Exhibition: Janice Guy: A Foot in the Mouth of Art, 1975–1981
Dates: January 26 – March 9, 2019
Higher Pictures is honored to present Janice Guy: A Foot in the Mouth of Art, 1975-1981. This is the artist’s first solo exhibition with the gallery.
The exhibition title draws from Nam June Paik’s 1978 video, Tribute to GM (aka Video Venus), starring Janice Guy. In the live performance—an homage to the late George Maciunas—Paik plays Chopin on a baby grand piano while Janice Guy quite literally puts her foot in Paik’s mouth.
The prints on view were made in the mid-to-late 1970s, while Janice Guy was one of three women in a class of fifteen students at the Düsseldorf Art Academy. There she studied with Klaus Rinke and later with Bernd and Hilla Becher. For thirty years her early artwork remained in storage, held by fellow student Thomas Struth. When Struth and Guy finally exhumed the work in its entirety in 2008, Struth was astonished by the sheer volume of work that Guy had quietly made.
She had been focused on creating art that upends the male gaze: by working as both artist and model, voyeur and active participant, Guy invites the viewer into an infinite, illusory loop of both watching and being watched. In her best-known artworks, her torso is twisted and torqued like warped metal. The camera serves as her cyborg double—at once an extension of her body and a surrogate eye.
In another series of photographs, Guy records the incremental accumulation of a series of X’s painted on her face as she ultimately obliterates herself. Such repetitive acts of self-transformation, recorded and disseminated by the camera, predict today’s culture of Instagram filters and online avatars.
Janice Guy (b. 1953) was included in several group exhibitions during and after completing her studies. Her first solo show was held in 1979 at Galerie Ricke, Cologne. In the late 1980s Janice’s medium would continue to evolve from photography, to gallery and artist residency director, to cofounder of the New York gallery Murray Guy (presently Janice Guy). Her work has been exhibited at The Apartment, Vancouver; Cleopatra’s, Brooklyn; The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York; and White Columns, New York. Guy lives and works in New York.
The artist’s first monograph, Janice Guy, was published by Hunters Point Press in the fall of 2018. Signed copies are available through the gallery.
For more information please contact Julia Curl at 212-249-6100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Image (video not on view): Nam June Paik, Tribute to GM (aka Video Venus), 1978. Courtesy of the Estate of Nam June Paik.