Liz Markus "Are You Punk Or New Wave?"


poster for Liz Markus "Are You Punk Or New Wave?"

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Recollecting a sequence of youthful inspirations with images gleaned from such wide-ranging sources as Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Johnny Rotten, Christopher Wool and Jean Michael Basquiat, Liz Markus’s third solo exhibition at ZieherSmith, Are You Punk or New Wave? pulls together a disparate cast of characters that have re-invigorated her studio practice with a new immediacy. Always reinforced by a phalanx of art historical referents, Markus offers a postmodern blitz of glamour and glitz in art, fashion, music and culture, subtly referencing contemporary politics, as well.

Painted with fluid, delicate washes of acrylic on unprimed canvas, Markus presents a sequence of three paintings of Sex Pistols lead singer Johnny Rotten that both celebrate the singer and link him conceptually to Andy Warhol and, specifically, his 1963 Double Elvis. The image resonates with various dual corollaries: iconoclastic American rock and roll poses re-translated into heroic caricature, while the emerging artist looks backward to a past master, who made his own self-caricature a crucial part of his practice.

WAR and RELAX, two text paintings featuring the sloganeering of 80’s dance pop sensations Frankie Goes to Hollywood balance a copy of Christopher Wool’s Apocalypse Now a cheeky riff that refers to our own current wars while simultaneously remembering the high flying peaceful times when the originals were created. Markus also captures 80’s art nonpareil Basquiat hamming in a football helmet and Kate Moss from the back, wearing a leather jacket emblazoned with "God Save the Queen" — here a stand in for the artist herself, light-heartedly rebellious in recollection of her own youth in the 1980’s. Moss stands too as a symbol of the success and excess of celebrity culture tinged with scandal, controversy and notoriety.

The lynchpin of the exhibition is a large collage of Artforum advertisements from the 1980’s. Affixed to canvas with the visual imagery covered in silver glitter, Markus defaces the actual object of art and reduces long-past shows to nothing but their salient details. A nod to our current culture’s easy admiration and equally effortless dismissal of celebrity heroes, Markus looks backward with equal parts reverence and suspicion.



from November 18, 2010 to December 18, 2010

Reception For The Artist on 2010-11-18 from 18:00 to 20:00


Liz Markus

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    perke: (2010-12-02 at 19:12)

    Bookmarked with MyNYAB coz anaba blog made me wanna see it

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