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Rubber Lady Deconstructed

Rubber Lady Deconstructed

Artist: Rubber Lady (American, active 1978 - 1999)
Date: 1980s (2010)
Medium: gauze on Masonite with latex
Dimensions:
22 1/4 × 10 × 1 1/8 in. (56.5 × 25.4 × 2.9 cm)
a: 7 15/16 × 10 × 1 1/8 in. (20.2 × 25.4 × 2.9 cm)
b: 21 1/4 × 5 1/4 × 1 1/2 in. (54 × 13.3 × 3.8 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: Gift of Michael Motley, 2014
Keywords and Associated Locations:
Object number: 2014.16ab
Description
The Santa Fe performance artist Rubber Lady was conceived as a protest against a censorship incident at the New Mexico Museum of Art (then called the Museum of Fine Arts) in 1978. Her first appearance was at the museum in her rubber suit to express her solidarity with an artist, Brad Smith, whose own rubber sculpture was deemed too “offensive” for inclusion in an exhibition. Rubber Lady would show up at gallery openings, pose as “living sculpture,” and perform at various art events and venues throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s. She was always silent, anonymous, and provocative, prompting viewers to reflect upon their reactions to an unexpected encounter with this strange figure. Because the censorship incident at the New Mexico Museum of Art is what birthed Rubber Lady, it is significant for the museum’s collection to have her represented. This mask was one actually worn by Rubber Lady until it was run over by a pick-up truck as Rubber Lady was changing for a performance in Madrid, New Mexico. Rubber Lady, who performed at the opening of the museum’s exhibition Case Studies from the Bureau of Contemporary Art on November 19, 2010, in which Rubber Lady Deconstructed was exhibited, resurrected the mask for exhibition.
Not on view