Counter Forms: Tetsumi Kudo, Alina Szapocznikow, Paul Thek, Hannah Wilke.
Untitled (Dental Plate #3)
from the series Technological Reliquaries
Wood, plaster, paint, porcelain, and Plexiglas
5 1/8 x 5 x 5 1/16 inches (13 x 12.7 x 12.9 cm)
Intractable, unsettling, one could call them “counter forms”: decidedly not formalist exercises and yet not totally amorphous either—forms they are. In their embodied intimacy and sexual candor and in their anti-heroic stance, they offered their own uncanny riposte to the commercial imagery of Pop art, the pure geometry or industrial facture of so much Minimalism and the dry, immaterial practices of Conceptual art. Kudo, Szapocznikow, Thek and Wilke’s works spoke of the flipside of their contemporary moment’s lust for idealized commodity objects and, with it, any naively optimistic view of reality or its sexual politics. They dared to make an art so questioning that it would allow its maker “to doubt everything completely” as Kudo once wrote; an art that was imperfect, built from “awkward objects,” as Szapocznikow called hers; or, in Wilke’s words “an art close to laughter, making love, [or] shaking hands,” and which brought, as Thek explained, “the raw human fleshy characteristics back to the art” against the period’s “enormous tendency toward the minimal, the non-emotional, the anti-emotional even.
Le pied (Fétiche V) (Foot [Fetish V])
Colored polyester resin, newspaper, nylon stockings, glass, wool, Plexiglas
10 1/2 x 23 1/2 x 10 inches(26.7 x 59.7 x 25.4 cm)
Curated by Elena Filipovic October 12 – November 16, 2013 - Andrea Rosen Gallery