Exhibition

Hannah Wilke: Elective Affinities

4 Jun 2010 – 14 Aug 2010

Alison Jacques Gallery

London, United Kingdom

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About

Hannah Wilke (1940 — 1993) was an artist whose body of work was intimately bound to her body. She pioneered from the start of her career a feminine formal language centring on vaginal imagery, and deployed a range of media and practices to explore the pleasures and pains of contemporary female experience. Wilke's work exemplified a powerfully gendered critique not only of society but also of art. This new exhibition is the first show outside the USA of work from the Hannah Wilke Collection & Archive, Los Angeles, which comprises the largest body of work left by Wilke following her tragic early death. Featuring a number of iconic works as well as a range of pieces rarely seen, the exhibition explores the continuous terrain mapped by Wilke between language, image and object, incorporating performance, photography, drawings, collages and sculptures rendered in materials as diverse as ceramic, gum, latex, erasers and bronze. Wilke was one of the very first artists to confront female sexual agency, fulfilment and frustration, and certainly foreshadowed the dynamic confluence of Conceptualism and Feminism that has characterised much important art by women since the 1970s. However her radical investigations into the stuff of sculpture, and how the body can be remade and repeated in art, lend her a significance beyond the bounds of her sex and time. By turns amusing, angry, tender and troubling, the exhibition reveals Wilke to be one of the most influential and under-acknowledged artists of the late twentieth century.

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