Sunday, February 17, 2013

Deborah Kass: "My Elvis +" At Paul Kasmin Gallery

Last November, I reviewed an exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum that focused on Andy Warhol's enduring influence. Deborah Kass's "My Elvis +" show at the Paul Kasmin Gallery in the Chelsea section of Manhattan is a testament to that influence. In her "Warhol Project" paintings, Kass appropriated some of Warhol's most famous images for her own ends. "Double Double Yentl (My Elvis)," a series of silkscreens in blues, reds and grays (above), reminds one of Warhol's "Double Elvis" series. The painting shows Barbara Streisand in the movie "Yentl," about a Jewish girl who dresses like a man to undergo religious studies. The theme reflects Kass's concerns with ethnic and gender identity as a feminist Jewish lesbian (in a NY Times profile, Kass also called the painting "a perfect metaphor for being a woman artist"). Also striking are Kass's appropriations of Warhol's "Elizabeth Taylor" for her self portrait, "Red Deb," and Warhol's "Self Portrait With Camouflage" for her "Camouflage Self Portrait."

“Deborah Kass: My Elvis +” continues through Feb. 23 at the Paul Kasmin Gallery, 515 W. 27th St., NYC,

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