Holland Cotter reports: “This small, punchy overview of Judith Bernstein’s work is set to close a week before ‘WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution’ opens at P.S. 1, which is too bad. Although Ms. Bernstein has been producing a pointedly feminist art since the 1960s, she’s not in the big survey, and she should be. Her art started out political and has stayed that way. One of the earliest pieces at Algus, ‘The Fun-Gun’ (1967), a relief image of a big phallic handgun pieced together from real bullets, made a direct connection between violence, sex and war in the Vietnam era. Then came her monumental charcoal drawings of screw-shape forms, abstract but distinctly penile. One of them, ‘Horizontal'(1973), got her booted out of a show titled ‘Woman’s Work: American Art 1974’ at Philadelphia’s Civic Center. It’s at Algus, and it’s pretty sensational….When she encountered censorship in 1974, the art world protested; the names on a public letter issued in her defense were many and illustrious. Today the equivalent names flock to admire John Currin’s pornography paintings. Mr. Currin’s naughty pictures end up in the swankiest places; Ms. Bernstein can barely get her foot in the art world’s swinging door.” Read more.
“Judith Bernstein: Signature and Phallic Drawings: 1966-2008,” Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York, NY. Through Feb. 9.
Two Coats of Paint is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution – Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. To use content beyond the scope of this license, permission is required.