New York iconoclast and alt-rock empress KIM GORDON is best noted for finding fame with cult outfit Sonic Youth. But she is also a graduate from LA's Otis College of Art and Design, and an accomplished artist and filmmaker. Through October 19th, Design Office with Kim Gordon at White Columns presents a retrospective of her prolific body of work, in a sharp-witted rumination on gender and fame in the 1990s New York art and music scene.
The show's visual fragments of messy downtown frolics epitomise a lost New York's rambunctious spirit. For instance, Phil Morrison's film X-Girl (1995)––originally shot as a campaign for X-Girl, Gordon's downtown fashion line––encapsulates Gordon and her posse's feral self-determination. Starring a 21-year old CHLOË SEVIGNY who crashes a Marc Jacobs fashion show with a hidden camera, the movie features a nonchalant Chloë walking around and looking for a Guy Lionaise of the UN, while the likes of Naomi Campbell, Hamish Bowles, and Suzy Menkes all make cameos. For the younger generation, Gordon's more recent works––like a painting of a tweet by GIRLSwriter and director LENA DUNHAM, which reads "I never thought thought I'd be close friends with so many damaged men in their forties"––certainly resonate.
Design Office with Kim Gordon kills any expectation of one long grunge-ride, and positions her as an icon of her generation. There are valuable forces at work in the show, including Gordon's willingness to experiment and be relentlessly up-front. Though music might define the indie-darling in a broader pop-cultural landscape, she has always considered visual art in every process (even tapping Gerhard Richter to paint an album cover for Sonic Youth's Daydream Nation) all while making her own installations and paintings. See the show before it closes in October, and find an exclusive track the gallery put out with the artist through their music project, The Sound of White Columns, below.
WHITE COLUMNS GALLERY 320 W 13th St.
New York, NY 10014 MAP