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Rachel Feinstein

Rachel Feinstein, Bradbury, 2018 Oil and enamel on mirror, 42 × 54 inches (106.7 × 137.2 cm)© Rachel Feinstein. Photo: Jeff McLane

Rachel Feinstein, Bradbury, 2018

Oil and enamel on mirror, 42 × 54 inches (106.7 × 137.2 cm)
© Rachel Feinstein. Photo: Jeff McLane

Rachel Feinstein, Bandleader, 2018 Hand-applied color resin over foam with wooden base, 76 × 40 × 30 inches (193 × 101.6 × 76.2 cm)© Rachel Feinstein. Photo: Jeff McLane

Rachel Feinstein, Bandleader, 2018

Hand-applied color resin over foam with wooden base, 76 × 40 × 30 inches (193 × 101.6 × 76.2 cm)
© Rachel Feinstein. Photo: Jeff McLane

Rachel Feinstein, Girl on the Stairs, 2012 Oil enamel on mirror, 21 ½ × 18 inches (54.6 × 45.7 cm)© Rachel Feinstein

Rachel Feinstein, Girl on the Stairs, 2012

Oil enamel on mirror, 21 ½ × 18 inches (54.6 × 45.7 cm)
© Rachel Feinstein

About

I’ve always been interested in portraying some kind of fantasy, then showing that it’s completely constructed. There are always dark messages hidden behind beauty, and the act of sculpting is about listening to that inner voice that warns you about something lurking beneath the surface.
—Rachel Feinstein

In richly detailed sculptures and multipart installations, Rachel Feinstein investigates and challenges the concept of luxury as expressed in eighteenth- and nineteenth-century Europe, in the context of contemporary parallels. By synthesizing visual and societal opposites such as romance and pornography, elegance and kitsch, and the marvelous and the banal, she explores issues of taste and desire.

Born in Fort Defiance, Arizona, and raised in Miami, Feinstein received a BA in 1993 from Columbia University, New York, where she studied religion, philosophy, and studio art. That same year she attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine. She found her passion for sculpture under the influence of mentors such as Kiki Smith, Ursula von Rydingsvard, and Judy Pfaff. In 1994 Feinstein was included in several group shows in New York, including Let the Artist Live! at Exit Art, where she presented a large gingerbread house modeled after Sleeping Beauty’s castle in which she slept throughout the exhibition.

Feinstein’s work was included in the first iteration of MoMA PS1’s Greater New York in 2000. She had her first solo exhibition at Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, the following year, showing large plaster and wood sculptures of lions, swans, angels, and waterfalls, and transforming one of the galleries into an all-white Rococo-style salon, inspired by imperial palaces in Munich and Vienna. The construction of fantastical, multidimensional environments is integral to Feinstein’s practice. Preferring to see her work in complex interiors, she often brings Baroque elements into exhibition spaces, complicating the relationship between sculpture and painting, positive and negative space. The sculptures, viewed from certain angles, flatten, while the walls seem to expand through Feinstein’s use of mirrors and wallpaper.

Seeing her ornate sculptures reflected in her paintings on mirror from the early 2000s, Feinstein began to explore spatial landscapes, notably those depicted in panoramas from the 1800s. Using found images, she created hybrid arcadian landscapes printed on mirrored wallpaper. The first of these wallpapers, Panorama of Rome (2012), was installed in the elliptical gallery at Gagosian in Rome, offering visitors an impressionistic view of the city around them. In 2010–11 Feinstein transformed the modernist interior of Lever House, New York, into a snowy wonderland, rife with stylized elements of Rococo and Gothic design. Interpreting Hans Christian Anderson’s Snow Queen, she created a gilded carriage, groups of toy soldiers, arched alcoves containing characters from the story, and sublime architectural ruins painted onto floor-to-ceiling mirrors. Three years later her sculpture Folly (2014) was installed in New York’s Madison Square Park, marking Feinstein’s first public art exhibition in the US.

In 2018 Feinstein produced the Secrets series, comprising eight large-scale sculptures that reimagine the Victoria’s Secret “Angels,” as well as ceramic sculptures inspired by Franz Anton Bustelli’s Rococo commedia dell’arte figurines. As in much of her work, the theatrical and the intricate verge on the grotesque, becoming strangely erotic abstractions, and suggesting the body through its absence.

Rachel Feinstein

Photo: Markus Jans, Architectural Digest © Condé Nast

Rachel Feinstein in her studio

Rachel Feinstein: Mirror

Join Rachel Feinstein in her New York studio as she addresses the genesis of her exhibition Mirror in London and the enduring power of religious iconography.

Jean Pigozzi:  An interview with Rachel Feinstein

Jean Pigozzi: An interview with Rachel Feinstein

Famed photographer of the famous, Jean Pigozzi speaks with artist Rachel Feinstein about the publication of his new book, The 213 Most Important Men in My Life, and provides a sneak peek at what’s coming up next. 

Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006), on the cover of Gagosian Quarterly, Summer 2021

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Summer 2021

The Summer 2021 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring Carrie Mae Weems’s The Louvre (2006) on its cover.

Left: Rachel Feinstein, Corine, 2018 © Rachel Feinstein. Photo: Jeff McLane. Right: Ewa Juszkiewicz, Untitled (after Elisabeth Vigée Le Brun), 2021 © Ewa Juszkiewicz

Artist to Artist: Rachel Feinstein and Ewa Juszkiewicz

On the occasion of Frieze New York 2021, the two artists discuss remixing conventions, the allure of Rococo, and the importance of research and history within their respective practices.

Rachel Feinstein in her West 15th Street studio, New York, 2002.

Rachel Feinstein

The artist discusses her life and work with Alan Yentob.

Cover of the Winter 2019 Gagosian Quarterly, featuring a selection from a black-and-white Christopher Wool photograph

Now available
Gagosian Quarterly Winter 2019

The Winter 2019 issue of Gagosian Quarterly is now available, featuring a selection from Christopher Wool’s Westtexaspsychosculpture series on its cover.

Rachel Feinstein working at the Porzellan Manufaktur Nymphenburg, Munich, 2019.

Rachel Feinstein at Chatsworth

A new sculpture by Rachel Feinstein has been unveiled on the grounds of Chatsworth, the celebrated Derbyshire estate, where Feinstein recently spent time as Gucci’s inaugural artist in residence. Alice Godwin tells the story of how it came to be.

Rachel Feinstein: Frieze Sculpture

Rachel Feinstein: Frieze Sculpture

Rachel Feinstein speaks about her outdoor installation for Frieze Sculpture 2018—a set of four majolica sculptures, inspired by Franz Anton Bustelli’s Rococo commedia dell’arte figurines.

Rachel Feinstein Brings Rome to Paris

Rachel Feinstein Brings Rome to Paris

Rachel Feinstein speaks to Gagosian’s Angela Brown about “bringing Rome to Paris,” for her exhibition at Le Mur.

Fairs, Events & Announcements

Left: Rachel Feinstein. Photo: Chris Sanders. Right: Jan Dalley

In Conversation

FT Weekend Festival 2022: US Edition
Rachel Feinstein and Jan Dalley

Saturday, May 7, 2022, 5pm
Kennedy Center, Washington, DC
usftweekendfestival.live.ft.com

As part of the inaugural US edition at the FT Weekend Festival, Rachel Feinstein will speak with Financial Times arts editor Jan Dalley about her artistic practice on the Literature & Arts Stage. By synthesizing visual and societal opposites such as romance and pornography, elegance and kitsch, and the marvelous and the banal, Feinstein explores issues of taste and desire in her paintings, sculptures, and installations.

Gagosian is partnering with the Financial Times to host the Literature & Arts Stage at the one-day event where leading experts discuss the arts, music, literature, food, business, and technology. Recent Gagosian Quarterly films will be screened between sessions on the stage throughout the day and Gagosian publications will also be presented. To attend the event in person or online, purchase tickets at usftweekendfestival.live.ft.com.

Left: Rachel Feinstein. Photo: Chris Sanders. Right: Jan Dalley

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (November), 2020 (detail) © Rachel Whiteread. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

Art Fair

Zona Maco 2022

February 9–13, 2022, booth B115
Centro Citibanamex, Mexico City
www.zsonamaco.com

Gagosian is pleased to announce its return to Zona Maco México Arte Contemporáneo for the first time since 2018; significantly, this is also the gallery’s first in-person art fair of 2022. Gagosian is presenting a specially curated selection of dynamic paintings, sculptures, and works on paper by iconic figures long associated with the gallery, juxtaposed with works by key contemporary artists. Many of the featured artists are being represented at Zona Maco for the first time.

Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (November), 2020 (detail) © Rachel Whiteread. Photo: Prudence Cuming Associates Ltd.

Gagosian’s booth at Frieze New York 2021. Artwork, front to back: © Rachel Feinstein, © Ewa Juszkiewicz. Photo: Dawn Blackman

Art Fair

Frieze New York 2021
Rachel Feinstein and Ewa Juszkiewicz

May 5–9, 2021, booth B7
The Shed, New York
frieze.com

Gagosian is pleased to announce its participation in Frieze New York at the Shed, the first in-person art fair of 2021 in the United States, with sculptures by Rachel Feinstein and paintings by Ewa Juszkiewicz.

Inspired by Baroque and Rococo sculpture, religious iconography, Romantic landscapes, and popular culture, Feinstein explores taste and desire, synthesizing elegance and kitsch. Juszkiewicz’s meticulously precise oil portraits also draw on traditions of classical European painting—her sources date from the Renaissance through the nineteenth century—but with added touches of the surreal, the fantastical, and the grotesque.

Gagosian’s booth at Frieze New York 2021. Artwork, front to back: © Rachel Feinstein, © Ewa Juszkiewicz. Photo: Dawn Blackman

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Museum Exhibitions

McKim, Mead & White Stair Hall staged by Sofia Coppola in collaboration with Rachel Feinstein and John Currin, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2022. Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

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In America
An Anthology of Fashion

May 7–September 5, 2022
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
www.metmuseum.org

In America: An Anthology of Fashion is the second portion of a two-part exhibition exploring fashion in the United States. Men’s and women’s clothing dating from the nineteenth century to the mid-twentieth century is featured in vignettes installed in select period rooms in the museum’s American Wing, surveying more than two centuries of American domestic life. The exhibition reflects these narratives through a series of three-dimensional cinematic “freeze frames” produced in collaboration with notable American film directors, including Sofia Coppola, who enlisted Rachel Feinstein and John Currin to sculpt and paint the faces of her mannequins. These mise-en-scènes explore the role of dress in shaping American identity and address the complex and layered histories of the museum’s period rooms.

McKim, Mead & White Stair Hall staged by Sofia Coppola in collaboration with Rachel Feinstein and John Currin, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 2022. Photo: © The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Installation view, Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone, Jewish Museum, New York, November 1, 2019–January 17, 2021. Artwork © Rachel Feinstein

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Rachel Feinstein
Maiden, Mother, Crone

November 1, 2019–January 17, 2021
Jewish Museum, New York
thejewishmuseum.org

Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone, the first survey of the New York–based artist in the United States, brings together three decades of Feinstein’s work in sculpture, installation, painting, drawing, and video, as well as a newly commissioned wall relief, a panoramic wallpaper, and the artist’s sculptural maquettes.

Installation view, Rachel Feinstein: Maiden, Mother, Crone, Jewish Museum, New York, November 1, 2019–January 17, 2021. Artwork © Rachel Feinstein

Installation view, Reflections: Matt Black × Gana Art, Gana Art Center and Gana Art Hannam, Seoul, November 1, 2019–January 5, 2020. Artwork © Sterling Ruby

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Reflections
Matt Black × Gana Art

November 1, 2019–January 5, 2020
Gana Art Center and Gana Art Hannam, Seoul
ganaart.com

In collaboration with filmmaker Matt Black, this exhibition is centered around his short film series titled Reflections, which features conversations with contemporary artists. Through his interviews, Black paints a picture of the rapidly changing contemporary art scene, revealing the stories behind the artworks. Following the film’s theme, Gana Art has curated this exhibition to feature works by these artists, which include Dan Colen, Rachel Feinstein, Jeff Koons, Harmony KorineSterling Ruby, Taryn Simon, and Blair Thurman, among others.

Installation view, Reflections: Matt Black × Gana Art, Gana Art Center and Gana Art Hannam, Seoul, November 1, 2019–January 5, 2020. Artwork © Sterling Ruby

Rachel Feinstein, Romeo and Juliet, 2019 (detail) © Rachel Feinstein

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Rachel Feinstein in
HY × OffTheWall

March 15–November 30, 2019
Hudson Yards, New York
www.hudsonyardsnewyork.com

This exhibition features large-scale interactive and three-dimensional installations, curious and often humorous tableaux, and murals by thirteen artists. All artworks relate to the rich history and geographic location of the Hudson Yards. Work by Rachel Feinstein is included.

Rachel Feinstein, Romeo and Juliet, 2019 (detail) © Rachel Feinstein

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Press

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