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Meredith Rosen Gallery opens inaugural exhibition with new work by Jennifer Rubell
Slapstick is Rubell’s first food performance open to the general public in New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- Meredith Rosen Gallery announces Consent, an exhibition of new work by gallery artist Jennifer Rubell. It is the gallery’s inaugural exhibition.

The show of paintings, drawings and food performance, which takes place across all three of the gallery’s exhibition spaces, opened February 8 and remains on view through March 31, 2018. Public performances will take place frequently over the duration of the exhibition.

Slapstick is Rubell’s first food performance open to the general public in New York. It is also the artist’s first time as a live performer in her work. The performance consists of two pedestals, one with hundreds of cream pies and the other with Rubell standing on it. One viewer at a time is permitted to approach the pie pedestal, pick up a pie, and throw it in Rubell’s face. Slapstick is a meditation on status, power, vulnerability, privilege, humiliation, shame, dignity, risk, and acceptance, at a time when a questioning of these issues is at the center of public discourse.

The paintings, from Rubell’s Partition Painting series, consist of twenty 58x40 inch almond-colored bathroom partition panels, each one painted with Cadmium red oil paint sticks. The original molds of these R & F pigment sticks -- popularized by Jean-Michel Basquiat, Richard Serra and others -- were made by lipstick-mold specialists, and Rubell uses them exactly like lipstick, scrawling her actual phone number and endless hearts onto the partitions. According to Rubell, “The bathroom stall is a place where private thoughts and feelings are expressed, with the intent of public consumption. I don’t really see the difference between that and an artist’s studio.”

The Partition Paintings blur the line between conceptual art, painting, performance and participatory work. They are created with the intent of convincing the viewer to call the phone number painted on them. Rubell uses the language of painting as a means of persuasion, a call to action. They embody a profound optimism, about the viewer and about painting.

Drawings, on cocktails napkins and restaurant postcards, also contain Rubell’s phone number, and often a heart or encouraging phrase. They transform the archetypal courtship gesture of a woman giving out her number in a bar into an opportunity to create an artwork, placing Rubell in the dual roles of creator and subject. They are all signed, emphasizing their status as an art object, to be collected rather than (or in addition to) being acted upon. Is the artist’s number an object to be considered, and/or is she?

Jennifer Rubell (b. 1970) is an American conceptual artist whose work centers on the viewer’s physical interaction with the object. She works in a wide variety of participatory mediums ranging from interactive sculpture, painting and video to food performance.

Select performances and exhibitions include: Landscapes at Fondation Beyeler in Riehen, Switzerland; Old-Fashioned, at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Creation, for Performa, the New York performance-art festival; Made in Texas and Nutcrackers, at the Dallas Contemporary; So Sorry, at The Power Plant Contemporary Art Gallery in Toronto; The de Pury Diptych at the Saatchi Gallery, London; and Icons, at the Brooklyn Museum.

Rubell received a B.A. from Harvard University in Fine Arts. She lives and works in New York City.

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