Monica Lundy – “Deviance – Women in the Asylum During the Fascist Regime”
Aug 22 — Oct 13, 2018
Check gallery website for hours and additional info
Nancy Toomey Fine Art is pleased to announce an exhibition of works by Monica Lundy entitled Deviance – Women in the Asylum During the Fascist Regime on view from August 22 to September 29, 2018. The gallery is located inside San Francisco’s Minnesota Street Project, 1275 Minnesota Street. The public is invited to the artist reception on Saturday, September 8, from 5pm to 7pm. Join the event page here.
“Nymphomaniac, irritable, unstable, flirtatious, devoted to idleness, unruly, talkative, inconsistent, irreverent, extravagant, capricious, excited, erotic, insolent, liar, impulsive, nervous, hallucinating, restless, petulant, sensational, threatening, red in the face, exhibitionist” were some of the symptoms cited to diagnose the mental illness called “female deviance.”
A rumination on the incarceration of Italian women and girls during the era of Mussolini, Lundy’s exhibition Deviance – Women in the Asylum During the Fascist Regime is born of a year spent abroad in Rome, Italy. This project began in 2017 during Lundy’s residency at the American Academy in Rome, where she began working collaboratively with Dr. Annacarla Valeriano, a historian from the Foundation of the University of Teramo. Through investigating medical documents from the psychiatric hospital archives of Sant’Antonio Abate di Teramo, Dr. Valeriano has been unearthing the stories of daughters, mothers, wives, and lovers who were deemed unable or unfit to participate in society as determined by the demands of the Fascist Regime, and were therefore placed in the hospital. This exhibition coincides with the 40th anniversary of the psychiatric reforms brought about by Franco Basaglia, the psychiatrist who revolutionized mental health care in Italy.
In this new series of paintings, Lundy focuses on portraiture of inmates from the Psychiatric Hospital of Sant’Antonio Abate. Using coffee, burned paper and charcoal on handmade paper, her habitual use of impasto and heavily layered media is this time met with a more reductive hand: just as much as media is added, it is then subsequently removed, erased, or burned away. In previous bodies of work, Lundy’s portraits of the dispossessed have been created with layers of textured mixed media, such as liquid porcelain and terracotta clay, pulverized charcoal, and mica flake. This new work is a distilled contrast to previous paintings.
Monica Lundy lives and works in Los Angeles, California. She holds an MFA from Mills College and BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and has attended Studio Art Centers International in Florence, Italy. Lundy is the recipient of the Jay DeFeo Award, Irvine Fellowship, and San Francisco Arts Commission Grant. She was an artist in residence at the American Academy in Rome through the Visiting Artists and Scholars Program, Montalvo Arts Center through the Lucas Artist Residency Program, and Stoney Road Press. She has exhibited her work in San Francisco at Nancy Toomey Fine Art, Toomey-Tourell Fine Art, The Battery, San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery, Alcatraz Island, Fort Point, and San Francisco Maritime Museum. She has also had shows at Walter Maciel Gallery in Los Angeles, Montalvo Arts Center in Saratoga, De Saisset Museum in Santa Clara, San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art, and Berkeley Art Center. Lundy’s work has been reviewed in ARTnews, KQED/PBS, The Huffington Post, Visual Art Source, San Francisco Chronicle, SF Weekly, and Squarecylinder, among other publications.