From 12/14/2023 to 01/27/2024
New York, Estados Unidos

Sargent’s Daughters presented Restraint, an exhibition featuring the work of Wynnie Mynerva, Sarah Slappey and Rachel Youn.


Placing paintings, sculptures, and drawings in dynamic conversation, the exhibition explores depictions of physical constraints to consider the balance between strength and vulnerability, pain and pleasure. Evoking both tangible limitations of the body and emotional limitations placed on women and queer people, Restraint examines the societal constructs that confine and define the feminine experience.


Each of these artists engages with the theme of restriction in both the content and the construction of their works.  Wynnie Mynerva’s large-scale paintings and intimate watercolors depict scenes from the Abrahamic myth of creation, featuring Adam, Eve, and Lilith, to interrogate the binary construction of gender and female submission. Mynerva’s works are often accompanied by performative actions, such as the surgical removal of their own bottom rib bone, or “Adam’s rib,” to echo the Biblical creation story.  Sarah Slappey’s oil paintings and watercolors recall the refined style of the Old Masters and allegorize the violence enacted by traditional femininity on women’s bodies and psyches. Slappey’s intricately rendered, nude bodies are shown constrained by ribbons, pierced by jewelry, and dripping tiny rivulets of blood, transforming these typically feminine adornments into mechanisms of torture. Rachel Youn brings these concepts into three-dimensional space and motion, with kinetic sculptures featuring silk flowers and plastic branches which move within artificial confinements.  The gyrating swaying fake plants are attached to the motors from personal massage devices, which Youn sources secondhand. In this series, the plants’ motion is restricted by other found objects, such as a tire jack and a hand strengthener, producing motorized tableaux that are unending and viscerally uncomfortable.


Presenting these scenes of constraint and constriction, the artists included in Restraint each interrogate conceptions of gender presentation, bodily autonomy, and power dynamics. Their works are at once alluring and abject, bringing viewers into a space of both desire and confrontation.

Restraint. Wynnie Mynerva, Sarah Slappey and Rachel Youn.


Until January 27, 2024.


Sargent’s Daughters. 179 East Broadway. New York, United States.