Forbes Magazine: Nick Cave, Ana Mendieta And Brendan Fernandes Shine In 'Between History And The Body'
Ana Mendieta (b. 1948, Havana – d. 1985, New York), Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints), 1972, Suite of six estate color photographs, 16 x 20 inches each, (Courtesy of the Estate of Ana Mendieta and Galerie Lelong)
Cuban artist Ana Mendieta was a rising artist before she tragically fell out of a window in her Greenwich Village apartment, dropping 33 floors to her death following a fight with her husband, artist Carl André, in 1985. Since then, she has become a cult figure in the art world. A series of six self-portraits shot in 1972, titled “Untitled (Glass on Body Imprints)”, depicts Mendieta in a position that is both vulnerable and powerful as she presses a pane of glass against various body parts, including her butt, breasts and torso.
Nick Cave (b. 1959, Missouri), Soundsuit, 2011, Mixed media including rugs, afghans, metal, fabric, and mannequin, 98 1/2 x 21 1/2 x 20 inches, ©Nick Cave. Photo by James Prinz Photography. (Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York)
The piece is part of Between History and the Body, an exhibition curated by Sara Reisman at The 8th Floor on 17 West 17th Street presented by the Shelley & Donald Rubin Foundation. The exhibition features over two dozen works by artists who include Paul Anthony Smith, Nick Cave, Saya Wollfalk, and Elia Alba. “Together, these artists generate dialogue on cultural identity and history through representation of the body as an active force in ritual, both historic and imagined, and as an agent in the production of relics that communicate narratives of the Americas, Europe, Asia and Africa,” according to the press release.
Jeffrey Gibson’s 2014 sculpture, “White Power,” turns the notion into a pun through a found vinyl punching bag adorned with white fringe, steel studs and plastic beads. One of Cave’s Soundsuits shows a colorful creature that looks as if it’s about to broadcast a strong statement, while Alba’s 2012 “Portrait of a Young Girl” shows a distorted female figure, scrunched together into a rectangular shape topped with a head of curly brown hair. Brendan Fernandes’s black-and-white photographs show dancers outstretched as they grasp columns that display tribal masks.
While many of the works make for deep and profound imagery of the human body and its role in culture and history on their own, the narrative they create when grouped together tells a story of the human body’s beauty, struggle, will and perseverance throughout time.
By Ann Binlot for Forbes Magazine, July 29, 2015
Between History and the Body is on display through October 16. For more information, visit the8thfloor.org.