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Shigeko Kubota performing Vagina Painting in 1965
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The Venus of Long Island City
by Jerry Saltz



Much of the art in "WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution" is fully experimental, made by the seat of its jeans and pleats of its skirts. In fact, the best way to look at the show is as a walk-in catalogue, a consciousness-raising session and a class reunion. Itís devoted to the artistic soldiers of the womenís movement from 1965 to 1980, and itís all here, the good and the bad: cringe-inducing off-the-wall goddess worship, icky dirty-hippie art, lighter-than-air pattern-and-decoration painting, porn as art, breast-beating, bra-burning, the joys and sorrows of second-wave sex, man-hating, woman-loving, bushy hair, aviator glasses and the revolutionary power of womenís laughter and anger. Nearly every trope in favor today -- from photography-based painting to performance, appropriation, scatter art, process art, endurance art, "Relational Esthetics," and institutional critique -- was either invented or extended back then. This P.S.1 show is loaded with DIY ingenuity, passion and literal blood and guts.

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