Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art
In textiles, dégradé refers to the diminution of a fabric’s color when a dye fades from dark to light. In Heather’s Dégradé, Ghada Amer depicts women who seem to be in a state of dégradé, the outlines of their bodies, in explicit poses often culled from pornography, almost dissolving into overlapping forms that appear at a distance as an abstraction. Her choice of words is also a play on women’s “degradation” by the act of sex—traditionally thought to downgrade the social value of women—here depicted with pleasure and sensuousness. Amer’s choice of thread as a medium is a nod to the devaluation of sewing as “women’s work,” as well as to the modern perception that “craft,” as the production of those who labor for a living, has less intrinsic value than “fine” art.
Embroidery and gel medium on canvas
78 x 62 x 1 1/2 in. (198.1 x 157.5 x 3.8 cm) (show scale)
Signed in pencil on lower left edge of canvas: "Ghada Amer 06"
Frank L. Babbott Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund, and Florence B. and Carl L. Selden Fund
This item is not on view
Ghada Amer (American, born Egypt, 1963). Heather's Dégradé, 2006. Embroidery and gel medium on canvas, 78 x 62 x 1 1/2 in. (198.1 x 157.5 x 3.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Frank L. Babbott Fund, Mary Smith Dorward Fund, William K. Jacobs, Jr. Fund, and Florence B. and Carl L. Selden Fund, 2013.50.1. © artist or artist's estate (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, 2013.50.1_PS9.jpg)
overall, 2013.50.1_PS9.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2013
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© Ghada Amer
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