Sue Scott Gallery

Art in Review: Sex in the City

Holland Cotter
The New York Times, November 2007

In a fall art season dominated by slick surfaces and intimations of mortality, this hottie of a group show feels distinctly out of step, God bless it. Organized by the independent curator Dean Daderko and the artist Marina Adams, it puts libido back on the front burner but keeps it funny, funky and surreal.

The image in Marilyn Minter’s painting “White Cotton Panties” is exactly what its title says, as is the case with Mickalene Thomas’s photograph “Afro Goddess With Hand Between Legs.” Kathe Burkhart, painter, poet and muse, has never been one to mince words, which is why I can’t quote the title of a painting here. Suffice it to say that its depiction of a torturous, B-movie encounter comes replete with real rope and zipper.

Torture and love are the joint subjects of a one-sided dialogue in a video performance by an artist too seldom shown in New York, Ulrike Müller, though the sex of the person addressed is not specified.

Certain work in the show is not even people-specific: Chitra Ganesh incorporates Hindu deities into her erotic cartoons, and the conjoined bodies in David Humphrey’s paintings, which get zanier and scarier by the year, introduce a whole new phylogenetic strain.

Of course this wouldn’t be a 2007 New York show unless some fuss were made over materials and their sensuosity, expressivity, etc. Along these lines we have brushed and dripped paint from Suzanne McClelland and Ms. Adams; A. K. Burns’s hunk of melting acrylic; and Vanessa Chimera’s little cut-vinyl erotic whatnots.

An embroidered photograph by Donnie and Travis takes care of the crafts quotient, and the entire tormented hugfest ends with an installation of fabrics, knits and ties by Edie Fake and Dewayne Slightweight. Titled “Chalets From the PEACECORE TOUR and Video,” it looks like a sleep-away camp for dandies, and it’s lovely.

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