Purple Television

[July 15 2014] : art

Judith Bernstein: Rising

Judith Bernstein: Rising by Laura Bushell

“I’m currently exploring the origin of space, time and infinity, using the rage of the active cunt and the expanding universe. Fluorescent color and rich oil paint portray the chaos and nuclear explosion that is the Birth Of The Universe. These works also explore gender issues with a literal dialogue between the angry cunt and the phallus. My art is a self-portrait of my ideas and provides a window into my subconscious. It’s serious fun,” said Bernstein in a text exclusively published in Purple Fashion magazine issue 19 (read more here). Purple TV presents a look at Judith Bernstein, documenting her energetic process, as she creates works for her first solo presentation in the UK at Studio Voltaire, London.

For over forty years, New York-based artist Judith Bernstein (b. 1942, Newark, NJ) has created expressive drawings and paintings that boldly address the underlying psychological connection between warfare and sexual aggression. Her provocative pieces have direct impact yet also carry nuanced meanings and allusions. As a student at Yale in the ’60s, Bernstein developed a fascination with the graffiti she found in men’s restrooms, images that would later inform the basis of her work. Within these crude sexual scrawlings, Bernstein discovered a window into the male subconscious as well as her own. Her works from this period, predating the wave of feminist artworks in the early ’70s, assert female rights and critique militarism and machismo in a manner that is at once humorous and threatening. Bernstein was a founding member of A.I.R. Gallery (the first gallery devoted to showing female artists) where she had her first solo exhibition in 1973. She was an early member of many art and activist organizations including Guerilla Girls, Art Workers’ Coalition, and Fight Censorship. Her mordant antiwar and anti-sexist statements bristle with the political activism and fury that characterized the Vietnam War era, and continue to resonate viscerally today.

Judith Bernstein: Rising is on view until August 24th at Studio Voltaire. Click here for more information.

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