NYTimes Art in Review: Judith Bernstein

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.

One Comment

  1. I love Ms. Bernsteins work. The fact that she was booted from the womens art show just proves one more double standard. Every where you look in the world you can see the female body naked or any part of the female anatomy and it is concidered beautiful and this is fine with me. What I have a problem with is if you put anything out there that may look to be the male form and some of our society bashes you. WHY IS THIS? Every part of all humans should be looked at as a piece of art created by the highest power. Thank you Ms. Bernstein for the beauty you bring to our sometimes ugly place.

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