Monica Bonvicini

September 17 - October 30, 1999

Opening on September 16, Anton Kern Gallery will present an exhibition by Italian artist Monica Bonvicini.  Her work has recently been featured at Site Santa Fe and the Venice Biennale.  This will be the artist’s first solo show in New York.


Using the architectural environment as a characteristically constructed social space, Monica Bonvicini explores the historical and political implications of the built environment.  Playing on the deceptively static nature of the spatial shell, her work examines the limitations and the vulnerability of the façade. 


I Believe in the Skin of Things as in That of Women is a simplified construction of sheet rock punctuated with text, drawings and lacerations across the implacable surface of the interior.  Quotations taken from the history of art and architecture suggest the role of the academy in substantiating and codifying the domain of architecture.  The use of women as a representation of power, wealth and well being is the subtext for Bonvicini’s examination of spatiality and the latent manipulation of sexual identity within both public and private space.  


Bonvicini’s polemics dispute the primacy of the wall and set about its destruction through both linguistic and physical pressure.  Operating from a given theoretical base, she relentlessly pushes her analysis to the point where theory reveals its own presumptions and the fissure at the source of its verbal coherence gives way. It is here that her work breaks open, refashions and inscribes a new series of perpetual contradictions.