David Richard Gallery is pleased to present a solo exhibition of paintings and collages by artist Dee Shapiro. The presentation debuts Shapiro’s newest body of work, her first-ever figurative paintings that examine female nudes in art history, but through the artist’s unique lens of patterns and feminist discourse. Also included are earlier geometric paintings from the 1980s of antique Persian rugs that provide both cultural and historical context for the women figures as well as connecting the figures to Shapiro’s love of patterns, textiles, and sewing that influenced her career and work for five decades. The inclusion of the artist’s exquisitely detailed paintings on paper of male and female genitalia shift the attention away from objectifying and essentializing the female body to more of a focus on playful and decorative depictions of genitalia as the functional and organic structures they are, with, of course, a dose of innuendo. Collectively, these three bodies of work not only span and define Shapiro’s long and thoughtful approach to art-making but provide a cultural context for reconsidering the female body through art. By appropriating and reconsidering female nudes from art history and recontextualizing and re-presenting her own artworks, Shapiro has Snatched and Reworked both hers and the work of others into a masterful and historical feminist discussion.
The exhibition will be on view from September 18 through October 12, 2019, with an artist reception on Sunday, September 22, 2019, from 4:00 to 7:00 PM on the Ground Floor exhibition space at 211 East 121 ST, New York, NY 10035. A digital catalog with an essay by art historian and critic John Yau will be available online.