Andrea Bowers

 
 
This exhibition takes its name from Yoko Ono’s Approximately Infinite Universe album of 1973, which marked Ono’s foray into mainstream pop music, as well as her turn toward feminist politics. Andrea Bowers’s photorealistic diptych renders a detail of that album cover, depicting Ono in profile, gazing upward, alongside a drawing of a Silueta performance by artist Ana Mendieta. In her exquisite drawings, Bowers frequently abstracts and isolates a figure or image fragment from a more populated source photograph, and here she focuses on important women artists who have enabled her practice. A slightly earlier drawing, Approximately Infinite, references Ono and the same album, but in this scenario Ono is paired with Patti Smith, another iconic musician and visual artist. Ono and Smith float together against a shiny silver background, like celestial beings in their own—or Bowers’s own (approximately infinite) universe. Bowers’s drawings suggest an underlying premise of this exhibition, which understands art as a means of metaphorical time travel. Using her pencil, she revisits cultural moments of the 1970s, or, elsewhere, past political protests. In this way, drawing serves as a means for translating historical knowledge into material form in the present.
 
 
2002
graphite on paper
11 x 16 1/8 in
Charlotte + Bill Ford Collection. © Andrea Bowers