Judith Bernstein: Rising

Artsy Editors
Apr 24, 2014 3:17PM
Birth of the Universe #15, 2013
Studio Voltaire
Birth of the Universe #14, 2013
Studio Voltaire
'Judith Bernstein: Birth of the Universe', 2012. Installation view, Gavin Brown's enterprise, New York, 2013., 2013
Studio Voltaire

5 July – 24 August 2014

Opening times: Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 6pm

Studio Voltaire is pleased to present Rising by New York-based Judith Bernstein, her first solo presentation to take place in the UK.  For this commission, the artist will conduct a production residency in the gallery, working on a new body of large-scale paintings and drawings.

Bernstein’s expressive practice embodies the psychological amalgamation of sex, violence and feminism, in varying orders and priorities. Birth of the Universe is a recent series of expressive paintings made using oil and fluorescent paint exploring the chaos, violence, and the nuclear explosion that was The Big Bang. She probes the origin of space, time, and infinity, using the rage of the “active cunt” as the primal source in the expanding universe. These paintings delve into issues regarding relationships and gender with a literal dialogue between the “active cunt” and the phallus.

In contrast to a large Birth of the Universe painting that will dominate the back wall of Studio Voltaire’s distinctive gallery space, the artist will revisit her pivotal ‘screw’ works; scratched charcoal drawings of hardware screws that morph into massive phallic presences.  These powerful works of feminist protest, which Bernstein first began in 1969, will climb the high walls of the vaulted gallery space, surrounding and challenging her fluorescent “cunt” painting. In the second gallery space, Bernstein will present a second Birth of the Universe body of work. Painted using glow-in-the-dark paint, the works will be exhibited in blackout light, completely absorbing the viewer into the physical and psychological space of the paintings.

Bernstein attended the Yale School of Art as a graduate student in the 60s, during a time when Yale had an all-male undergraduate program. The gender inequality was extreme. This fact and many others led to her fascination with feminism and political injustices. Bernstein was an early member of many Art and Activist organisations including Guerilla Girls, Fight Censorship and Art Workers' Coalition, as well as being a founding member of A.I.R. Gallery (the first gallery devoted to showing only female artists), where she had her first solo exhibition in 1973.

Supported by The Elephant Trust

For all press enquiries, including interview requests contact:

Niamh Conneely, Communications Coordinator

[email protected]

+44 (0)207 622 1294

Notes to the editors

About the artist:

Judith Bernstein (b.1942) lives and works in New York. Recent shows include; ‘Judith Bernstein: Birth of the Universe’, Gavin Brown’s enterprise, New York (2014); ‘Judith Bernstein: Birth of the Universe’, The Box, Los Angeles (2013); ‘Keep Your Timber Limber (Works on Paper)’, ICA, London (2013); ‘Judith Bernstein: HARD’, New Museum, New York (2012); ‘Sinister Pop’, The Whitney Museum, New York (2012); ‘The Historical Box’, Hauser & Wirth, London & Zurich (2011-12) and ‘The Comfort of Strangers’, MoMA PS1, New York (2010). The artist is represented by The Box, LA.

About Studio Voltaire:

Celebrating 20 years in 2014, Studio Voltaire is a leading independent contemporary arts organisation that exists to support artistic practices and create a space for thinking, experimentation and reflection; its main activities are the provision of affordable studios, a renowned programme of exhibitions, performances and commissions, and a pioneering education programme. Upcoming exhibitions in 2014 include Judith Bernstein, Anne Collier and Marvin Gaye Chetwynd.

 “Studio Voltaire has become one of the most energising spaces in London. Its ad-hoc approach and knack for spotting young talent makes it a formidable presence on the city’s art scene.” The Guardian

“One of the most dynamic spaces in London.” The Telegraph

“A fantastically worthwhile cause.” Vogue

Listings Information:

Judith Bernstein: Rising5 July – 24 August 2014Studio Voltaire, 1a Nelson’s Row, London SW4 7JROpening hours: Wednesday – Sunday, 12 – 6pm+44 (0)207 622 1294

Images:Please visit this link to view high-resolution imageshttp://we.tl/vkcfdnm2H3


Artsy Editors