Jay DeFeo: Mechanics

Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Shoetree series), 1977, graphite, acrylic and charcoal on p
Jay DeFeo, Untitled (Shoetree series), 1977, graphite, acrylic and charcoal on paper, 16 x 13 inches (courtesy of Hosfelt Gallery)

David M. Roth reviews the recent exhibition Jay DeFeo: Mechanics at Hosfelt Gallery, San Francisco.

Roth writes: "DeFeo understood the transformative power of combining different media. Her assemblages of cut-up photos made on a copy machine yield some of the show’s highlights. The trio of images in which she tops the shape of an angel (originally created by Bruce Conner) with vacuum cleaner heads and a light bulb show how tools become extensions of the body. Likewise, her three-part transformation of a tripod – which morphs from something resembling a half-clothed human figure to an aorta to a space ship – feels like a stop-motion conjuring act, as does so much else in the show."