ROOM, brings together stand-alone installations and photographic works by a group of internationally renowned female artists. It shows how domestic space – historically a ‘female’ sphere of activity – has been imagined by artists from the late twentieth century to the present. It reflects the multiple, often concurrent, roles of the room – whether as interior space or enclosing structure, as a metaphor for the psyche or a social construct.

ROOM features artists who have envisaged the room as a psychological, erotically-charged space, as well as those who have explored the structural and aesthetic properties of the domestic unit. In many cases, the different attributes are inseparable: the room is at once a psychical and physical place.

Mediating between the subjective self and external reality, the rooms in these works recall Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ground-breaking short story, The Yellow Wallpaper (1892), in which the narrator is closeted in an oppressive chamber whose lurid yellow wallpaper becomes a mirror of her unravelling mental state.

Within and between the different works in ROOM, the domestic interior is examined (as in Gilman’s story) in many guises – as a place of retreat, an index of style, a site of display, a metaphor for the mind, an expression of the mundane, or a vessel for the uncanny.

This beautiful two-volume publication (designed by Fraser Muggeridge Studio), bound in a special embossed PVC cover includes the work of 15 artists including Louise Bourgeois, Nan Goldin, Sarah Lucas, and Francesca Woodman. 

Published after the exhibition, ROOM at Sadie Coles HQ, London (13 January – 18 February 2017), and at Mead Gallery, University of Warwick (6 May – 24 June 2017).

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