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PAST EXHIBITION

Joan Linder

Sink

APRIL–MAY 2013

Mixed Greens is thrilled to present Sink, Joan Linder’s fifth solo exhibition with the gallery. In previous exhibitions, Linder wove themes relating to power, anxiety, sexuality, domesticity, and politics through large-scale drawings of seemingly disparate subject matter. In this acutely focused exhibition, she delves deeply into a single object: her kitchen sink.

Linder has spent countless hours rendering quotidian objects and places—everything from junk mail to an entire dive bar—in excruciating, life-size detail. For the Sink series, Linder shifts her approach. Rather than complete a drawing and move to another subject, Linder draws and redraws her kitchen sink, recording the passage of time as reflected in one specific household location. Her obsessive observations result in hundreds of detailed renderings of the sink in various stages of use: brimming with dishes, recently washed, or practically untouched. The drawings chronicle her daily life, her dirty dishes, and her routine for a period of two years. Some sinks appear in black and white with fine detail. Others are dense with multiple superimposed layers—a visual cacophony color coded with the date and time each layer was drawn. Most surprisingly, the exhibition also includes a 13-foot-long accordion-fold book that splays open to reveal a life-size drawing of Linder's complete kitchen counter rendered in full color, kitchen sink and all.

The kitchen sink is a loaded symbol of labor, accumulation, and time. However, unlike the oozing masculinity of Jim Dine’s hammers or Lucien Freud's studio sink (encrusted with paint and the tap running wastefully), the kitchen sink represents an unwanted chore, the repetition involved with domesticity, and, in unenlightened households, women's work. Linder playfully and incisively transforms this monotony into a different kind of labor through vigorous and colorful contour drawings, continuous line drawings, and realistic renderings. She studies this banal, yet powerful, fixture in her life and uses it as a metonym for motherhood, family, and the passage of time. In Linder's exhibition, Sink, you discover that when you are really looking, you will not see the same sink (or sinks full of dishes) twice.

Let it be noted: Linder and her live-in boyfriend split household chores.

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