The artist Eric Fischl once called Amy Myers’s abstract drawings “totems to Cosmic Sexuality.” These words may seem hyperbolic, unless you’ve seen her startling, lacy constructions in the flesh. Her imagery is founded on vulva-like forms that emerge from a central axis, recalling the “central core” or vaginal imagery in early feminist work by artists like Judy Chicago. (Myers claims Lee Bontecou and Roberto Matta as artistic influences.) To my eye, Myers builds upon early feminist art in exploring the powerful intersection of sexuality and spirituality, revamped for the 21st century.
Spectral Bond, Light as Spiral, at McKenzie Fine Art, is Myers’s first solo show in New York in seven years. Her last exhibition, at Mike Weiss Gallery, featured gargantuan drawings that towered over the viewer. Her current show, while still imposing, is more intimate in scale. Entering the exhibition, one encounters a suite of four large, chromatically austere drawings, whose irregular, widely spaced presentation accentuates their subtle asymmetry. Towards the back, there is a group of smaller pieces in a sort of nook. These framed drawings bring to mind illuminated manuscripts with their precise, ornamental style.
Myers works with graphite, gouache, pastel, and conté crayon, rendering complex forms that bloom from the center of a grid, made from joined sheets of paper. At first glance, the drawings look digitally created. Upon closer inspection, the seams of the paper become apparent. Then one begins to notice the deliberately off-kilter symmetry, the handmade facture, the small stray notations in pencil, the ghostly erased sections.
Myers’s father is a physicist, and her titles reflect her interest in cosmology and black hole theory. “The Ultraviolet Underground-PT1” (2015), the largest work in the show, is a succession of lambent and corset-like shapes, drawn in velvety black silhouettes on cream-colored paper. Pale petals stream out from yonic portals like peacock feathers. Lines recede and advance, overlapping each other, creating space, then canceling it out.
Looking at the drawings for an extended period, one starts to recognize a myriad of familiar entities: ball gowns, galaxies, uteruses, dandelion spores, pelvises, ribcages, spider webs, checkerboards, constellations. These shifting elements, never clearly representational, harmonize in ways that suggest the interconnectedness of the natural world. Spectral Bond, Light as Spiral leaves the viewer in awe, with the sense that the mysteries of the universe are not ours to fully know.
Amy Myers: Spectral Bond, Light as Spiral continues at McKenzie Fine Art (55 Orchard Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan) through October 11.
Bobby Wilson Combats Indigenous Stereotypes Through Humor
The artist-performer’s career undulates, ever so gracefully, across multiple mediums and registers of generational pain, healing laughter, and Indigenous joy.
Rare 19th-Century Silhouette Album’s Secrets Unlocked
Traveling portrait artist William Bache’s album depicts famous figures like Thomas Jefferson as well as people whose identity was previously unknown.
Haggerty Museum of Art Presents Tomás Saraceno in Dialogue With Dr. Somesh Roy
The artist and researcher will explore soot’s effects on climate change and public health in this online conversation.
McKnight Visual Artist Fellows Discussion Series at the Minneapolis Institute of Art
The series features 2021 Fellows David Bowen, Mara Duvra, Rotem Tamir, Ben Moren, and Dyani White Hawk in conversation with renowned curators and critics.
Artists Show What They Can Do With a Google Phone’s Camera
Works by 21 photographers are now on view in Manhattan for the seventh season and 100th project coming out of the Google Pixel Creator Labs.
Nevada Museum of Art Presents Adaline Kent: The Click of Authenticity
For the first time in nearly 60 years, the innovative yet under-recognized artist is the subject of a retrospective exhibition. On view in Reno, Nevada.
Met Museum Kicked Me Out for Praying to My Ancestral Gods
My danced prayer to looted Cambodian antiquities was too much for the New York museum.
A Museum Guard’s Ode to the Healing Power of Art
In All the Beauty in the World, Patrick Bringley revisits the many ways that art meets life, and life art, and how death is often the bridge between them.
The Public Theater in NYC Presents Plays for the Plague Year
Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks’s theatrical concert chronicles the 2020 lockdown and the hope and perseverance that emerged from it.
UK Extends Export Ban on Coveted “Portrait of Omai”
London’s National Portrait Gallery was given a few months to acquire the work, which depicts the first Polynesian visitor to the UK.
The Sculptor Making Art With Loved Ones’ Ashes
Inspired by the three-year anniversary of the COVID-19 pandemic, Julian Stair’s exhibition honors the lives of eight people with cinerary jars.
Mondays at Pratt Institute: Weekly Openings of Work by Graduating Artists
Free and open to the public, Pratt Shows celebrate the school’s graduating students. MFA and BFA work on view this spring in Brooklyn, New York.
Art Institute of Chicago Under Scrutiny Over Sacred Nepali Necklace
The 17th-century object remains on display at the Chicago museum despite Nepal’s calls for repatriation.
Art Problems: How Do I Get a Public Art Commission?
Want to leave a mark on your city or town, but don’t know where to start? Paddy Johnson has some tips.