Kim Gordon: Girls, Guitars Guns
Since the early 1980s, when she and Sonic Youth performed at art venues like White Columns in New York, Kim Gordon (and her bandmate and husband, artist Thurston Moore) has almost single-handedly represented a viable overlap of visual art and rock music, famously commissioning iconic album covers by Raymond Pettibon and Gerhard Richter. After moving to New York after art school in the ’70s, Gordon contributed writing to periodicals like Real Life and Artforum, analyzing subjects like audience-performer dynamics in art rock clubs and appropriating the banal language of lifestyle magazines to report the outcomes of her experimental interior decorating project, Design Office.
The works in her recently opened show, The Noise Paintings, at the gallery space of rare bookseller John McWhinnie at Glenn Horowitz, feature drippily scrawled names of obscure experimental music acts graffitied over white canvas. Occupying a role she adopted early, Gordon appears as the scholarly observer of the rock band. The store’s display shelves are stocked with book and music selections from the personal collection of Gordon and her family, ranging from an out-of-print exhibition catalogue by Paul Thek to zines by longtime Sonic Youth friend and collaborator Raymond Pettibon and 7″s by Patti Smith and Francoise Hardy. Throughout, she plays with the insider currency of these personalities and references, repositioning their cult value as high end merchandise. The Noise Paintings also appear in two recent publications by Gordon: The Noise Paintings, a limited edition signed and numbered portfolio box set, accompanied by an original artwork and cassette recording, published in cooperation with Ecstatic Peace Library and JMc & GHB Editions; and the monograph Performing/Guzzling, co-produced by art book house Rizzoli and Swiss independent publisher Nieves.
THE NOISE PAINTINGS IS ON VIEW THROUGH MAY 8. JOHN MCWHINNIE IS LOCATED AT 50 1/2 EAST 64 STREET, NEW YORK.