Shoshana Wayne Gallery is pleased to present a solo show of new work by Rachel Lachowicz. This exhibition marks the artist’s first solo show since 2005, and her twentieth year showing with the gallery.
Lachowicz is best known for her work fabricated in cosmetics, namely eyeshadow and lipstick. Iconic works such as her lipstick urinals and eyeshadow flowers appropriate images and objects created by artists of the minimal and pop movements from the 1960s and 70s. The impulse in her work has always been to relate the particular struggles of the female sphere, critiquing power dynamics between women and men in greater society; and asserting a dialogue with a specific gaze towards male artists of influence from minimalism and post-minimalism whom she respects.
The seminal performance, Red Not Blue done at the gallery in 1992 contextualizes Lachowicz’s work within the canon of feminist art. In her essay, Not: Rachel Lachowicz’s Red Not Blue, Amelia Jones frames Lachowicz as a different brand of feminist; who no longer used an aggressive voice with which previous artists from the 1980’s like Barbara Kruger commanded to critique patriarchy in society and the art world. This new brand of feminist emerging in the 1990’s, and epitomized by Lachowicz, created works which extended the dialogue with previous art histories; utilizing humor and admiration as tools while also remaining critical.
In the present body of work, Lachowicz continues to reference the feminist adage, “the personal is political”. She chooses lipstick and eye shadow as mediums for painting and sculpture about the work of women, using materials that are ever present in the daily life of a woman; and expands this dialogue with new materials. Lachowicz continues to explore feminine identity through forms of packaging. The exterior is highlighted as the means in which a woman presents herself to society, to the public. Packaging in this exhibition is quite paramount; plexiglas serves as a container to house pigment; soap molds are made in the form of packaging used in packing computer parts. Soap is used in reference to the iconic Mary Cassatt painting of a woman washing a baby. Cassatt was one of the only female Impressionist painters, who retain art historical recognition. The painting depicts a female duty; and in her soap sculpture, Lachowicz presents an homage to Cassatt; translating the feminine duty to a new era of work; perhaps something more public than private.
Rachel Lachowicz has exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, The Whitney Museum, Bronx Museum, Magazin 4, Bregenz, Austria, Musee d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris, France, Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art, Walker Art Center, Venice Biennale, “Aperto 93”, San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, The Museum of Contemporary Art Los Angeles, and Los Angeles County Museum of Art. She has received prestigious awards such as the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award. Her work is represented in major collections such as the Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Whitney Museum, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, Los Angeles County Museum, Museum Moderner Kunst, Palais Lichtenstein, Vienna.
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