Hannah Wilke Hannah Wilke’s Naked Crusade to Subvert the Patriarchy

Artsy Jan 01, 2019

At the far end of Alison Jacques Gallery in London, large and immediate, a sculpture of a vulva appeared leathery, red-raw, hanging from small hooks like drying meat. The sculpture’s edges are rippled like petals, shrivelled and calloused, and the folds overlap around a central cavity. Hannah Wilke’s Untitled (ca. 1970) begs to be touched, as though by doing so one might begin to understand these contradictions: delicate yet hardened, beautiful but off-putting. It has the look of something blooming and rotting all at once. It made me think of women, of death, of the utter strangeness of the body.

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