Frieze London: Mane | Robin F. Williams, Julie Curtiss, Amy Yao

October 3 - 7, 2018 

VSF is pleased to present Mane, a selection of works by Julie Curtiss, Robin F. Williams and Amy Yao, three female artists whose studio practices redefine femininity by turning the traditional male gaze on its head (of hair).

Elucidating the patriarchal capitalization and sexualization of female hair, Curtiss, Williams and Yao will each contribute two new works in which hair is both subject and medium. From the ancient Romans to 18th Century monarchs, hair was not only a symbol of status and wealth, but an indication of virility, strength and sexual prowess. The cutting of hair has been a means of control in certain cultures, yet also a radical expression of protest and liberation in both 20th century fashion and avant-garde social movements.

For Frieze London 2018, two new paintings by Curtiss explore the dissonance between the layered female psyche and the objectified female form, wherein the female mane both seduces and repulses. A new painting by Williams depicts lush portraits of women with luxurious locks, contorted limbs and listless expressions that draw from 1970s American shampoo advertising (which constitutes the origin of contemporary standards for coiffure care and control). On the booth’s floor, two sculptures by Yao conflate organic and synthetic materials, such as a bundle of synthetic hair infused with pheromones, as parody of the industrialized biology of desire.