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Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible Ocula Report Havana Biennial 2019: Constructing the Possible 17 Apr 2019 : Federica Bueti for Ocula

I first visited Havana in November 2016, a few days after Fidel Castro died, and just under a year before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba in September 2017. Since then, much has changed, including the hand-painted signs that punctuate the journey from the airport to the city centre, which today do not celebrate the revolution so much as the 'Unidad y...

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Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui Ocula Conversation Andrew Stahl and Guo Xiaohui

The exhibition Beyond Boundaries at Somerset House in London (12 March–2 April 2019) marked the historic contributions of the Central Academy of Fine Arts, Beijing (CAFA) and the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London, on the occasion of their 100th and 150th anniversaries, respectively. Spread across several rooms of Somerset House's...

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The National 2019: New Australian Art Ocula Report The National 2019: New Australian Art 13 Apr 2019 : Elyse Goldfinch for Ocula

The National 2019: New Australian Art features work by 70 contemporary Australia-based artists split across three venues: the Art Gallery of New South Wales (AGNSW), Carriageworks, and the Museum of Contemporary Art Australia (MCA) (29 March–21 July 2019), as curated by Isobel Parker Philip, curator of photographs at AGNSW; Daniel Mudie Cunningham,...

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Betty Tompkins

b. 1945, USA

Born 1945 in Washington D.C. USA

Lives and works in New York and Mt. Pleasant, PA USA

Way back in the 1960s at the exact same moment that Chuck Close was doing it with the faces, Betty Tompkins was making enormous black-and-white photorealist paintings — not of faces — but graphically pornographic images (...), ripped from straight male porn magazines (yes, kids — people used to masturbate to still black-and-white pics back in the day; not color videos like all of you); beautiful paintings of blow jobs, female fingerings, spread-eagle women doing anything you might imagine. I remember seeing images of this work back then and thinking, Wow! I like these way more than Chuck Close; this is someone really going for it in scale, technique, and holding nothing back about image. Sadly and undeservedly — and probably because it was too scary for a woman to be handling in-your-face imagery and scale like this — Tompkins was dealt out of a little history before storming back in about 15 years ago; she's one of the strongest artists out there now, always sparing nothing, using contemporary porn (all-shaved, of course, and bigger dicks, not sure why), in a show that is a must-see for the legions of curators who are always beating the bushes to "rediscover" other "older women artists."

Jerry Salz in Vulture, 23.09.2015

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Featured Artworks

View All (79)
The Only Way by Betty Tompkins contemporary artwork Betty TompkinsThe Only Way, 2018 Acrylic on canvas
91.4 x 91.4 cm
P·P·O·W Gallery
In order to form...Welfare and secure...America by Betty Tompkins contemporary artwork Betty TompkinsIn order to form...Welfare and secure...America, 1984 Acrylic on paper
40.6 x 50.8 cm
P·P·O·W Gallery
Union and Liberty in the Dark by Betty Tompkins contemporary artwork Betty TompkinsUnion and Liberty in the Dark, 1983 Acrylic on paper
17.8 x 30.5 cm
P·P·O·W Gallery
Bits of History - the 6th Amendment by Betty Tompkins contemporary artwork Betty TompkinsBits of History - the 6th Amendment, 1983 Acrylic on paper
22.9 x 25.4 cm
P·P·O·W Gallery
A More Perfect Union... by Betty Tompkins contemporary artwork Betty TompkinsA More Perfect Union..., 1983 Acrylic on paper
64.77 x 102.87 cm
P·P·O·W Gallery
We the People... by Betty Tompkins contemporary artwork Betty TompkinsWe the People..., 1983 Acrylic on paper
63.5 x 101.6 cm
P·P·O·W Gallery
George Washington by Betty Tompkins contemporary artwork Betty TompkinsGeorge Washington, 1984 Acrylic on paper
63.5 x 101.6 cm
P·P·O·W Gallery
Bill of Rights by Betty Tompkins contemporary artwork Betty TompkinsBill of Rights, 1978 Pencil on paper
40.6 x 50.8 cm
P·P·O·W Gallery

Recent Exhibitions

Contemporary art exhibition, Betty Tompkins, Will She Ever Shut Up? at P·P·O·W Gallery, New York
Closed
15 November–22 December 2018 Betty Tompkins Will She Ever Shut Up? P·P·O·W Gallery, New York
Contemporary art exhibition, Betty Tompkins, Betty Tompkins at rodolphe janssen, Brussels
Closed
18 January–17 March 2018 Betty Tompkins Betty Tompkins rodolphe janssen, Brussels
Contemporary art exhibition, Group exhibition, The Shell (Landscapes, Portraits & Shapes) a show by Eric Troncy at Almine Rech, Paris
Closed
10 January–14 February 2015 Group exhibition The Shell (Landscapes, Portraits & Shapes) a show by Eric Troncy Almine Rech, Paris

Represented By

In Related Press

Betty Tompkins at P.P.O.W. Related Press Betty Tompkins at P.P.O.W. Art in America : 1 March 2019

Pink text snaked in tight, meandering rows across human figures in the fifty-one recent paintings on paper in Betty Tompkins's second solo exhibition at P.P.O.W. One piece read, I WAS HUNTING FOR A JOB AND HE WAS HUNTING FOR ME. Another: SHUT UP SLUT! And another: I VEHEMENTLY DENY THESE ALLEGATIONS.

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Betty Tompkins is the feminist artist you need to know Related Press Betty Tompkins is the feminist artist you need to know Elle : 20 November 2017

Known for a series of giant genitalia 'fuck paintings' (inspired by her husband's porno mags), the 72-year-old painter was once blacklisted and disregarded by radical feminists for her frank depiction of sexuality. As her new women words project - people send in words they use to describe women - makes its way across Europe, ELLE chats to the...

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The Feminist Pioneers Making Provocative Art About Sex Related Press The Feminist Pioneers Making Provocative Art About Sex New York Times Style Magazine : 31 October 2017

This Summer in Los Angeles, a hairy, phallic-looking screw painted by Judith Bernstein extended across 180 feet of the exterior of Venus galleryin Boyle Heights. This month at MoMA PS1 in Queens, men and women stripped down to their underwear and rubbed each other with raw fish in a video by Carolee Schneemann. And in London, pink double-headed...

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Beyond the F Word: An Interview with Betty Tompkins Related Press Beyond the F Word: An Interview with Betty Tompkins 3 February 2016

Betty Tompkins is no stranger to controversy. The 70-year-old artist started making her Fuck Paintings—large-scale photorealistic renderings of vaginal penetration—in 1969. The grayscale works' source material was outlawed pornographic images. Earning dismissal from gallerists, the ire of the anti-pornography feminist wing, denial of...

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