Friday, July 24, 2009

Guerilla Girls on David Salle

"In 1985, The Museum of Modern Art in New York opened an exhibition titled An International Survey of Painting and Sculpture. It was supposed to be an up-to-the minute summary of the most significant contemporary art in the world. Out of 169 artists, only 13 were women. All the artists were white, either from Europe or the US. That was bad enough, but the curator, Kynaston McShine, said any artist who wasn't in the show should rethink “his” career. And that really annoyed a lot of artists because obviously the guy was completely prejudiced. Women demonstrated in front of the museum with the usual placards and picket line. Some of us who attended were irritated that we didn't make any impression on passersby."
Thus began Guerilla Girls. I bring it up now because research into Salle's work led to this quote by the GG who calls herself Tina Modotti:
"We sent The Apologist of the Year Award to a woman critic, Kim Levin, for reviewing a show of David Salle without dealing with his misogynist imagery." (Later, on a panel in Berlin, she claimed to be grateful for the criticism.)
So what did Kim Levin say? The link is to a pdf critique you should read if you want to see what Levin along with half a dozen other critics said about Salle's work in 1987.
Tina Modotti was far more beautiful than anything David Salle could ever paint, just look at her here in a photo her husband Edward Weston shot.

No wonder the Guerilla Girls wonder what Salle is up to with his women cut off at the neck or bent backwards and upside down on swings.

No comments: