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Patina du Prey's Memorial Dress, 1993, photo by Charles Mayer

Patina du Prey's Memorial Dress, 1993, photo by Charles Mayer

P·P·O·W is pleased to present From Drag to Dervish, an exhibition chronicling the life of Hunter Reynolds’ alter-ego Patina du Prey through historic installations, sculptural gowns, photographs, and performance documentation. An activist, muse, and healer, du Prey performed throughout the United States, Western Europe and Canada during the AIDS crisis. Whether worn on the artist’s body or presented on a male-form mannequin, du Prey’s series of rotating, suspended or sunken dress-sculptures embody a dual-gendered spirit.

Reynolds’ public exploration of gender and persona was influenced by the East Village drag scene of the mid-1980s and nights spent at the Pyramid Club. This project formally debuted with Drag at Simon Watson Gallery in 1990. As documented in archival footage, that exhibition centered on the portrait series Drag Pose, photographed by Michael Wakefield, and Reynolds’ ritual transformation into du Prey. Seated before The Vanity (1989), Reynolds publicly made himself up, donned a dark blue taffeta dress and entered the Drag Pose Cage (1990), where a temporarily corporeal du Prey would vogue, lounge, or speak to viewers as part of a daily endurance performance. 

PR 3

For the first time ever, From Drag to Dervish will display together The Banquet Dress (1992), Love Dress (1994), Mourning Dress (1997), and The Memorial Dress (1993-1997) – a revolving monument bearing the names of 25,000 people known to have died of AIDS-related illnesses. The exhibition will also present historic collaborations including video documentation of The Banquet (1992), a collaboration with Chrysanne Stathacos presented at Thread Waxing Space, and I-DEA: The Goddess Within (1993-2000), photographs by Maxine Henryson which depict du Prey performing healing dances and radiating love in her Dervish Dress.

Throughout the 1990s, du Prey exhibited at Andrea Rosen Gallery and Stux Gallery, New York; Galeria Dziekanka, Warsaw; Espace Dieu, Paris; and Trinitatiskirche, Köln. She led Soho Art Walks, crashed the opening of the 1993 Whitney Biennial, and served as the “Mistress of Queer affairs” at The O-Party, a political convention organized by Zini Lardieri at the New Museum in 1992. In her rousing speech, which will be presented in archival footage, du Prey declaimed, “It is our responsibility to ensure change and preserve the freedom to be Other.”

The Vanity, 1990, Performance in Currents ‘93: Dress Codes at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston, 1993

The Vanity, 1990, Performance in Currents ‘93: Dress Codes at the Institute of Contemporary Arts, Boston, 1993

Through formal performances, guerilla actions, and collaborative projects, du Prey’s art and ideology continue to personify progressive social values informed by systemic oppression, internalized phobias, and the transformative power of beauty. In his catalog essay for Drag, Gregg Bordowitz speaks to the enduring relevance of Reynolds’ project. He writes, “This show renders open the possibility for all viewers to do work against compulsory heterosexuality. It provides the opportunity for viewers to divest interests in the present order of sexuality and it invites us to take some new risks.”

Hunter Reynolds (b. 1959; Rochester, MN) was an early member of ACT UP and in 1989 co-founded Art Positive, an affinity group of ACT UP that fought homophobia and censorship in the arts. He has presented solo exhibitions at Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY; White Columns, New York, NY; Artist Space, New York, NY; Participant Inc., New York, NY; Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA; and Hales Gallery, London. He has been included in group exhibitions at the New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York, NY; the ICA Boston, Boston, MA; Aldrich Museum of Art, Ridgefield, CT; DOCUMENTA, Kassel; and Akademie der Kunste and Kunst-Werke, Berlin; among others.  The Memorial Dress was recently exhibited at The Hayward Gallery in the acclaimed exhibition Kiss My Genders. In 2017, Reynolds was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. This is Reynolds’ third solo exhibition with P·P·O·W.

Exhibited Works

Exhibited Works Thumbnails
Hunter Reynolds, Carousel (Antwerp, Belgium)

I-DEA The Goddess Within a collaboration between Maxine Henryson & Hunter Reynolds
Carousel (Antwerp, Belgium), 1994
c-print
60 x 40 ins.
152.4 x 101.6 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Mourning Flowers

Hunter Reynolds
Mourning Flowers, 1993
photo-weaving, archival c-prints and thread
71 1/8 x 35 5/8 ins.
180.5 x 90.5 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Drag Pose

Hunter Reynolds
Drag Pose, 1990
digital c-print mounted on cintra
30 x 22 3/4 in.
76.2 x 57.79 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Mourning Dress

Hunter Reynolds
Mourning Dress, 1997
fabric, c-prints and thread
84 x 84 x 28 in.
213.36 x 213.36 x 71.12 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Approaching the Temple (Chinesiches Temple, Sanssouci, Potsdam, Germany)

I-DEA The Goddess Within a collaboration between Maxine Henryson & Hunter Reynolds
Approaching the Temple (Chinesiches Temple, Sanssouci, Potsdam, Germany), 1994
c-print
sheet: 22 x 16 ins., 55.9 x 40.6 cm
image: 18 x 12 ins., 45.7 x 30.5 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Patina du Prey Drag Pose Series

Hunter Reynolds
Patina du Prey Drag Pose Series, 1990
photo-weaving, c-prints and thread
29 1/2 x 19 1/2 in.
74.93 x 49.53 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Sur L'herbe (Leuven, Belgium)

I-DEA The Goddess Within a collaboration between Maxine Henryson & Hunter Reynolds
Sur L'herbe (Leuven, Belgium), 1994
c-print
sheet: 22 x 16 ins., 55.9 x 40.6 cm
image: 18 x 12 ins., 45.7 x 30.5 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Dirvish (Englehardt Estate, Concord, Massachusetts)

I-DEA The Goddess Within a collaboration between Maxine Henryson & Hunter Reynolds
Dirvish (Englehardt Estate, Concord, Massachusetts), 1992
c-print
sheet: 22 x 16 ins., 55.9 x 40.6 cm
image: 18 x 12 ins., 45.7 x 30.5 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Drag Pose

Hunter Reynolds
Drag Pose, 1990
digital c-print mounted on cintra
30 x 22 3/4 ins.
76.2 x 57.8 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Patina du Prey's Memorial Dress a retrospective

Hunter Reynolds
Patina du Prey's Memorial Dress a retrospective, 1993-2007
platform skirted with gold silkscreened names, sign in book, black male dress form, crinolines, dress with gold silkscreened names, digitally printed lists of names, seven documentray phtoographs mounted to foam core (each: 20 x 24 in.), and video
Dimensions variable

Hunter Reynolds, Patina du Prey Drag Pose Series

Hunter Reynolds
Patina du Prey Drag Pose Series, 1990
photo-weaving, c-prints and thread
29 1/2 x 19 3/4 in.
74.93 x 50.2 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Patina du Prey’s Queen Mirror

Hunter Reynolds
Patina du Prey’s Queen Mirror, 1989/2018
sandblasted glass
36 inches in diameter

Hunter Reynolds, I Will Die for You

Hunter Reynolds
I Will Die for You, 1990
signed on recto
lipstick and pen on paper
8 1/2 x 11 ins.
21.6 x 27.9 cm

Hunter Reynolds, I Miss the Taste of Cum

Hunter Reynolds
I Miss the Taste of Cum, 1990
signed on recto
lipstick and pen on paper
8 1/2 x 11 ins.
21.6 x 27.9 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Lick My Tit

Hunter Reynolds
Lick My Tit, 1990
signed on recto
lipstick and pen on paper
8 1/2 x 11 ins.
21.6 x 27.9 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Carousel (Antwerp, Belgium)

I-DEA The Goddess Within a collaboration between Maxine Henryson & Hunter Reynolds
Carousel (Antwerp, Belgium), 1994
c-print
60 x 40 ins.
152.4 x 101.6 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Mourning Flowers

Hunter Reynolds
Mourning Flowers, 1993
photo-weaving, archival c-prints and thread
71 1/8 x 35 5/8 ins.
180.5 x 90.5 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Drag Pose

Hunter Reynolds
Drag Pose, 1990
digital c-print mounted on cintra
30 x 22 3/4 in.
76.2 x 57.79 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Mourning Dress

Hunter Reynolds
Mourning Dress, 1997
fabric, c-prints and thread
84 x 84 x 28 in.
213.36 x 213.36 x 71.12 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Approaching the Temple (Chinesiches Temple, Sanssouci, Potsdam, Germany)

I-DEA The Goddess Within a collaboration between Maxine Henryson & Hunter Reynolds
Approaching the Temple (Chinesiches Temple, Sanssouci, Potsdam, Germany), 1994
c-print
sheet: 22 x 16 ins., 55.9 x 40.6 cm
image: 18 x 12 ins., 45.7 x 30.5 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Patina du Prey Drag Pose Series

Hunter Reynolds
Patina du Prey Drag Pose Series, 1990
photo-weaving, c-prints and thread
29 1/2 x 19 1/2 in.
74.93 x 49.53 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Sur L'herbe (Leuven, Belgium)

I-DEA The Goddess Within a collaboration between Maxine Henryson & Hunter Reynolds
Sur L'herbe (Leuven, Belgium), 1994
c-print
sheet: 22 x 16 ins., 55.9 x 40.6 cm
image: 18 x 12 ins., 45.7 x 30.5 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Dirvish (Englehardt Estate, Concord, Massachusetts)

I-DEA The Goddess Within a collaboration between Maxine Henryson & Hunter Reynolds
Dirvish (Englehardt Estate, Concord, Massachusetts), 1992
c-print
sheet: 22 x 16 ins., 55.9 x 40.6 cm
image: 18 x 12 ins., 45.7 x 30.5 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Drag Pose

Hunter Reynolds
Drag Pose, 1990
digital c-print mounted on cintra
30 x 22 3/4 ins.
76.2 x 57.8 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Patina du Prey's Memorial Dress a retrospective

Hunter Reynolds
Patina du Prey's Memorial Dress a retrospective, 1993-2007
platform skirted with gold silkscreened names, sign in book, black male dress form, crinolines, dress with gold silkscreened names, digitally printed lists of names, seven documentray phtoographs mounted to foam core (each: 20 x 24 in.), and video
Dimensions variable

Hunter Reynolds, Patina du Prey Drag Pose Series

Hunter Reynolds
Patina du Prey Drag Pose Series, 1990
photo-weaving, c-prints and thread
29 1/2 x 19 3/4 in.
74.93 x 50.2 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Patina du Prey’s Queen Mirror

Hunter Reynolds
Patina du Prey’s Queen Mirror, 1989/2018
sandblasted glass
36 inches in diameter

Hunter Reynolds, I Will Die for You

Hunter Reynolds
I Will Die for You, 1990
signed on recto
lipstick and pen on paper
8 1/2 x 11 ins.
21.6 x 27.9 cm

Hunter Reynolds, I Miss the Taste of Cum

Hunter Reynolds
I Miss the Taste of Cum, 1990
signed on recto
lipstick and pen on paper
8 1/2 x 11 ins.
21.6 x 27.9 cm

Hunter Reynolds, Lick My Tit

Hunter Reynolds
Lick My Tit, 1990
signed on recto
lipstick and pen on paper
8 1/2 x 11 ins.
21.6 x 27.9 cm

Installation Views

Installation Views Thumbnails
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds
Hunter Reynolds

Videos

Hunter Reynolds, Patina du Prey's Drag Cage Performance at Simon Watson Gallery, 1990
Sound by Aldo Hernandez; Photography By Michael Wakefield