Paul Brach Visiting Artist Lecture Series: Monica Majoli
ART: Monica Majoli’s practice examines the relationship between physicality and consciousness, as expressed through the documentary sexual image. Themes of intersubjectivity and temporality have informed numerous bodies of her work, together with decisive shifts in materiality. Monica Majoli's figurative paintings from the early 1990s to the present have depicted scenes of sexual fetishism— painstakingly actuated self-‐portraits with dildos or claustrophobically populated representations of S&M encounters between men. But she focuses less on the transcription of physical experience than on the suggestion of its most obdurate, if ineffable, psychological aspects and ramifications. Investigating themes and rituals of identity, intimacy, and mortality, Majoli's work is both a site for catharsis and an admission of its irresolution. A painting such as Untitled (1990), a small panel showing a slice of a woman's scarred pelvis, paradoxically implies intractable psychic distance that is unmitigated by corporeal proximity.
Highlights from her exhibition record include Compass in Hand: Selections from The Judith Rothschild Foundation Contemporary Drawing Collection, the Museum of Modern Art, New York (2009); Everywhere: Sexual Diversity Policies in Art, Centro Galego de Arte Contemporanea; Spain (2009); Eden's Edge: 15 L.A. Artists, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (2007); Into Me/Out of Me, P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center, New York (2006); Supereal, Marella Arte Contemporanea, Milan, Italy (2002); LA Post-‐Cool, San Jose Museum of Art (2002); Scene of the Crime, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles (1997); and In a Different Light, Berkeley Art Museum (1995). Her Rubberman series was featured in the 2006 Whitney Biennial and the 2006 Berlin Biennial of Contemporary Art at KW Institute of Contemporary Art. Her work is represented in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York, the Hammer Museum, Los Angeles and the Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles.