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With its highly textured surface and sack-like body, Cordell’s Figure (Woman) shows an affinity with the expressive abstraction of European artists such as Jean Dubuffet and Jean Fautrier. Her depiction of the female figure was seen by contemporary critics as a break with traditional representations of women, embodying the anxieties of a nuclear age. More recently, her paintings have been seen as images of heroic femininity with the distortions signifying the resilience of the human body against injury and change.

July 2012