Wynnie Mynerva (b. 1992, Lima, Peru) debuts a newly commissioned body of work in their first solo museum exhibition in the United States.
“Wynnie Mynerva: The Original Riot,” 2023. Exhibition view: New Museum, New York. Photo: Dario Lasagni
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For their first solo museum exhibition in the United States, Wynnie Mynerva will develop a site-specific installation for the Lobby Gallery. Through a gallery-spanning painting—the largest ever exhibited at the New Museum—alongside a sculptural element created from the artist’s own body, Mynerva will reimagine the Biblical origin story of Eve to envision and inspire gender expansive futures.
Born in 1992 on the outskirts of Lima, Peru, Mynerva grew up in an environment rife with violence based on gender, sexuality, race, and social class. Responding to both their traumas and desires, Mynerva creates cathartic visions of revenge and emancipation—representations of a world in which sexual dissidence is praised as powerful political action. Their large-scale paintings depict bodies on the edge of abstraction that refuse to be categorized, consumed, or controlled; and their radical performances and body modifications posit sexual transgression as a path to social transformation.
In this exhibition, Mynerva retells the foundational story of all Abrahamic religions, imagining the encounter between Eve and Lilith as “The Original Riot,” the first alliance between feminized bodies. The seventy-foot-long painting depicts a scene in which Eve gives Lilith her lowest rib bone, commonly called “Adam’s rib,” as a token of their pact against patriarchal power. Drawing on Mynerva’s practice of body modification, the artist will also create a sculptural element made from their own Adam’s rib which they have had surgically extracted for this purpose. With this counter-narrative to patriarchal traditions, Mynerva aims to inspire other feminized and queer bodies to fight collectively for pleasure and freedom.
“Wynnie Mynerva: The Original Riot” is curated by Bernardo Mosqueira, former ISLAA Curatorial Fellow at the New Museum and current Chief Curator at ISLAA.