The luminous portraits of the late, undersung artist Cathy Josefowitz are set to have a second life. Hauser & Wirth, with locations across six countries, is now the global representative of Josefowitz and will reintroduce her vision this May with her inaugural solo exhibition in New York.
The Swiss-born, American-raised artist died in 2014, leaving behind a body of work that deconstructed the boundaries between drawing, painting, and performance. Over decades and disparate genres, she mapped the movement of the body in its infinite permutations. Her best pieces chose marginalized people as its subjects, and turned suppressed emotions–lust, longing, anger–inside out via figuration. Josefowitz’s work never tried for realism; it’s the essence, distilled.
“We’re very honored to join Hauser & Wirth, a gallery whose team has such deep experience and expertise in safeguarding the legacy of artists,” Bettina Moriceau Maillard, the director of the estate, told ARTnews. “It is so meaningful to see Cathy Josefowitz’s work contextualized among a roster of incredible artists such as Louise Bourgeois and Cindy Sherman whom she so greatly admired, and who each inspired her in their own way.”
Josefowitz’s solo exhibition at Hauser & Wirth, entitled “Cathy Josefowitz. Forever Young”, opens on May 11 at the gallery’s Upppr East Side location. It will feature film footage of two of her significant choreographies from the 1980s: Woodstock, a kinetic interpretation of childhood memories in Upstate New York, and the eponymous Forever Young. Also on view will be pastel portraits from the same period and large-scale works from the 1990s, when her figuration began ceding to abstraction that stressed liminal space. Given a cancer diagnosis in 2007, she had turned increasingly to matters of spirit and soul.
“Josefowitz’s oeuvre has been nothing short of a revelation to us,” Manuela Wirth, president of Hauser & Wirth, said in a statement. “This is a rare occasion where we encounter an artist for the first time yet feel we have known her work forever.”