Opens Apr 18, 6-9p:
Storefront Ten Eyck Gallery, 324 Ten Eyck St., Brooklyn, NYC
René Smith’s paintings, Nude Dudes, are complicated and radical. Forty years after Playgirl popularized the idea that women could enjoy the male nude, we do not expect to see penises. These are feminist paintings. The subject is important, privileged by its relative absence from our visual culture. Smith’s work is a sincere ode to longing and the beauty of men’s bodies, but it also addresses the imbalance between the ubiquitous depiction of women’s bare bodies and the dearth of male nakedness. The paintings depict men’s bodies through a woman’s eyes. The man’s body is presented as a landscape with hills and valleys to roam. The work also abounds in art historical references, our relationship to photography and formal and painterly ideas about the physical and sensual quality of the pieces themselves. Friends and professional models posed for Smith’s camera in her studio. She works from these photographs to create her large-scale paintings.
Juliette - John White Alexander