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The New Yorker

Sonja Sekula, 7-Levels, 1958, ink and watercolor on paper, 14 3/4 x 10 1/8 inches (37.47 x 25.72 cm)


Goings On About Town: GALLERIES-UPTOWN
Sonja Sekula

June 1, 2017

This career-spanning show of small works by the little-known Swiss-born modernist contains nothing so dull as a series. Each bright drawing or painting is a world of its own, invented from scratch. In the nineteen-forties, Sekula experimented, in her meticulous fashion, with biomorphic and Cubist abstraction; later, her unfettered compositions included vibrant, washy areas and idiosyncratic glyphs. "7-Levels,"from 1958, features a sunburst at its center anda doodle-like density of ink, overlaid with horizontal bands of pastel color. Photographs of Sekula portrat her looking radiant in André Breton's New York apartment, posing with a bedridden Frida Kahlo, and sitting between John Cage and Merce Cunningham- but their kind of success eluded her. The artist spent her adulthood in and out of mental hospitals, eventually yaking her own life, at the age of forty-five. This fascinating, welcome survey aims to rescue her from the footnotes of the avant-garde.



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