.
Mindy Shapero has compared her sculptures and drawings to “run on sentences.” Her work is often derived from literary and mythological sources melding with the artist’s personal narrative. She is an appropriator of symbols, literary and art historical movements, creating works that become “totemic spirits”. “The Beginning of the World 1929-2009” is an enormous heavily jeweled black egg crisscrossed and strapped down with black rope, yet gracefully cradled in a nest of steel arcs. The work is at once primordial and prehistoric or fantastic like the egg of the mythical Roc purported to be able to carry off five elephants. Fantasy and spirit are at once linked in Shapero’s work, as much as, the materials themselves dictating the sculpture’s form. Her methods are compulsive and additive in nature where materials build upon one another in seemingly endless layers of tile, steel, foam, acrylic paint, silver leaf, etc.