Ivy Haldeman. Pulp

15 Jul 2016 – 4 Sep 2016

Simuvac Projects

New York
New York, United States


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Hello. Please sit down anywhere you like. It's most likely a hot summer day and it's easy to get tired.


The works in this exhibition depict a figure in attitudes of repose. Each piece explores the expressions and gestures of a body, in reflection or relaxation, at a time when bodies and the interiors they express have become a political matter.

Several of these paintings also explore how the reader and her body are always held in visual tension. The act of reading entails a disappearance of the reader into the text, even as her arms, legs, and other appendages remain immutably present. In taking hold of her body and the objects around her, she seizes back some control over her form. In her case, this form has been shaped and re-shaped many times over.

These works are painted with acrylic, a plastic. When I was a kid, my grandfather was a salesman for a plastic's company. On occasion, he would bring me freebies from work. The most memorable was a pink plastic suitcase, with pink latches that would snap shut.  This suitcase, were I to slice through its surface, would reveal a homogeneous interior; I would find only more pink plastic.

Another childhood memory: it is a summer evening, and I am taking off the pelt of a dead muskrat. With a knife I delicately cut a Y-incision, as I had seen on TV. I take care not to puncture the fascia and can remove the skin without disturbing the organs or causing the body to bleed. Once the pelt is removed, I spend time considering what is left of the muskrat. I prod the organs. I don't know which ones they are, but they are pinks, creams and dark purple.

Pulp puts the physicality of a tired icon on display, an icon who has been fleshed out by a parade of artists from Ingres to Utamaro.  For centuries, painters have plumbed the depths of nude women reclining or at their bath. Here, the viewer can find those gestures echoed with new openings and sinister humor.

There is drama, too.  Fingers press into the pillowy pages of a book.  Nude pumps are half worn, flung, cast aside. The figure pushes against, lightly touches and politely overflows the edges of the canvas.  With a limited number of visual elements, the series of paintings flex in listless exercise.

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Exhibiting artists

Ivy Haldeman


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