ADAA: The Art Show
February 28 – March 4, 2018
DOTTY ATTIE: Works from1972-2018
Illustrated brochure available with essay by Eunice Lipton
P.P.O.W is pleased to announce a one-person booth of works by DOTTY ATTIE, which span her career from the early 1970s to the present. A presence on the New York art scene for over fifty years, Attie is one of the founding members of A.I.R., the first all-female artist’s cooperative gallery, founded in 1972. Her work is a fusion of minimalism, appropriation, and feminism and has consistently balanced emotional depth with critical inquiry. Since her earliest exhibitions, Attie’s work has rigorously engaged the grid as a formal and conceptual tool. She decontextualizes canonical works by Old Master painters and Modern photographers, who, not incidentally, are all male. Text panels are interwoven with her drawings or paintings to imbue her images with violence, eroticism and psychological imbalance.
At A.I.R., where she held seven solo exhibitions from 1972-1986, Attie exhibited works executed exclusively in graphite. One wall of our installation will focus on this early period of her work, the vast majority of which are held in public and private collections throughout the country, including Yale University Art Gallery, the Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art. The Dream 1985 is composed of 98, 3 x 3 inch graphite drawings that are individually framed in Plexiglas and installed one inch apart. The work depicts a landscape populated by figures and animals sourced from Mannerist and Neoclassical paintings, but the tessellated installation charges the scene with a meticulously structed chaos. In Old Age He Painted 1985 deploys a similar strategy of cubic fracturing to infuse Ingres’ The Valpincon Bather 1808 with psychological depth. One square of paper just off-center is noticeably excised from the scene and replaced with an imagined detail of the subject’s face. The one eye depicted confronts the viewer, restoring agency to an iconic figure championed for her languorous passivity.
Attie’s first solo exhibition at P.P.O.W in 1988 marked a shift to working exclusively on canvas. Displayed horizontally on the wall, her sequences of 6 x 6 inch canvases operate with rhythmic, cinematic structure. One such work, Resistance and Refusal Mean Consent (Justice) 2002, describes a high-profile crime from arraignment to execution. In this work, Attie’s square portraits of male architypes – lawyers, policemen, convicts, and journalists –depict a scene wherein moral absolutes crumble and everyone shares the blame. As relevant today as when she painted it, Attie’s text panels are a rejoinder to systemic male violence. They read: “Sometimes a traveler in foreign lands, where customs and mores are unfamiliar, will find to his surprise that in certain places and at certain times, resistance and refusal mean consent.”
Dotty Attie was born in Pennsauken, New Jersey in 1938 and lives and works in New York City. She received a BFA from the Philadelphia College of Art (1959), a Beckmann Fellowship at the Brooklyn Museum of Art School, New York (1960), and attended the Art Students League, New York (1967). Attie was awarded a Creative Artists Public Service grant in 1976-1977 from the New York State Council and National Endowment for the Arts grants in 1976 and 1983. In 2013, Attie was inducted into the National Academy of Design. Attie has exhibited nationally and internationally since 1972. Her work is in the collections of Yale University Art Gallery, CT; The Wadsworth Athenaeum, CT; Smith College Museum of Art, MA; The Museum of Modern Art, The Whitney Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum, NY; among others. In 2008, Attie was included in Burning Down the House: Building a Feminist Art Collection, curated by Maura Reily and Nicole Caruth, at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY. In 2012, Attie was featured in This Will Have Been: Art, Love & Politics in the 1980s, curated by Helen Molesworth, at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago, IL; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA and the The Walker Art Center, Minneapolis, MN. Attie has been represented by P.P.O.W since 1988.