When she paints, Ida Applebroog treats the canvas like a three-dimensional object, a structure that she annotates with her distinctive monochromatic paintings. These canvases stand freely around the gallery, sometimes in groups, sometimes physically bolted together, other times jutting out from a wall, telling a story across the room like a three dimensional graphic novel.
Hauser and Wirth’s Saville Row space is cavernous enough to accommodate many of these Marginalia paintings, across which Applebroog depicts human forms with bold outlines and economical detail using oil and resin. They are everymen, women and animals, but each body is damaged or restricted – blindfolded, bandaged, handcuffed, or bound. These figures transgress social cohesion, they’re part of a dynamic of power and submission. On one wall Caleb shows repetitions of the same image (key to Applebroog’s style) in various mediums, showing how one form can be manipulated into multi-faceted imagery.
Her Monalisa installation houses an ambiguously childlike yet sexual painting of a female within a house-like structure papered with digitally reworked drawings of her own genitals, all facing inwards. Viewers can’t enter this skeletal house but peep through cracks - it’s revealing yet inaccessible, telling of the pull between the private life and public persona of an exhibiting female artist.
-- Laura Bushell
All images courtesy the artist and Hauser and Wirth LondonImages: Installation view, 'Ida Applebroog', Hauser & Wirth London, Savile Row, 2011, Courtesy the artist and Hauser & Wirth, Photo: Alex Delfanne