The Art Of Hannah Wilke

Daniel Marcus at Artforum:

WRITER CHRIS KRAUS devotes a long section of her 1997 book I Love Dick to artist Hannah Wilke, who had passed away from lymphoma a few years earlier. Identifying with Wilke’s reputation as a “female monster,” Kraus glimpsed what few other writers at the time could see. Over a career spanning more than three decades, from the late 1950s until her last days in the cancer ward, where she died at age fifty-two, Wilke treated her art as a vector of her desire, “continuously exposing [herself] to whatever situation occurs,” as she put it in a 1976 statement. Rejected as a shameless exhibitionist, she carried on unhindered, refusing to place her sexuality—or her body—under wraps. Her striptease was relentless and ruthless, never more so than in her final body of work, “Intra-Venus,” 1992–93, a series of large-scale color photographs and videos in which the artist, sick with cancer, stunts for the camera in the costume of illness, still every bit the goddess in bandages and with an IV drip.

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