press release

Ghada Amer’s paintings first appear abstract, sensuous webs of thread on luminously painted backgrounds that envelop the canvas like nerves or capillaries. As the works come into focus, however, the viewer enters behind the veil into a world of unrestrained female sensuality. Images of women caressing themselves, appropriated from cheesy magazines, are lovingly embroidered onto the canvas. The sensual pleasure of painting is conflated with the sensual pleasures of the body.

In her ambitious exhibition at Deitch Projects Ghada Amer took on the tradition of New York School painting from a contemporary woman’s point of view. She subtly subverted the masculine tenor of the New York School by mixing it up with another masculine tradition- the low art culture of girlie magazines. The result was like a Trojan horse filled with feminine sensibility entering into the masculine arena and emerging victorious. The masculine posturing of Abstract Expressionism is subverted by the vernacular masculine art of cheap stroke books and the high tradition of gestural painting is subverted by the vernacular tradition of women’s embroidery.


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Ghada Amer: Intimate Confessions
18 Wooster Street, New York