We are pleased to announce a one-person exhibition by Judy Fox, her third show with P•P•O•W. Well known for her presentations of finely articulated babies and children Fox has over the last four years created an installation of five life sized sculptures comprising of four young girls and a middle-age man. These perfectly rendered figures infuse traditional aspects of technique and representation with the uncertainty of contemporary installation. The girls stand on very high pedestals, hands raised symmetrically. Each holds still, isolated in her pose as a cultural ideal of femininity. A Greek Satyr is grounded at a distance, balancing on one leg, his playful gaze is directed toward the elevated beauties.
Like her previous work, Fox renders each piece as a revision of a specific cultural icon using standard iconography. She strips them of props and clothing, except for historically accurate and extravagant hairstyles. The racially specific subjects toy with cultural and gender stereotypes: The African 'Onile' ("owner of the house") is vibrant and determined; northern European 'Rapunzel' is wistful and fragile; the Indian 'Lakshmi' (Goddess of Prosperity) is sensual and romantic; the Asian Court Lady is submissive and pleasant. Yet this contrived historicist art must be reconciled with the psychological presence of the individual naked children, seen from below by Satyr and viewer alike.
If looking at these child objects evokes conflicting emotions of protectiveness, voyeurism and irony, then perhaps reconciliation is delivered by beauty, the sincere stylistic metaphor for love. But these small humans, pretending to be heroes of mythological stature, do not possess the simple beauty of a simple world. They are rendered in a style that could be described as flawed perfectionism, reflecting a critical self-consciousness of the contemporary body ethos, their beauty drawing us into the timeless and doomed struggle to transcend the limitations of the flesh; our version of reaching toward the divine.
Judy Fox has been exhibiting her work since 1985 both nationally and internationally in museums and galleries. In May of this year Fox will install her sculpture at Galerie Thaddaeus Ropac in Paris. Her work has been included in such exhibitions as "My Little Pretty" at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago in 1997, the 1995 Venice Biennale, and a two-person exhibition at Kunst-Werke in Berlin, Germany.