BY ROBERTA SMITH
Gina Beavers’s latest garishly painted reliefs focus on the unending presence of the female face and body in art and advertising and run with it. They also show a deeply eccentric artist giving her all.
Ms. Beavers’s works bulge out from the wall in enlarged, often repeating forms that she covers with coarse but skillful brushwork, like van Gogh on steroids. Subjects include bright pink lips attended by tubes of lipstick; torsos flaunting bikini underwear styled with motifs from Picasso and Mondrian; and a hand with fake nails in the shape of Maurizio Cattelan’s taped banana.
In “Smoky Eye Every Step,” a repeating eye is progressively made up. The same happens to the half of the artist’s face, which is “made up” with a relief by Lee Bontecou. “People I admire: Mike Kelly, Ru Paul, Obama, Elaine de Kooning, Madonna,” offers a large single image of the artist’s face with five additional pairs of famous eyes. These works conflate all kinds of self-improvement and adornment projects: makeup, tattoos, cosmetic surgery and nail art as well as fandom and celebrity-worship. Their blaring billboard power from afar is countered by a squirm-worthy intimacy up close. In its own beauty-obsessed way, this is a beautiful show.