Hannah Wilke's New Exhibition at Alison Jacques
There’s a new exhibition at Alison Jacques in Fitzrovia, London. Spanning three decades of the American painter, sculptor and artist Hannah Wilke, the exhibition displays a collection that is not to miss. This is the first time since Wilke’s death in 1993, that her paintings made in the 60s are shown. Along these, sculptures and iconic photography work such as Gestures (Triptych), (1974 - 76) - in which the artist stretches her face with her own hands, expressing the “pathos past the posing”.
a new language that fuses mind and body into erotic objects that are nameable and at the same time quite abstract. Its content has always related to my own body and feelings, reflecting pleasure as well as pain, the ambiguity and complexity of emotions." (Hannah Wilke, A Retrospective, University of Missouri Press, 1989, p.139)
Body movement and gestures are recurring themes in her artwork. Centre of the exhibition is Untitled, (1974 - 77), a large piece consisting of 103 painted flesh-coloured sculptures. The sculptures being of yonic shapes, reminding of a feminine sexuality always present in the artist’ work.
Hannah Wilke studied at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, Philadelphia and taught at the School of Visual Arts, New York (1974 - 1992) where she founded the school's ceramics department. She has exhibited at Tate St Ives, UK (2018), at Met Breuer, New York (2017), at Hauser, Wirth & Schimmel, Los Angeles (2016) and many more.
Always controversial and innovative at the same time, Wilke is considered the first feminist artist to use vaginal imagery in her work, and her place in 20th century art continues to be established since her death.