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Studio Voltaire presents Judith Bernstein - Rising

Archive | Information & News

5 July 2014 to 24 Aug 2014
Gallery open Wednesday - Saturday, 12 - 6pm
Studio Voltaire
1a Nelsonís Row
United Kingdom
T: 44 (0) 207 622 1294

Judith Bernstein, Horizontal, 1973
Charcoal on Paper, 150" x 108"
Courtesy of the artist and The Box, Los Angeles

Artists in this exhibition: Judith Bernstein

Judith Bernstein: Rising

5 July – 24 August 2014
Preview: Friday 4 July 2014, 6.30 – 8.30pm
Opening times: Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 6pm

Studio Voltaire presents a major new commission by American artist Judith Bernstein, reflecting on a prolific five decade-long career at the forefront of feminist activism and political injustice, her first solo presentation to take place in the UK. For this commission, the artist will conduct a production residency in the gallery, working on a new body of large-scale paintings and drawings.

Bernstein’s expressive practice embodies the psychological amalgamation of sex, violence and feminism, in varying orders and priorities. Birth of the Universe is a recent series of expressive paintings made using oil and fluorescent paint exploring the chaos, violence, and the nuclear explosion that was The Big Bang. She probes the origin of space, time, and infinity, using the rage of the “active cunt” as the primal source in the expanding universe. These paintings delve into issues regarding relationships and gender with a literal dialogue between the “active cunt” and the phallus.

In contrast to a large Birth of the Universe painting that will dominate the back wall of Studio Voltaire’s distinctive gallery space, the artist will revisit her pivotal ‘screw’ works; scratched charcoal drawings of hardware screws that morph into massive phallic presences. These powerful works of feminist protest, which Bernstein first began in 1969, will climb the high walls of the vaulted gallery space, surrounding and challenging her fluorescent “cunt” painting. In the second gallery space, Bernstein will present a second Birth of the Universe body of work. Painted using glow-in-the-dark paint, the works will be exhibited in blackout light, completely absorbing the viewer into the physical and psychological space of the paintings. Bernstein attended the Yale School of Art as a graduate student in the 60s, during a time when Yale had an all-male undergraduate program. The gender inequality was extreme. This fact and many others led to her fascination with feminism and political injustices. Bernstein was an early member of many Art and Activist organisations including Guerilla Girls, Fight Censorship and Art Workers’ Coalition, as well as being a founding member of A.I.R. Gallery (the first gallery devoted to showing only female artists), where she had her first solo exhibition in 1973.

Judith Bernstein in conversation with art critic and writer Louisa Buck
Saturday 5 July 2014, 3pm
Studio Voltaire, 1a Nelson’s Row, Clapham London SW4 7JR
Free Admission, Book here

Judith Bernstein (b.1942) lives and works in New York. Recent shows include; ‘Judith Bernstein: Birth of the Universe’, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York (2014); ‘Judith Bernstein: Birth of the Universe’, The Box, Los Angeles (2013); ‘Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper)’, ICA, London (2013); ‘Judith Bernstein: HARD’, New Museum, New York (2012); ‘Sinister Pop’, The Whitney Museum, New York (2012); ‘The Historical Box’, Hauser & Wirth, London & Zurich (2011-12) and ‘The Comfort of Strangers’, MoMA PS1, New York (2010). The artist is represented by The Box, LA.

Supported by The Elephant Trust

Studio Voltaire

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