America is Beautiful

Rita Bard, 2017

Out of their heads: "The Kinesphere of You and Me"

exhibition at freeform art space


Iris McLister


The show’s most bizarre, and arguably most fun, contribution is American Is Beautiful, Rita Bard’s garishly colored and life-sized cow sculpture, which is erratically adorned with plastic toys, a teetering stack of chairs, and segments of cloth. Bard started the piece last year, but Gwynne Franklin encouraged her to finish it in time for the show. “I needed an antidote to my own feelings of helplessness and sadness concerning the current situation in our country,” Bard said. The cow is an “underdog figure,” according to her, which represents “things I like about Americans and America: resourcefulness, a spirit of fun, the ability to laugh at oneself, and last but not least, a strong sense of fairness that I think is being undermined at every turn.”