Luhring Augustine is pleased to participate in The Art Show organized by the Art Dealers Association of America with an exhibition of works by Janine Antoni, featuring 6 works made between 1993 and 2003.
In "Lick and Lather," Antoni references the classical bust, though here in soap and chocolate. She began by casting her own head in each medium, which she then reshaped by licking the chocolate and washing with the soap. Using these gentle processes, she obliterated her features in an effort to expose how one’s form is an inadequate representation of who we are.
"Unveiling" is a bronze bell sculpted into the form of a veiled figure. Antoni began making this sculpture with the bust used in "Lick and Lather," choosing a different method to obscure her physical features. She sculpted a veil of clay over the figure and then cast the clay form in bronze. Her image is hidden by the veil, yet transformed into a bell it calls out. As the bell’s clapper is made of lead, a very malleable metal, it is sculpted by the bell’s is ringing. The artist’s body gives shape to the veil and the veil is now shaping the clapper, whose form is perpetually changing. In both "Lick and Lather" and "Unveiling" the artist is simultaneously hidden and revealed.
In her photograph "Momme," Antoni created a familiar art historical image of a woman in a domestic setting. It is only upon closer inspection that the viewer notices that there are three feet emerging from underneath the woman’s dress. At that point one can discern Antoni hiding under her mother’s dress, metaphorically shrouded in her mother’s identity.
Janine and her mother meet again in "If I Die Before I Wake." Here mother’s hand meets daughter’s hand in prayer. The two hands have an uncanny similarity except for evidence of the ageing process. The illuminated night-light becomes a meditation on our mortality.
"Umbilical" uses a domestic object to tie daughter to mother. The sculpture is a cast of the negative space of the artist’s mouth; it is connected by a silver spoon to the negative impression of her mother’s hand.
When the viewer first encounters "Caryatid" they might assume the figure is balancing upside-down on the vessel. In fact, the photograph has been inverted and the woman's body is a pedestal for the vessel, just as in classical Greek architecture where the female figure appears as a column supporting an entablature with her head. "Caryatid" also plays with the stereotypical association of the woman's body as vessel. The inversion of the pedestal and the broken vessel leaves the viewer to wonder what has happened. For Antoni maturity is epitomized in the vessel holding its broken self.
For more information please contact the gallery at 212.206.9100.