Exhibition at Kasmin presents presents three large-scale paintings by Judith Bernstein
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Exhibition at Kasmin presents presents three large-scale paintings by Judith Bernstein
Judith Bernstein, Gaslighting (Red), 2019. Acrylic and oil on canvas, 89 1/2 x 88 1/2 inches, 227.3 x 224.8 cm. Courtesy of the artist and Kasmin, New York.

NEW YORK, NY.- In her exhibition GASLIGTING FOREVER, Judith Bernstein presents three large-scale paintings that represent the culmination of over a half-century’s commitment to confronting the injustices of power and politics within a sexual lens. Exhibited in the gallery’s 514 West 28th Street location, this explosive series incorporates the artist’s signature use of fluorescent paint displayed under black light and is being displayed under black light and presented with a limited-edition silkscreen print entitled Equality (2021), created in the spirit of the artist’s iconic 1995 charcoal drawing of the same title.

“Gaslighting” is a term coined by the 1944 thriller “Gaslight,” featuring Ingrid Bergman and Charles Boyer. Referencing the movie’s plot, it has since come into popular lexicon to describe a situation wherein an abuser encourages their target to question and undermine their judgment and sanity. Gaslighting is a psychological battleground relating to toxic power dynamics, pervasive across personal and political realms. An insightful subtlety in Judith's series is her intentional misspelling of “Gasligting” in each painting, removing the “h,” so that the viewer is prompted to momentarily question their own sanity.

As in all of her work, Bernstein commands complete ownership of her subject matter. Representational figures float in an open void, and absurd games of manipulation are at the forefront of turbulent dynamics. The Gasligting series began in 2019. Also included in this exhibition is Death of the Universe #1 (2018). Though this painting was created prior to the current pandemic, Bernstein showcases Death of the Universe #1, 12.5 x 14 ft, in this exhibition to represent the blackhole of its devastating global impact.

Since receiving her MFA from Yale in 1967, Judith Bernstein has developed a reputation as one of the most unwaveringly provocative artists of her generation. For over 50 years, her work has been an autobiographical exploration of the connection between the political and the sexual. It is about her rage at injustice. It is the core of what she’s about. Steadfast in her cultural, political and social critique throughout her career, Bernstein surged into art world prominence in the early 1970s with her monumental anti-war and Feminist charcoal drawings of penis-screw hybrids; early incarnations of which were exhibited at AIR Gallery; Brooks Jackson Iolas Gallery, New York; Brooklyn Museum; and MoMA P.S.1, among other institutions.

Solo exhibitions include Hot Hands at The Box, LA (2020); Blue Balls at Karma International, Zurich (2019); Money Shot at Kasmin Gallery, NY (2018); Cabinet of Horrors at The Drawing Center, NY (2017); Cock in a Box at The Box, LA (2017); Dicks of Death at Mary Boone Gallery, NY (2016); Voyeur at Mary Boone Gallery, NY (2015); Judith Bernstein: Rising at Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway (2016); Birth of the Universe at Gavin Brown’s enterprise, NY (2014); Rising at Studio Voltaire, London (2014); Judith Bernstein: HARD at the New Museum, NY (2012); and Fuck Vietnam at The Box, LA (2011).

Group exhibitions include Permanent Collection at Kunsthaus Zurich (2021); Seven Stations, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA (2020); Artists Respond: American Art and the Vietnam War, at The Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C. (2019); United by AIDS, Migros Museum, Zurich (2019); Masculinity at Bonner Kunstverein, Bonn, Germany (2019); Human Interest at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (2016); Toys Redux at Migros Museum, Zurich (2015); America Is Hard To See at the Whitney Museum of American Art, NY (2015); Keep Your Timber Limber at ICA, London (2013); and The Historical Box, Hauser and Wirth, Zurich and London (2011-2012).

Bernstein has work in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, NY; the Whitney Museum of American Art; Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Deste Foundation, Athens, Greece; the Brooklyn Museum, NY; Smithsonian Institute, Washington, D.C.; Jewish Museum, NY; Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland; Migros Museum, Zurich, Switzerland; Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh; Hirshhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL; Sammlung Verbund, Vienna; Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY; Yale University Art Gallery, New Haven, CT; Neuberger Museum, New York; and Hall Art Foundation, Reading, Vermont. She was the recipient of a John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation Fine Arts Fellowship in 2016.

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