The Lookout: “Daughter of Bad Girls”
June 19, 2014
The 1994 exhibition "Bad Girls" was a sprawling affair. Organized by Marcia Tucker at New York's New Museum of Contemporary Art (and staged in conjunction with Marcia Tanner's independently curated "Bad Girls West" at UCLA) the exhibition highlighted the complexity and contradictions of feminist art, surveying an unruly aesthetic of comedy and disgust, outrage and pleasure. Two decades later, a concise new group exhibition makes the case that the heiresses of "Bad Girls" are needed more than ever. The limits of the progress since 1994 are made bitingly clear in the collective Ridykeulous's crudely revised Guerrilla Girls poster, and in a video by Ann Hirsch documenting her performance on an actual VH1 reality show, where she competed against a gaggle of young ladies for the affection of some muscled-up dude. Subtlety and provocation also go hand-in-hand, as in Jessica Rath's vegetal sculptures and Ellen Altfest's figural watercolors.