(Self)Portrait of a Lady


Preview 29 January 2009 - 6:30 pm
29 January 2009 – 14 March 2009
curated by Caroline Corbetta

 

Riccardo Crespi gallery presents (Self)Portrait of a Lady, a joint exhibition that comprises works by seven female artists with very different backgrounds, ages and careers: Louise Bourgeois, Rossana Buremi, Letizia Cariello, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Carol Rama, Maddalena Sisto and Veronica Smirnoff.

(Self)Portrait of a Lady cites the title of Henry James’s celebrated novel, Portrait of a Lady (1881), in which the heroine Isabel Archer embodies an uneasy and unconventional femininity.

The common thread linking the works of the seven artists present in (Self)Portrait of a Lady is their desire to explore their own identity and to find, through their artistic research, an inviolable physical as well as symbolic space in which it is no longer necessary to fall in with a stereotyped idea of the feminine.

The works on show are all (self)portraits to some degree; bodiesthat are sometimes highly eroticized, at others wholly sexless, couched in almost fabulous tones.

These (self)representations are created using craft techniques and media, such as embroidery and ceramics, that evoke a “domestic” femininity, but one that is brought radically into question by the content of the works themselves.

‘Even when they seem at first sight a bit precious – for that is how we paradoxically interpret any recourse to elements of the female universe – these artists puncture any prejudice by recounting with primordial intensity the cruel beauty of the existence that lies beyond any sociocultural construct. Even the use of craft materials and techniques, not to say domestic ones (from pottery to plasticine, from needlework to collage), becomes a way of questioning the distinctions between “high” and “low”, between cultured and popular, between male and female’, as Caroline Corbetta writes in the text that accompanies the exhibition.

On show works by: Louise Bourgeois, Rossana Buremi, Letizia Cariello, Berlinde de Bruyckere, Carol Rama, Maddalena Sisto, Veronica Smirnoff.