Hannah Wilke




An exhibition spanning three decades of the American painter, sculptor, photographer, video and performance artist Hannah Wilke (1940 – 1993), in partnership with The Hannah Wilke Collection and Archive, Los Angeles.

Wilke’s firm legacy as a pioneering, often controversial, feminist and conceptual artist is evident not only in her early use of vaginal imagery as a feminist intervention but also in her radical choice of materials. The use of terracotta and ceramic, latex, chewing gum and erasers was unusual for this time period and their characteristics of malleability and fragility reflect the sense of vulnerability that is consistent throughout Wilke’s practice.

Over the last decade, major museums have acknowledged Wilke’s previously overlooked importance through significant acquisitions: MoMA, New York; Solomon R. Guggenheim, New York; Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; LACMA, Los Angeles and Centre Pompidou, Paris. Tate, London recently acquired Wilke’s iconic installation Elective Affinities (1978) consisting of 76 glazed porcelain white sculptures laid out in grid-like formats; a maquette for this work, Untitled (1977), is included in the current exhibition.

Bringing together works from the early 1960s through to 1987, this is the first time since Wilke’s death in 1993 that her paintings on canvas from the 60s have been exhibited. The colours of these works and the forms depicted relate to many of Wilke’s drawings and sculptures. Other lesser-known intensely coloured small-scale works on paper are shown alongside Wilke’s iconic performance photographs including Gestures (Triptych), (1974 – 76) in which the artist stretches and contorts her face directly at the camera, using her skin as a malleable sculptural medium. As Wilke explained Gestures shows “the pathos past the posing” and this reference to primal female instinct was fundamental to her thinking.

Duration 27 September 2018 - 21 December 2018
Times Tuesday to Saturday: 11am - 6pm
Cost Free
Venue Alison Jacques Gallery
Address 16 - 18 Berners Street, London, W1T 3LN
Contact / info@alisonjacquesgallery.com / www.alisonjacquesgallery.com

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