A Taste of Forbidden Fruit

M. Louise Stanley "Great Moments in Art History," 2007. Acrylic on canvas 52” × 62”.

Artist M. Louise “Lulu” Stanley arrived at the Elaine de Kooning House in East Hampton on Tuesday, August 10, and will be in residency at the home through mid-October. During her stay, Stanley is working on two new paintings — ‘Fountain of Youth” and “Danae” — as well as drawings and gouaches/watercolors.

M. Louise Stanley “Self Portrait in the Year 2072 (after Ensor),” 1992. Gouache on paper 22 × 30”.

Her paintings are also currently on view in “Forbidden Fruit,” a show at The Ranch in Montauk that remains on view through October 10. “Forbidden Fruit” is a group exhibition centered on the parodic paintings of historical scenes and imagined narrative scenes by Stanley Peter Saul and Robert Williams. The show is the first exploration of the artists’ personal connections and shared artistic convictions. Raised on the counter-cultural visual scenes of the 1960s like Zap Comix and the radical political climate of the time, each developed a distinct style characterized by guttural humor and biting wit to consider pressing issues from war and capital punishment to environmental catastrophe and romantic malaise. Through their incisive commentary, the cohort simultaneously overturns tired art historical tropes and ironizes bourgeois etiquette. Exhibited alongside these works, a presentation of single contributions by Luis Jiménez, Jonathan Lyndon Chase, Tony Matelli, and Cosima von Bonin constellates the trajectories of these unifying themes through alternate histories and media

M. Louise Stanley “Pandora,” 1999. Acrylic 72” × 84”.

Stanley’s painting “Snake Oil,” 2007, is a coy depiction of a postlapsarian Eve unceremoniously locked out of the Garden on a lowbrow bender that rivals Eden with its own offerings — a plastic tourist visor, a gossip rag, a discarded Budweiser can, and the tools of her own destruction – –a stack of apples and three vials of snake oil. A former student of Peter Saul’s in the Bay Area during the 1960s, Stanley finds in art historical tropes a breeding ground for cultural critique.

Installation View of “Forbidden Fruit ” at The Ranch, Montauk. Photo by Greg Kessler.

Louise Stanley (b. 1942, Charleston, W.V.) is recognized for her amusing reinterpretations of celebrated scenes from Western art history and Greek mythology, Stanley’s satirical paintings confront issues of gender inequality, corporate greed, social injustice, and immorality. The artist was recently the subject of a career retrospective “M. Louise Stanley: No Regrets” at the Marin Museum of Contemporary Art in California. She holds a BA from La Verne College, a BFA and MFA from California College of Arts and Crafts (presently California College of the Arts). She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, Fleishhacker Foundation, Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation, Pollock-Krasner Foundation in 2014, and a John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship in 2015. She has lectured, taught and exhibited nationally and now teaches at Berkeley City College.

M. Louise Stanley “Snake Oil,” 2007 Acrylic on canvas 84 × 72”.

The Ranch is at 8 Old Montauk Highway in Montauk. For more information on “Forbidden Fruit” visit theranch.art. For more information about the Elaine de Kooning House in East Hampton, visit elainedekooninghouse.org.