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Forty Funny Females at The Church

Tue, 06/18/2024 - 14:37
Deborah Buck, seen here in action, will be at The Church in Sag Harbor to talk about her work in its exhibition "Are You Joking? Women and Humor."
Courtesy of the Artist

The world could use a few more laughs these days, and The Church is doing its part with its summer exhibition, “Are You Joking? Women and Humor.” Organized by Sara Cochran, the Sag Harbor venue’s chief curator, the show will run from Sunday through Sept. 1, featuring the work of 40 female-identifying artists across all mediums.

The aims are twofold. The first is to counter the tired stereotypes and clichés about women not being funny or able to take a joke. The second is to show the different forms and topics of contemporary humor, from artistic jokes, political outrages, bodily functions and appearances, cultural stereotypes, sex, and death, to the absurd and surreal, puns and slapstick, as well as poking fun at sacred cows of art and its institutions.

As an example, Katherine Bernhardt’s 2022 canvas “Shark Attack” engages with the traditions of painting. Ignoring illusion, perspective, or scale, her paintings flatten any sense of hierarchy or relationship between their elements. Among the images are sharks, half-smoked cigarettes, doughnuts, a lost Croc, and a sad face juxtaposed with a reclining pink panther.

“Humor is deeply personal, and viewers will respond in individual ways to each of the works,” says Ms. Cochran. “It is exciting to hear all of these female voices in the exhibition. Humor is one of the best ways to speak truth to power and foster shared experiences.”

The exhibition includes work by Nina Chanel Abney, Eleanor Antin, Monica Banks, Lynda Benglis, Katherine Bernhardt, Deborah Buck, Patty Chang, Sonya Clark, Renee Cox, Pipi Deer, Abigail DeVille, Madeline Donahue, Rosalyn Drexler, Martha Edelheit, Nicole Eisenman, Saskia Friedrich, Pippa Garner, Shadi Ghadirian, Carly Haffner, and K8 Hardy.

Other participating artists are Judith Hudson, Nina Katchadourian, Caitlin Keogh, Louise Lawler, Judith Linhares, Olivia Locher, Sarah Lucas, Tala Madani, Gladys Nilsson, Joyce Pensato, Wendy Red Star, Pipilotti Rist, Cara Romero, Bastienne Schmidt, Dana Schutz, Cindy Sherman, Heji Shin, Denise Silva-Dennis, Laurie Simmons, Alexis Smith, Tammi Smith, Mickalene Thomas, Claire Watson, Lisa Yuskavage, and Almond Zigmund.

In conjunction with the exhibition, The Ch urch’s Insight Sunday series will feature Ms. Buck, who will discuss the inspiration and processes behind her work on view, “A Day at the Races,” on Sunday morning at 10:30. Ms. Buck, who has said her work is “like nature on steroids,” explores the darker side of fairy tales while also tackling real-world issues.

An opening reception for “Are You Joking?” will be held on Saturday from 6 to 7:30 p.m.


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