1st Dibs Introspective
Not To Be Missed: Deborah Kass at Paul Kasmin Gallery
February 7, 2013
Julie L. Belcove
Deborah Kass made her name in the late 1980s and early ’90s riffing on postwar greats from Jackson Pollock and Robert Rauschenberg to, most famously, Andy Warhol, giving their signature styles her own brand of feminist cheekiness. Her Warholesque silk-screen series of Barbra Streisand — portrayed both in profile (the star’s prominent, un-retouched nose the spiritual epicenter of the pictures) and as the cross-dressing protagonist of Yentl — said all that Kass felt needed to be said about women, beauty, ethnicity, assimilation and the art world.
But in discussing her “Barbras” 20 years later, Kass does not feign coolly detached irony. She does not resort to artspeak nor pretend that the choice of Streisand as muse was a purely intellectual one. Au contraire. Kass was and is Streisand’s number-one fan.