Betty Tompkins (b. 1945, Washington, D.C.) is an artist living and working in New York, NY, and Pleasant Mount, PA. Upcoming exhibitions includeBlack Sheep Feminism, curated by Alison Gingeras, Dallas Contemporary, TX (January – March 2016) and Gavlak Gallery LA. Recent solo exhibitions include Real Ersatz, FUG, The Bruce High Quality Foundation, New York, NY (2015); Art Basel Feature, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Basel, Switzerland (2014); Paintings & Works on Paper 1972-2013, Gavlak Gallery, Palm Beach, FL (2014); Woman Words, Dinter Fine Art, Project room #63, New York (2013); Fuck Paintings, Galerie Rodolphe Janssen, Brussels, Belgium (2012); New Work, Mitchell Algus Gallery, New York (2009), among others. Tompkins’s work has also been featured in numerous group exhibitions, including The Shell (LANDSCAPES, PORTRAITS & SHAPES), Almine Rech Gallery, Paris, France (2014); A Drawing Show, Matthew Marks Gallery, New York (2014); CORPUS, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw, Poland (2014); A Chromatic Loss, Bortolami Gallery, New York (2014); Sunset and Pussy, Marianne Boesky Gallery, New York, NY (2013); Elles, Centre Pompidou, Paris ((2011) ; among others.
The FLAG Art Foundation presents Betty Tompkins: WOMEN Words, Phrases, and Stories from January 20 – May 14, 2016, on FLAG’s 10th floor gallery. The exhibition marks the first comprehensive presentation of 1,000 intimately-scaled, hand-painted works, each of which features a word or words used to describe women. Ranging from flirtatious to derogatory – with the four most used words beingMother, Slut, Bitch, Cunt – WOMEN Words emanates from Tompkins’s career-long commitment to challenge the representation of female identity, the politics of pleasure, and the role of sexuality in contemporary culture.
Interviewed by Angela Lynn Fraleigh for this program.