Recently, at the debut of Hilary Harkness's obsessively rendered paintings of women living and working together aboard battleships and submarines, I was scolded by an early-'90s conceptual-political sculptor for appearing interested in this 29-year-old New Yorker's work. "When are critics going to stop writing about gratuitous, antifemale t&a art by women that shows women in their underwear, naked, or available?" she asked, bristling. She cited Lisa Yuskavage, Vanessa Beecroft, and Kara Walker as "suspect," and scarily warned, "Harkness better be gay to paint these paintings." It was like being interrogated by a puritanical parent. Until this moment, however, I hadn't quite realized how double-edged Harkness's... More >>>
By Photo Courtesy of Bill Maynes Gallery, New York
Harknesss paintings ooze a bitchy, demonic kinkiness: Rearguard Action (2000).