Kate Costello | Notes on Looking

Kate Costello, Hammer Biennial second visit – Sunday, June 10

An eager smile on a lovely young woman, this smile is on a lovely nude young woman, and she posing for a camera. I think for a moment of other posing women in recent work, nude and otherwise: Jeanette Mundt, in her recent self titled exhibition at Michael Benevento proposed that (working from memory here) women are always posing, from girlhood on and that finally each woman becomes her own audience, as she considers her self in each situation in relation with her past as much as in the room around her. Mundt did not picture women in her paintings, rather she showed rooms that were decorated by women to act as sets for the roles they chose. The sense of the female presence was unavoidable, as in a funny way, it was impossible for me not to think of the artist considering her role. (Michael Benevento Gallery, select “exhibitions” “past” then Jeanette Mundt): http://www.beneventolosangeles.com/ Night Gallery, back in September showed odd nudes by an unknown artist called Jay Tucker. To me Tucker’s paintings (and their presentation by the two women who are Night Gallery) must cause problems for any reading in a strict “advantage is being taken by the male gaze” sense. Jay Tucker was a self-taught artist with an insightful grasp on zeitgeist of his day (1992 – 2005). Identity politics and late Feminism were still being played out in the universities and artist studios across the country and it must be supposed that similar active questionings were happening outside the academy, on the streets and among working people. Certainly the women in Tucker’s paintings were posing,...