Gretchen Bender’s work faded into obscurity following her meteoric 1980’s career. A posthumous retrospective in New York demonstrates why she deserves to be more than “a footnote to the Pictures Generation.”
The novelist and critic discusses her new book of fiction — Men and Apparitions.
Recent books by Tim Lawrence and Douglas Crimp underline the close relationship between the New York art scene of the 1970s and ’80s and that most unjustly maligned of musical movements, disco.
Robert Longo is the king of that detached world of 80s über-cool, though in retrospect the whole “movement” (if we can call it that) was nothing like its PR. Sure, one could be fooled into thinking that Longo’s corporate figures writhing out of control were comments on the culture of the time, perhaps even foreboding what was to come — Reaganomics, corporate avarice, an extreme form of alienation — but did we really think it would lead to advertisements for Bottega Veneta?