Artist: Greer Lankton
Venue: Between Bridges, Berlin
Date: April 11 – May 22, 2015
Full gallery of images, press release and link available after the jump.
Images courtesy of Participant Inc., New York and Between Bridges, Berlin
Between Bridges is proud to present the first European solo exhibition of Greer Lankton’s work. The show is a continuation of her recent retrospective, Love Me, at Participant Inc, NYC, organized in cooperation with the Greer Lankton Archives Museum (G.L.A.M.). The original exhibition showed numerous of Lankton’s legendary dolls, photographs, and works on paper from various collections across the United States—and calls for an afterlife. A broad selection of those works will be on display in the rooms at Between Bridges, which in 2006 made its inaugural exhibition of showing the work of David Wojnarowicz, a long time friend and collaborator of Lankton.
During her lifetime, Lankton exhibited at Civilian Warfare, Gracie Mansion, the 1995 Whitney Biennial and Venice Biennale, and is fondly remembered by many for her displays in the windows of the East 7th Street boutique, Einsteins. Lankton remains an important figure in the history of the East Village art scene of the eighties and early nineties, best known for her meticulously constructed and, in many instances, constantly evolving doll sculptures. Often discussed in terms of their autobiographical nature, her figures reflect a lifelong obsession with her own body and the simultaneous glamour and gravity she embodied as a transgendered artist living within the culture of the East Village of that period.
Greer Lankton is an artist’s artist. This is evidenced by the sheer number of artists who collaborated with her and considered her a muse, including Nan Goldin, Peter Hujar, David Wojnarowicz, David Armstrong, among others. Her influence can be felt in the work of her contemporaries, but Lankton’s work is unlike anything else. She was ahead of her time, or, more specifically, outside of time. She methodically created her own world, whose occupants were like herself—transgendered and powerful women, extremely fat or extremely thin, circus people and icons—those who manifest the outer edges of the social order. She was a fearless artist, and her life as a gender innovator informs all of her work, making her an important forebear to those who have now become more visible in contemporary art and the culture at large.
Like so many artists of her generation, Greer Lankton died young. Although she was recognized as a part of this scene, her work does not neatly fit in with the prevailing image of the East Village art of the 1980s—privileging an aggressive aesthetic in painting and sculpture, easily marketed as a direct product of generational lifestyle. Lankton was a transgendered woman, whose work was, in many ways, considered ‘craft’ because she chose to make ‘dolls;’ still a difficult category to be properly inscribed into official art histories. Lankton’s resurgence now poses not only a correction to an incomplete art historical canon, but also testament to the work’s ability to resonate beyond her immediate context, crossing intergenerational lines and constituencies spanning art, fashion, and gender politics. Her poignant, intricate sculptures, flooded with autobiographical detail, prove even more affecting today.