P.P. O.W. will present an installation of new paintings by Dotty Attie, which will be our ninth solo exhibition with the artist. Since the 1970s, Attie’s multi-panel compositions have explored gender identity, politics and culture through the re-imaging of famous paintings and photography. This new group of paintings, based on a carefully researched assortment of found photographs, are rendered in her signature palate of black, white, and grey highlighted with touches of flesh tones. In this series Attie turns her attention to the iconic actions of the popular heroic figure The Lone Ranger. In an attempt to un-mask this legendary American folk icon Attie presents a host of images which suggest an alternate reality to the constructed version we are so accustomed to through television and film. With her recombinative process Attie makes power visible through the use of subtly subversive paintings and carefully composed text.
Lined up horizontally on the wall, these sequences of canvases create sentence like structures reminiscent of scenes from a film. Each one portrays a reactionary still pertaining to The Lone Ranger and our expectations of his success. In the work “Masked Men” Attie paints portraits of a series of male figures -- including baseball catchers, hockey players, batman, soldiers, and deep sea divers – all wearing the notorious mask. The accompanying text tiles, however, reveal a truth: “many tried to emulate the masked man’s success, but few were able to capture the public imagination.” Looking at the viewer, these masked men appear both ominous and ridiculous, as Attie turns the tables on the construct of masculinity, revealing it’s potential for violence and monstrosity.
In other works, Attie continues to delve into the American psyche of radio show culture and early televison as another work states, “The Lone Ranger was always to be found wherever assistance was needed.” Attie accumulates images of violence: electric chairs, shootings, crashes, and other portentious scenarios documenting American history through photography and film noir histrionics. Again, Attie’s inocuous and benign texts are juxtaposed with the violent, sexual and erotic conflagration provided by cultural heritage producing a seductive but disturbing experience.
A full color illustrated catalogue will be available with an essay by Emily Colucci.
Dotty Attie was born in Pennsauken, New Jersey in 1938 and currently lives and works in New York, New York. She received a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Fine art. Attie was a founding member of A.I.R Gallery which opened in 1972 as the first artist-run gallery for women in the U.S. Her paintings are in the collections of The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum and the Brooklyn Museum, among others. In 2012 Attie’s work was featured in This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL. The exhibition also traveled to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA and the The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN.