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Online Picks, February 2007

"Re:Generation—Emerging Women Artists"

SMACK MELLON GALLERY
92 Plymouth Street
February 2–March 16, 2007

Unlike the abstract, visceral work of Louise Bourgeois, Nancy Spero, and Faith Ringgold featured in Joan Snyder's Women Artists Series, an exhibition program initiated in 1971, the art included in "Re:Generation," curated by Snyder and her daughter, Molly Snyder-Fink, is more explicitly self-reflective and representational. Marni Horwtiz photographs her parents in dark, keenly observational portraits. On two adjacent screens, Francisca Benitez projects silent videos of the same white-pebbled lot seen from different distances—one is empty and one inhabited by a slow-moving, black-clad woman—offering a lyric response to neglected urban space. While a significant portion of the photo and video pieces centers around the difficulty of reconciling personal and cultural identity, a bright, messy, DIY aesthetic reigns in much of the nonvideo work, such as Emna Zghal's Cultures of War: An Essay, 2005, a digital print of a poetic collage folded to look like a book. Hung in the far corner of the exhibition, Dasha Shishkin's nine lithographs are cut into amorphous shapes and filled with crisp lines and figures that are alternately detailed and abstract. In Wrapped Pillars, 2007, Claudia Sbrissa bridges two pillars in the stark warehouse space with a weave of pink and purple knit cords, wool, rope, and string, as if gesturing toward Ringgold and her brand of feminist art.

—Lori Cole

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