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Collaged Images of Survival
Carmen Winant is a photographer who rarely takes photos. Instead, she pulls them from pamphlets and papers and installs her findings in ways that overwhelm — for “My Birth” (2018), she taped 2,000 images of childbirth to the walls of the Museum of Modern Art, demanding a reckoning of how the culture has framed and censored an experience that’s central to the lives of most women. For the solo show that opens this week in her native Philadelphia at the Print Center, the Columbus, Ohio-based artist delved into the archives of two organizations that support those impacted by domestic violence: the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence and Women in Transition. Winant braced herself for photographic evidence of violence; instead, she faced piles of materials designed to empower survivors. The resulting pieces include a photo grid of women immersed in work, which Winant found on cards passed out to those seeking to support themselves with a new career; copies of a “power-control” diagram given by social workers to help identify abuse; and imagery of T-shirts decorated by survivors, with puff-paint affirmations like, “I was in a box of pain!! But now I am free!!” “There’s agony in the exhibit, but there’s so much life-affirming material,” Winant says. “I wouldn’t have been able to carry on if that wasn’t a part of it.” “A Brand New End: Survival and Its Pictures” is on view April 15 through July 16 at the Print Center in Philadelphia, printcenter.org.
When the pandemic hit, the New York-based designer Phillip Lim took an entire year off from production of his men’s wear line. What began as a logistical need became an opportunity to reconsider that element of his business and, ultimately, to step outside of the relentless fashion calendar and trend cycle for the first time since founding his namesake line in 2005. Last summer, Lim introduced “kits,” capsule collections of pieces intended to be mixed and matched as total wardrobes unto themselves; the drops “say everything within one rack,” as Lim puts it. For kit 3, out this week, he offers a palette of sedate neutrals with playful details: Nehru-collared shirts, half-zip polos and tapered trousers with built-in belts are smart for whatever iteration of an office comes next but are far from basic. His wearers have always “existed in the space between streetwear and formal tailoring,” says Lim, and his goal is to make stylish men’s lives a little easier by providing familiar fits season to season, with new details and colors for fresh combinations. He and his customers are pleased with the pivot so far. “They’re hooked,” the designer says. From $175, 31philliplim.com.
Ambitious Literary Outlets
From time to time, people like to argue about the death of magazines, the last remaining souvenir of decadence from the floundering publishing industry. Despite such predictions of doom, a surfeit of new or refreshed periodicals have appeared on the literary landscape that are often, finally, led by women. There’s Emily Stokes’s Paris Review, which announced its new era with a redesign by the book designer Na Kim and a cover by the English artist Rose Wylie (its spring issue features the work of Scottish painter Andrew Cranston, above). Two years ago, Rebecca Panovka and Kiara Barrow launched The Drift, while this month, Aliza Abarbanel and Tanya Bush will debut Cake Zine, a sensualistic examination of pop culture, history, literature and art through the lens of dessert. Perhaps the most striking entrant to the shelf, however, is Astra, out now. With its first issue themed around the idea of ekstasis — ecstasy — its pages include works of fiction and nonfiction by Ottessa Moshfegh, Mieko Kawakami, Solmaz Sharif, Catherine Lacey, Leslie Jamison and many more. Printed with French flaps and in four colors, Astra argues for reviving the pleasure of engaging with literature while also holding a beautifully made object. “It’s not easy to find ecstasy in this moment,” writes Astra’s editor, Nadja Spiegelman. “But it’s crucial.”
The aesthetic of ball-chain jewelry can swing from punk to prim, as with a pearl necklace. Several designers played with the dichotomy with their spring 2022 collections, using the motif to make classic clothes edgy and edgy clothes downright fetishistic. At the Gucci runway show, creative director Alessandro Michele’s models walked down Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles wearing latex and lace looks accompanied by ball-chain pendants that, at second glance, revealed themselves to be actual sex toys, while for his namesake line, Junya Watanabe accented ladylike, floral-printed bodices with black and gold spheres worn around the neck. For her play on preppy style at Miu Miu, Miuccia Prada paired cable-knit sweaters or button-down shirts — and twice, a “top” consisting just of a basic bra — with chokers studded with pearl-like beads the size of golf balls. Perhaps the most wearable iteration comes from the Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Sophie Buhai, whose Perriand Collar is offered with beads of metal or semiprecious stones such as onyx or lapis. It was named for the signature necklace of the French architect and designer Charlotte Perriand, who called the accessory “a symbol of my adherence to the 20th-century machine age,” adding, “I was proud that my jewelry didn’t rival that of the Queen of England.”
A surprising aspect of cultural erasure is that it can happen in plain sight. Consider María Sol Escobar, known mononymously as Marisol, who earned international renown in the 1960s for her wood carvings and sculptural assemblages — including clever depictions of the Kennedy family and British royals — only to fade into relative obscurity before her death in 2016. “Marisol and Warhol Take New York,” at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, helps reset the record by showcasing some of the Paris-born Venezuelan artist’s most striking works, which combined Pop Art themes with pre-Columbian folk sensibilities, in conversation with those by her close friend Andy Warhol, who called her “the first girl artist with glamour.” The retrospective, originally curated by Jessica Beck at the Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, is less interested in conferring primacy than establishing their contemporaneity and mutual influence: “The Party,” an installation of 15 sculptural self-portraits by Marisol, is stationed directly in front of Warhol’s cow wallpaper, a nod to the fact that both debuted in April of 1966. In 1968, Marisol left New York for Europe — a move some have interpreted as a rejection of her success, though she continued to make art. For Maritza Lacayo, the assistant curator at the Pérez, there is no obvious explanation: “I think [when] the world demanded a little bit too much of her, or things weren’t aligning with what she wanted, she would simply go elsewhere.” “Marisol and Warhol Take New York” is on view April 15 through Sept. 5 at the Pérez Art Museum Miami, pamm.org.
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