New York – Pace, in collaboration with Blum & Poe, is pleased to present an exhibition of work by Los Angeles-based artist Penny Slinger at its 540 West 25th Street gallery in New York. On view from September 16 to October 22 in the gallery’s first-floor library, the exhibition, titled 50% Unboxed, will feature selections from Slinger’s iconic 1971 artist’s book and collage series 50% The Visible Woman, through which the artist investigates the mapping and unveiling of the feminine subconscious. Alongside these historic works, the exhibition will also include Slinger’s new photo collage series My Body in a Box (2020-21). Pace’s presentation follows Blum & Poe’s 2021 exhibition of Slinger’s work, titled 50/50, in Los Angeles.
Originally created in 1969 as a hand-constructed, snakeskin-bound book for the artist’s thesis project at the Chelsea College of Art in London, 50% The Visible Woman was Slinger’s response to her discovery of Surrealism, which has had a pivotal impact on her practice. An homage to Max Ernst, the book includes photocollage and concrete poetry, artworks with which Slinger sought to rectify the fraught portrayals of women and the void of feminine authorship in the male-dominated surrealist milieu. “Having discovered the magic of Surrealism, I wanted to employ its tools and methods to create a language for the feminine psyche to express itself,” the artist has said. The book’s binding alternates between sheets of poetry and photocollage imagery—her poems are typed onto semi-transparent tissue paper, allowing the prose to interact directly with their visual counterparts beneath. Words take on curvilinear shapes in response to the images beneath them.
In 2021, Slinger released a new edition of her book 50% The Visible Woman, presenting her photomontage works and poetry unabridged for the first time. The book also features a conversation between Slinger and fellow artist and friend Linder.
Among the works from this series in Pace’s forthcoming exhibition is The Dialectics (1969), an image of a totem of dismembered, floating body parts. Some body parts appear as didactic diagrams, and others are plucked from an image of a woman in mime costume, with shadows reaching in every direction.
Slinger appropriates Surrealism’s language and themes—woman’s body as object, dream-state as entrance into the unconscious, and sexual and bodily desires—and applies them in analysis of Surrealism itself and its culture. Slinger inserts herself into this art historical lineage and takes ownership of a visual lexicon that had previously objectified her. Installed alongside her collage works is a sonic accompaniment produced in collaboration with musician Lydia Lunch.
Another highlight of the presentation is My Body in a Box, which Slinger created during the pandemic as part of an exploration of psychological entrapment and its attendant fears. As in her work from the 1960s, the artist uses her own image and body— photographed by her creative partner Dhiren Dasu—as subject to process a range of feelings and reactions.
In conjunction with this exhibition, Spectacle Theater in Brooklyn will present Alchemy & Ecstasy, a screening series of Slinger’s films. The program will feature early films produced in the late 1960s in tandem with the works in Pace’s exhibition, as well as a recent animated feature. The artist will participate in a live Q&A at the theater on Saturday, September 17.
Penny Slinger has authored and illustrated numerous publications and has exhibited her work internationally. Recent institutional group exhibitions include Punk is Coming, MoCA, Westport, CT (2022); The Botanical Mind. Art, Mysticism and the Cosmic Tree, Camden Arts Centre, London, UK (2020); Tantra: Enlightenment to Revolution, British Museum, London, UK (2020); Cut and Paste – 400 Years of Collage, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art, Edinburgh, Scotland (2019); Visible Women, Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery, Norwich, UK (2018); Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings, Tate St Ives, Cornwall, UK (2018); The House of Fame, convened by Linder, Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, UK (2018); The Beguiling Siren is Thy Crest, The Museum of Modern Art, Warsaw, Poland (2017); Women House, Monnaie de Paris, Paris, France; traveled to National Museum in the Arts, Washington D.C. (2017); History Is Now: 7 Artists Take on Britain, Hayward Gallery, London, UK (2015); Feminist Avant-garde of the 1970s from the Sammlung Verbund Collection, Hamburger Kunsthalle, Hamburg, Germany (2015); Lips Painted Red, Trondheim Kunstmuseum, Trondheim, Norway (2013); The Dark Monarch, Tate St. Ives, St. Ives, UK (2009); and Angels of Anarchy, Manchester Art Gallery, Manchester, UK (2009).
Pace is a leading international art gallery representing some of the most influential contemporary artists and estates from the past century, holding decades-long relationships with Alexander Calder, Jean Dubuffet, Barbara Hepworth, Agnes Martin, Louise Nevelson, and Mark Rothko. Pace enjoys a unique U.S. heritage spanning East and West coasts through its early support of artists central to the Abstract Expressionist and Light and Space movements.
Since its founding by Arne Glimcher in 1960, Pace has developed a distinguished legacy as an artist-first gallery that mounts seminal historical and contemporary exhibitions. Under the current leadership of President and CEO Marc Glimcher, Pace continues to support its artists and share their visionary work with audiences worldwide by remaining at the forefront of innovation. Now in its seventh decade, the gallery advances its mission through a robust global program—comprising exhibitions, artist projects, public installations, institutional collaborations, performances, and interdisciplinary projects. Pace has a legacy in art bookmaking and has published over five hundred titles in close collaboration with artists, with a focus on original scholarship and on introducing new voices to the art historical canon.
The gallery has also spearheaded explorations into the intersection of art and technology through its new business models, exhibition interpretation tools, and representation of artists cultivating advanced studio practices. As part of its commitment to technologically engaged artists within and beyond its program, Pace launched a hub for its web3 activity, Pace Verso, in November 2021.
Today, Pace has nine locations worldwide, including a European foothold in London and Geneva, and two galleries in New York—its headquarters at 540 West 25th Street, which welcomed almost 120,000 visitors and programmed 20 shows in its first six months, and an adjacent 8,000 sq. ft. exhibition space at 510 West 25th Street. Pace’s long and pioneering history in California includes a gallery in Palo Alto, which operated from 2016 to 2022. Pace’s engagement with Silicon Valley’s technology industry has had a lasting impact on the gallery at a global level, accelerating its initiatives connecting art and technology as well as its work with experiential artists. Pace consolidated its West Coast activity through its flagship in Los Angeles, which opened in 2022. Pace was one of the first international galleries to establish outposts in Asia, where it operates permanent gallery spaces in Hong Kong and Seoul, as well as an office and viewing room in Beijing. Pace’s satellite exhibition spaces in East Hampton and Palm Beach present continued programming on a seasonal basis.