Martha Edelheit Flesh Walls: Tales from the 60s accompanies an exhibition at Eric Firestone Gallery, New York (October – December 2018). With 32 color plates, documentary photographs and an essay by Melissa Rachleff, this catalog constitutes a major re-introduction to Martha Edelheit. She was part of the rule-breaking downtown Manhattan art scene of the late 1950s and early 1960s. She exhibited with Jim Dine, Allan Kaprow, Claes Oldenburg, Lucas Samaras, and Robert Whitman, all of whom challenged abstraction’s dominance with their constructions, environments, and performances. Sensuality was frequently a theme downtown, and Edelheit’s explorations expanded beyond the boundaries set by her male colleagues. Her artwork is direct, exquisitely detailed, and frankly humorous. Combining diaries, dreams, fairy tales, and myth, Edelheit’s drawings and paintings reversed masculine tropes of power. “I’m against anything that seduces me into shallow water,” she wrote in her daybook in 1969, underscoring an uncompromising, radical vision that, because it operated on the margins of even the most adventurous art, was difficult to situate at the time. Her art was prescient in its unabashed confrontation with self-making and erotic subjectivities—a message to the future.
Publisher: Eric Firestone Press
Contributors: Melissa Rachleff
Dimensions: 8 x 10 in