Jutta Koether’s “4 the Team” / Jana Euler’s “Unform”
              Wendy Vogel
              Days before New York’s galleries shuttered in mid-March, I saw exhibitions of figurative paintings by Jutta Koether and Jana Euler that read to me like biological weapons threatening the patriarchal history of art. Worried that I may have become an invisible conduit for viral contagion, my heightened bodily self-consciousness found echoes, first, in Koether’s exhibition “4 the Team,” the German-born painter and musician’s first solo show at Lévy Gorvy. For this mini-survey of the artist’s works on canvas from the 1980s to the present, Koether variously adopts vulnerability and heroism as painterly moods. Her practice—born out of the discourses of appropriation, feminism, and institutional critique—often hinges on the theatrics of installation: stage lighting, transparent glass walls, and performance. Here, she chose to leave the gallery’s elegant three-story space free of spatial interventions, allowing for an associative reading of the paintings. The ground floor debuted a suite of triumphant new works—three large figurative canvases, and two smaller abstract pieces titled Vorhang [Curtains] in her signature palette of reds and pinks. At first glance the portraits Neue Frau [New Woman], Neuer Mann [New Man], and Encore, all from 2019 with a color scheme of contrasting pastels, appear optimistic about the state …

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