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Judith Bernstein: HARD at the New Museum, NY
Once Banished, Never Silenced: NY Times
"Two of her gargantuan screw drawings are here, in “Judith Bernstein: HARD,” one from 1973 and one from 1975, and they still pack a powerful punch. In these bravura performances of draftsmanship on sheets of paper that are 12 ½-feet or 26-feet wide, the screws extend horizontally as if they were drilling tunnels through mountains. Rendered by countless sweeping strokes of charcoal, they appear at once wildly hairy and scarily purposeful. They have cylindrical shafts wrapped by spiral ridges and rounded heads with open slots at the ends. Of course, the conceptual punch line is the equation of screw and penis. These biomechanical monstrosities seem to be vibrating with testosterone-fueled fury, projecting a distinctly male state of mind perceived by many on the countercultural left then and now as responsible for all kinds of trouble in the world.
They are masterpieces of feminist protest. But vehemently accusatory though they are, there is a sense in which the artist participates in that phallic energy through imposing scale and the urgency of her mark-making. They are the works of a woman tapping into her own potential for bravery, rage and aggression.”

Judith Bernstein: HARD at the New Museum, NY

Once Banished, Never Silenced: NY Times

"Two of her gargantuan screw drawings are here, in “Judith Bernstein: HARD,” one from 1973 and one from 1975, and they still pack a powerful punch. In these bravura performances of draftsmanship on sheets of paper that are 12 ½-feet or 26-feet wide, the screws extend horizontally as if they were drilling tunnels through mountains. Rendered by countless sweeping strokes of charcoal, they appear at once wildly hairy and scarily purposeful. They have cylindrical shafts wrapped by spiral ridges and rounded heads with open slots at the ends. Of course, the conceptual punch line is the equation of screw and penis. These biomechanical monstrosities seem to be vibrating with testosterone-fueled fury, projecting a distinctly male state of mind perceived by many on the countercultural left then and now as responsible for all kinds of trouble in the world.

They are masterpieces of feminist protest. But vehemently accusatory though they are, there is a sense in which the artist participates in that phallic energy through imposing scale and the urgency of her mark-making. They are the works of a woman tapping into her own potential for bravery, rage and aggression.”

Notes

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