Judy Chicago’s “PowerPlay: A Prediction”
              Tess Edmonson
              After the completion of The Dinner Party (1974–89), for a five-year period from 1982 to 1987, Judy Chicago interrupted her study of female subjecthood to focus instead on its political other, masculinity. The result is a series of paintings and bronzes titled “PowerPlay,” a selection of which is currently on view at New York’s Salon 94. It’s affixed with the subtitle “A Prediction.” Of what? Four large-scale paintings in the main gallery figure variations on a male nude in a wash of taupe and technicolor. In each, he appears bald, white, and muscled, engaged in the performance of symbolic action. Driving the World to Destruction (1985), for example, shows the surface of a bald man’s torso, its hypertrophy defined by dark shadows. His overlarge hands hold a steering wheel affixed to the surface of the earth, whose deep greens are caught in a swirl of flames. In their rendering of male violence, these allegories are not complicated. A second gallery location in Freeman Alley housed an additional suite of works on paper, whose surface is sculpted to protrude from its frame. (This part of the exhibition is now closed.) Two among these works qualify the show’s claim to prophecy: Doublehead with Green
              "Lush Life: An Exhibition in Nine Chapters," New York
              Media Farzin
              The premise is a nine-part exhibition inspired by an edgy crime thriller, promising equal parts complexity and intertextuality. The results, however, aren’t quite as involved. “Lush Life: An Exhibition in Nine Chapters” is grouping of a nine loosely-themed summer shows scattered throughout New York’s Lower East Side. The exhibition takes its cues from Richard Price’s 2008 novel, Lush Life, a murder mystery that unfolds around old and new ghosts of the neighborhood. But the connection stops at the level of inspiration. Not that the show is lacking in structure: the collaborative venture by painter Franklin Evans and independent curator Omar Lopez-Chahoud involved soliciting artists from each gallery, assigning a chapter title as theme to each venue, commissioning works specifically for the show, and even a website complete with a picturesque map and video tour by Price himself. Walking through the galleries, however, the elaborate armature fades away. This may be to the show’s benefit, saving the work from becoming illustrations of the novel. Price’s Lush Life is mired in urban grit, with brisk dialogue and deft character studies that capture the desperation present in the neighborhood’s upscale bars no less than its outlying housing projects. But the grit of the “Lush …

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