Art Fag City at The L Magazine: Misogyny By Any Other Name

by Art Fag City on June 2, 2009 · 26 comments The L Magazine

art fag city, Dirk Skreber
Dirk Skreber, Installation view, Friedrich Petzel Gallery

This week at The L Magazine I discuss the Dirk Skreber and Alex Katz shows in Chelsea.  Teaser below.

The erroneous belief that gallery art has a higher, more profound purpose often gets in the way of properly assessing it. So too does the authority of the exhibition space, which can intimidate even the most seasoned viewer. Gallerygoers tend to excuse bad art, especially if it's controversial. Maybe the work has greater rationality behind it than is immediately apparent; maybe the art isn't challenged by the liberal politics of the artist; or perhaps the art is even transcendental!

This came to mind recently when viewing Dirk Skreber's exhibition at Friedrich Petzel Gallery in Chelsea. Featuring two vagina-shaped crashed cars impaled on penile poles and bare-breasted paintings of super heroes, the show is the closest thing I've seen to pornography lately. I hoped there was more to it than appeared, until I read the press release, which described Skreber's sculptures as “begging ambivalence.” In other words, they are to be read at face value. One might conclude the vehicle's fastidiously clean surfaces mean to sanitize the sexual references, which might have some merit were it not such an obvious appeal to a notoriously conservative collectors' market.

Read the full review here.

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Karen Archey

    The more I think about this review, the more I agree with you, Paddy. Initially I never considered the labial/penile aspect of Skreber’s “pluck paintings” as I was hung up on their unapologetic wastefulness. Friedrich Petzel Gallery actually paid for these cars AND for them to be crashed at a test site! I never thought I would consider a show to be so “pre-recession.”

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Karen Archey

    The more I think about this review, the more I agree with you, Paddy. Initially I never considered the labial/penile aspect of Skreber’s “pluck paintings” as I was hung up on their unapologetic wastefulness. Friedrich Petzel Gallery actually paid for these cars AND for them to be crashed at a test site! I never thought I would consider a show to be so “pre-recession.”

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Karen Archey

    The more I think about this review, the more I agree with you, Paddy. Initially I never considered the labial/penile aspect of Skreber’s “pluck paintings” as I was hung up on their unapologetic wastefulness. Friedrich Petzel Gallery actually paid for these cars AND for them to be crashed at a test site! I never thought I would consider a show to be so “pre-recession.”

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Karen Archey

    The more I think about this review, the more I agree with you, Paddy. Initially I never considered the labial/penile aspect of Skreber’s “pluck paintings” as I was hung up on their unapologetic wastefulness. Friedrich Petzel Gallery actually paid for these cars AND for them to be crashed at a test site! I never thought I would consider a show to be so “pre-recession.”

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Karen Archey

    The more I think about this review, the more I agree with you, Paddy. Initially I never considered the labial/penile aspect of Skreber’s “pluck paintings” as I was hung up on their unapologetic wastefulness. Friedrich Petzel Gallery actually paid for these cars AND for them to be crashed at a test site! I never thought I would consider a show to be so “pre-recession.”

  • http://www.artfagcity.com Karen Archey

    The more I think about this review, the more I agree with you, Paddy. Initially I never considered the labial/penile aspect of Skreber’s “pluck paintings” as I was hung up on their unapologetic wastefulness. Friedrich Petzel Gallery actually paid for these cars AND for them to be crashed at a test site! I never thought I would consider a show to be so “pre-recession.”

  • http://www.unutterable.org Giovanni

    I can’t say I see the vaginas in the car crashes (I assumed instead that they were facile references to John Chamberlain/JG Ballard), but I do agree that this type ostentatiously expensive, spectacular photo-ready art is the epitome of pre-recession art.

    As for the naked-lady pieces, they seem to be 10th-generation Polke/Richter knock-offs.

    I expect all this work to begin appearing in international surveys/biennials/art fairs pretty soon.

  • http://www.unutterable.org Giovanni

    I can’t say I see the vaginas in the car crashes (I assumed instead that they were facile references to John Chamberlain/JG Ballard), but I do agree that this type ostentatiously expensive, spectacular photo-ready art is the epitome of pre-recession art.

    As for the naked-lady pieces, they seem to be 10th-generation Polke/Richter knock-offs.

    I expect all this work to begin appearing in international surveys/biennials/art fairs pretty soon.

  • http://www.unutterable.org Giovanni

    I can’t say I see the vaginas in the car crashes (I assumed instead that they were facile references to John Chamberlain/JG Ballard), but I do agree that this type ostentatiously expensive, spectacular photo-ready art is the epitome of pre-recession art.

    As for the naked-lady pieces, they seem to be 10th-generation Polke/Richter knock-offs.

    I expect all this work to begin appearing in international surveys/biennials/art fairs pretty soon.

  • http://www.unutterable.org Giovanni

    I can’t say I see the vaginas in the car crashes (I assumed instead that they were facile references to John Chamberlain/JG Ballard), but I do agree that this type ostentatiously expensive, spectacular photo-ready art is the epitome of pre-recession art.

    As for the naked-lady pieces, they seem to be 10th-generation Polke/Richter knock-offs.

    I expect all this work to begin appearing in international surveys/biennials/art fairs pretty soon.

  • http://www.unutterable.org Giovanni

    I can’t say I see the vaginas in the car crashes (I assumed instead that they were facile references to John Chamberlain/JG Ballard), but I do agree that this type ostentatiously expensive, spectacular photo-ready art is the epitome of pre-recession art.

    As for the naked-lady pieces, they seem to be 10th-generation Polke/Richter knock-offs.

    I expect all this work to begin appearing in international surveys/biennials/art fairs pretty soon.

  • Art Fag City

    @Giovanni You’re not the only person to have said they didn’t see the vaginas, which I have to say surprised the hell out of me when I heard it. It was literally the first thing I noticed when I entered the show.

  • Art Fag City

    @Giovanni You’re not the only person to have said they didn’t see the vaginas, which I have to say surprised the hell out of me when I heard it. It was literally the first thing I noticed when I entered the show.

  • Art Fag City

    @Giovanni You’re not the only person to have said they didn’t see the vaginas, which I have to say surprised the hell out of me when I heard it. It was literally the first thing I noticed when I entered the show.

  • Art Fag City

    @Giovanni You’re not the only person to have said they didn’t see the vaginas, which I have to say surprised the hell out of me when I heard it. It was literally the first thing I noticed when I entered the show.

  • Art Fag City

    @Giovanni You’re not the only person to have said they didn’t see the vaginas, which I have to say surprised the hell out of me when I heard it. It was literally the first thing I noticed when I entered the show.

  • Art Fag City

    @Giovanni You’re not the only person to have said they didn’t see the vaginas, which I have to say surprised the hell out of me when I heard it. It was literally the first thing I noticed when I entered the show.

  • http://www.unutterable.org Giovanni

    @Art Fag City nMaybe I’m more of a butt-man?

  • http://www.unutterable.org Giovanni

    @Art Fag City \nMaybe I’m more of a butt-man?

  • Ed

    I have to point out that the cars aren’t “impaled” on the poles, but wrapped around them. There really isn’t any penetration of any kind going on here. From a sexual metaphor stance, wouldn’t it be closer to masturbation? The wrapping of the cars over the “penile pole” like a hand and the plucking away of the foam (or whatever) to make the female images. Again with the hands.

  • Ed

    I have to point out that the cars aren’t “impaled” on the poles, but wrapped around them. There really isn’t any penetration of any kind going on here. From a sexual metaphor stance, wouldn’t it be closer to masturbation? The wrapping of the cars over the “penile pole” like a hand and the plucking away of the foam (or whatever) to make the female images. Again with the hands.

  • Ed

    I have to point out that the cars aren’t “impaled” on the poles, but wrapped around them. There really isn’t any penetration of any kind going on here. From a sexual metaphor stance, wouldn’t it be closer to masturbation? The wrapping of the cars over the “penile pole” like a hand and the plucking away of the foam (or whatever) to make the female images. Again with the hands.

  • Ed

    I have to point out that the cars aren’t “impaled” on the poles, but wrapped around them. There really isn’t any penetration of any kind going on here. From a sexual metaphor stance, wouldn’t it be closer to masturbation? The wrapping of the cars over the “penile pole” like a hand and the plucking away of the foam (or whatever) to make the female images. Again with the hands.

  • Ed

    I have to point out that the cars aren’t “impaled” on the poles, but wrapped around them. There really isn’t any penetration of any kind going on here. From a sexual metaphor stance, wouldn’t it be closer to masturbation? The wrapping of the cars over the “penile pole” like a hand and the plucking away of the foam (or whatever) to make the female images. Again with the hands.

  • Ed

    I have to point out that the cars aren’t “impaled” on the poles, but wrapped around them. There really isn’t any penetration of any kind going on here. From a sexual metaphor stance, wouldn’t it be closer to masturbation? The wrapping of the cars over the “penile pole” like a hand and the plucking away of the foam (or whatever) to make the female images. Again with the hands.

  • Ed

    I have to point out that the cars aren’t “impaled” on the poles, but wrapped around them. There really isn’t any penetration of any kind going on here. From a sexual metaphor stance, wouldn’t it be closer to masturbation? The wrapping of the cars over the “penile pole” like a hand and the plucking away of the foam (or whatever) to make the female images. Again with the hands.

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