Touched: A Space of Relations

bitforms gallery

March 31, 2011

Touched: A Space of Relations
Janine Antoni
Lygia Clark
Lynn Hershman Leeson
Annette Messager

February 26–April 16, 2011

529 West 20th St
New York NY 10011
T 212.366.6939
info [​at​]
Exhibition Guide (PDF)

Tue–Sat, 11 AM–6 PM

bitforms gallery is pleased to announce an exhibition that explores the sense of touch as a metaphor of bodily presence and an extension across boundary. Actualizing our understandings of public/private and inside/outside, touch is a gesture system. It manipulates physical, social, psychological and electronic domains, aiding in their transformation.

Presenting a cross-generational selection of voices, “Touched: A Space of Relations” includes the work of four prominent artists working in Europe and the Americas. With the earliest work dating from 1966, the exhibition brings into focus a visual conversation between the artists Janine Antoni, Lygia Clark, Lynn Hershman Leeson and Annette Messager.

Highlights from the exhibition include four earlier works showing publicly in NYC for the first time: “Self Portrait as Another Person” (1966-68) by Lynn Hershman Leeson; a 13-part installation of the series “Mes Petites Effigies” (1989-90) by Annette Messager; and two pieces from the series “Mes Trophées” (1986-88) also by Messager.

Linking all the works together is touch’s ability to function inside the realms of fantasy, dream or simulacrum. Interior worlds of therapeutic sensation are discovered Lygia Clark’s “Structuring the Self” (1976/88), in which relational objects serve as surrogates for physical contact. Also rooted in gesture and care of the body, Janine Antoni’s bronze urinal prosthesis, “Conduit” (2009) is paired with the beauty-obsessed “Ingrown” (1998). In “Up Against” (2009) Antoni merges architecture of the home with the body.

As an over arching theme in many of the pieces by Lynn Hershman Leeson is a very human impulse to feel the world around us and then respond to it – as seen in two new interactive installations. For example, “Home Front – Cycles of Contention” picks apart the psychology of a domestic dispute, and in the “!WAR Graphic Novel and Curriculum Guide” an intervention is made within the academic history of the American Feminist Art Movement.

Curated by Laura Blereau