THE BELL IS OPEN TO THE PUBLIC JULY 9, 10, 16, 17. RESERVATIONS REQUIRED HERE.
Rebecca Warren’s sculpture Large Concretised Monument to the Twentieth Century (2007), recently installed on Brown’s Main Green, offers a grotesque caricature of a human cisgender female body. Referencing the comics of R. Crumb, Warren has exaggerated the voluptuous potential of breasts, hips, and rear to horrifying, cartoonish proportions. If the twentieth century can be monumentalized, this work suggests, it is in this distorted conception of a “female” body, stripping away from it all traces of identity in favor of fleshy anonymity.
In response, the works on display in this gallery complicate that image. Dating from the beginning of the twentieth century through the present day, Spectrums: Gender in the Bell Collection contains myriad interpretations of gender that are not “concretised” or reified, but rather embodied and performed in unexpected ways. Mindful of the manner in which the bodies of Black, Indigenous, and people of color are subject to both fetishization and desexualization, Spectrums emphasizes a sense of agency and centers the subjectivity of the protagonists of each work. Veering into the ghostly, the uncanny, and the defiant, the images in this room reveal variance and creativity in the presentation of gender throughout the decades.
Featuring works by Berenice Abbott, Aubrey Beardsley, Harry Callahan, Martine Gutierrez, Graciela Iturbide, Deana Lawson, Danny Lyon, Helmut Newton, Andy Warhol, and John Willis.
Spectrums: Gender in the Bell Collection is curated by Deborah Krieger, Curatorial Fellow.