Judith Bernstein (b. 1942, Newark, New Jersey, USA) lives and works in New York City. For over five decades she has continued to create unapologetically political work. After encountering an amusing and poignant bathroom-stall doodle in the men’s bathroom while attending Yale School of Art, Bernstein found freedom in the power of humor.
Most famous for her iconic phallic Screw paintings and drawings Bernstein has explored politics of power throughout her oeuvre. Describing rage as a catalyst for her creativity, Bernstein has used her art in order to protest not only patriarchy but also the wars in Vietnam, Iran and Iraq such as the presidency of Donald J. Trump. The latter was the topic of her 2017 solo show at Drawing Center, New York, entitled Cabinet of Horrors. At the same time Berstein has repeatedly explored the possibilities of positively boosting the female ego, be it through her large scale signature works or – later in her life – the shift away from phallic motifs to the vulva which appears as Birth of the Universe in a series of abundantly colorful paintings.
Bernstein has had solo shows at Kunsthall Stavanger, Norway, New Museum, New York, The Drawing Center, New York and Studio Voltaire, London. Furthermore she has exhibited at Whitney Museum, New York. MoMA PS1, New York, Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, MoCA, Los Angeles, Migros Museum für Gegenwartskunst in Zurich, such as Kunsthaus Zurich, amongst others. In 2016 she received the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for Fine Arts.