Feminism Revisited: Regina Granne at A.I.R. Gallery

by Corinna Kirsch on April 14, 2015 Briefly Noted

regina granneWalking into Regina Granne’s show at A.I.R. Gallery, ABOVE THE CLOUDS AND UNDER THE RADAR, might make you ask questions you hadn’t ever planned on asking, like: Who was Regina Granne, and why did she make paintings that look like I’m looking at the world through the eyes of a lopsided dog?

Maybe you won’t find yourself asking that question exactly, but her paintings do provoke you to tilt your head and figure out what you’re looking at more closely. So, you should go see the show if you a) are into paintings that make you move your body around; b) you think the world is defined by the unbearable lightness of being; and c) if you are into rediscovering feminist painters who were big in the 1970s.

A self-declared “woman painter,” New Yorker Regina Granne (1939 – 2013) made what she called “non-gendered” paintings. What “non-gendered” painting looks like, in her current show, a retrospective of paintings at A.I.R. Gallery, ABOVE THE CLOUDS AND UNDER THE RADAR (through April 26), is crazy good. Pretty much, the show consists of a lot of interiors, nudes, and still-life imagery (plants, tables, and fruit, as well as plants and fruit on tables) contorted and made strange.

Everything shown in the paintings is so still, but very light. There’s a feeling of being a ghost: Are you floating above a painting, when looking at a giant rose growing out of a box? Or is the rose that’s floating, against a silvery gradient background? Nothing is reliable, and nothing is for certain. It’s a moral quandary, and that’s not so common in contemporary art.

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