Friday, February 4, 2011

NYT review of "Hearts of Oak"

One simply cannot describe the feeling of going out in the cold morning, picking up a New York Times in one's sweatpants, throwing it on the kitchen counter, tearing a section rapidly in search of the page where one's name is found, not once, not twice, get it. I know the review is of the Annie Attridge exhibition, which in addition to the reviews she received in the L magazine and Artlog she richly deserves. But, the ego is a sensitive creature, and when its fur is gently petted by the silken palm of "All the News that's Fit to Print", a gentle purr occurs.

In other words, yay!

Check out the Roberta Smith review below:

February 3, 2011

ANNIE ATTRIDGE: ‘Hearts of Oak’

Asya Geisberg Gallery

537B West 23rd Street


Through Feb. 12

The British artist Annie Attridge shows a lot of awkward promise in her New York gallery debut. She works small and mainly in glazed porcelain, pushing traditionally demure tabletop figurines into compromising, often ribald positions while downsizing the heroic conventions of royal portraiture. The rearing horse is a favorite device, except that the rider tends to be a nude woman, a voluptuous breast or a pair of female buttocks swathed in frills, rather than a king.

There is not a man in sight here, only women offering up their bodies — or parts of them — in various ways. This can include being bound, possibly bleeding, to a truncated tree in the manner of Goya’s “Disasters of War” etchings.

Ms. Attridge’s slurred forms are more immediately indebted to the British sculptor Rebecca Warren, who also works with clay, and the Swedish claymation genius Nathalie Djurberg. At this point their very different skills in combining abstract and narrative force exceed hers.

Nonetheless, Ms. Attridge has a sure way with materials and a perverse sense of form that extends into small charcoal drawings and also bronze sculpture, especially the gleaming variation on a cathedral termite mound that culminates in three breasts.

Most of all there is the sexual and sexualized defiance of her vision. She has women on the brain in ways that would probably be frowned upon these days were she not a woman herself. As it is, Ms. Attridge is extending a tradition of small lascivious sculpture that reaches back to ancient times.