“Love in the Attic…Mermaid in the Closet”
September 12 – October 15, 2016
Opening Reception: Tuesday September 12, 6 – 9 pm
The Mitchell Algus Gallery presents “Lover in the Attic…Mermaid in the Closet,” an exhibition/installation by Colette opening Tuesday September 12.
A reception for the artist will be held on the day of the opening from 6 – 9 pm.
Colette is an art world icon whose diverse personae have defined unique visions of the feminine, complementing, but distinctly different from the usual feminist perspectives. Working in performance and installation art, Colette is known for her immersive dreamlike environments – tableaux vivants composed of Baroque- inspired crushed fabric, mirrors, photographs, artificial flowers, curios, incandescent lights, paintings, autobiographical artifacts, and often the artist herself in various states of repose.
Colette was born in Tunis, Tunisia and grew up in Nice, France. She moved to New York in the early 1970s and quickly established herself as a distinct voice in the emerging downtown performance and conceptual art scene. In 1978 Colette staged her own death in an installation performance entitled “The Last Stitch” at the Downtown Whitney. Resurrected as “Justine,” the artist posed as an entrepreneur marketing Collete’s vision and image, most famously in the windows of Fiorucci’s East 59th Street store, sleeping nightly dans la fenêtre for the duration of her “show.” Following her window performance, in 1979 Colette designed a line of clothing for Fiorucci, “the deadly feminine line.” In 1984 Colette was invited to the city of West Berlin where she took on the persona of “Mata Hari and the Stolen Potatoes.” During Mata Hari’s Bavarian Adventure (1986-91) the Countess Reichenbach emerged. Upon returning to New York in the early 90’s Colette reigned in the “House of Olympia,” which was transformed post 9-11 into “Maison Lumiere.” It is here (in both Berlin and New York) that Colette currently resides. The artist received a Guggenheim award in 2016. Last year Colette’s work was displayed in “Forty,” P.S.1’s 40th anniversary exhibition, reprising work displayed at the institution’s opening in 1976. Colette’s art and installations are in constant evolution. The current show takes “Forty’s” installation, “Mermaid in the Attic,” as its point of departure.