"That Obscure Object of Desire"

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Photograph: Andy Keate

Anthea Hamilton, Leg Chair (John Travolta), 2010

Photograph: Jason Mandella

Alisa Baremboym, Leakage Industries: Soft Screw, 2012

Alisa Baremboym, Leakage Industries: Soft Screw, 2012, detail
Photograph: Robert Wedemeyer ©2014 The Robert Heinecken Trust; Chicago.; Courtesy of Cherry and Martin; Los Angeles

Robert Heinecken, Multiple Solution Puzzle #2, 1965  

Photograph: Robert Wedemeyer

Robert Heinecken, Figure Horizon #4, 1972

Photograph: Robert Wedemeyer

Robert Heinecken, Blue Chip Stamp Girl, 1965

Photograph: Jeffrey Sturges

Hans Bellmer, La Poupée, 1949

Photograph: Courtesy of the Estate of Alina Szapocnikow; Piotr Stanislawski; Galerie Loevenbruck; Paris; Andrea Rosen Gallery; NY; © Alina Szapocnikow; ARS; New York; ADAGP; Paris

Alina Szapocznikow, Lampe-bouche, 1966

Photograph: © The Dorothea Tanning Foundation; ARS; New York; ADAGP; Paris; courtesy Luxembourg & Dayan

Dorothea Tanning Traffic Sign, 1970

Titled after Luis Buñuel’s 1977 film about sexual obsession, this group show includes pieces from the 1940s to the present, and teases out formal and thematic connections among a nicely considered selection of Surrealist, Pop and contemporary artworks. The leitmotif here is the body reduced to parts: Tummies, breasts, lips, knees, buttocks and vulvas are reassembled into new and unsettling combinations or isolated as fetishized objects.

Dorothea Tanning’s 1970 stuffed pink-fabrics stomach, complete with navel, is joined by Alina Szapocznikow’s 1966 resin lamp made from a cast of her own lips, and Anthea Hamilton’s 2010 clear Plexiglas chair in the form of a woman’s spread legs. Elsewhere, foam cubes covered in’60s-inspired fabrics overprinted with images of nude models—a collaboration between Hamilton and designer Julie Verhoeven—converse with photographer Robert Heinecken’s Figure Horizon #4 (1972), in which a woman’s naked body has been rearranged to resemble a panorama of mountains. Rounding out the exhibition are Surrealist Hans Bellmer’s photographs of doll parts recombined into bulging monstrosities, and an assemblage by Alisa Baremboym featuring an enormous screw cast in gel.

The exhibition’s big attractions are Tanning and Szapocznikow, both women who brought a more nuanced view to Surrealism and Pop, respectively. A cynic might wonder whether the show is an attempt to recontextualize the frequently unsavory output of Heinecken and Bellmer by exhibiting their work with female artists. But the fact remains that Heinecken’s dead landscapes and Bellmer’s grotesque automatons lack the liveliness of the other pieces presented here.

—Anne Doran

Event phone: 212-452-4646
Event website: http://luxembourgdayan.com
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