Sargent’s Daughters is pleased to present Restraint, an exhibition featuring the work of Wynnie Mynerva, Sarah Slappey, and Rachel Youn. Placing paintings, sculptures, and drawings in dynamic conversation, the exhibition explores depictions of physical constraints to consider the balance between strength and vulnerability, pain and pleasure. Evoking both tangible limitations of the body and emotional limitations placed on women and queer people, Restraint examines the societal constructs that confine and define the feminine experience.

Each of these artists engages with the theme of restriction in both the content and the construction of their works. Wynnie Mynerva’s large-scale paintings and intimate watercolors depict scenes from the Abrahamic myth of creation, featuring Adam, Eve, and Lilith, to interrogate the binary construction of gender and female submission. Mynerva’s works are often accompanied by performative actions, such as the surgical removal of their bottom rib bone, or “Adam’s rib,” to echo the Biblical creation story. Sarah Slappey’s oil paintings and watercolors recall the refined style of the Old Masters and allegorize the violence enacted by traditional femininity on women’s bodies and psyches.

Slappey’s intricately rendered, nude bodies are shown constrained by ribbons, pierced by jewelry, and dripping tiny rivulets of blood, transforming these typically feminine adornments into mechanisms of torture. Rachel Youn brings these concepts into three-dimensional space and motion, with kinetic sculptures featuring silk flowers and plastic branches that move within artificial confinements. The gyrating swaying fake plants are attached to the motors from personal massage devices, which Youn sources secondhand.

In this series, the plants’ motion is restricted by other found objects, such as a tire jack and a hand strengthener, producing motorized tableaux that are unending and viscerally uncomfortable. In presenting these scenes of constraint and constriction, the artists included in Restraint each interrogate conceptions of gender presentation, bodily autonomy, and power dynamics. Their works are alluring and abject, bringing viewers into a space of desire and confrontation.

Wynnie Mynerva’s (b.1992, Lima, Peru) practice spans painting, performance and video. Mynerva had their first solo museum exhibition, The Original Riot at the New Museum (New York, NY) in 2023, which was reviewed by Artsy, Artnet News, Autre Magazine, Hyperallergic and Widewalls, amongst others. They have also had solo presentations at Gathering (London, UK), Latchkey Gallery (New York, NY), Museo AMANO (Lima, Perú), ARCOMadrid (Madrid, Spain), and the Fundación Euroidiomas (Lima, Perú).

Mynerva has been included in group exhibitions at Tube Culture Hall (Milan, Italy), Galeria Studio (Warsaw, Poland), Centro Cultural PUCP (San Isidro, Perú), CIFO ART (Miami, FL), MAC (Buenos Aires, Argentina), Salon del Premio Nacional de Artes Visuales (Trujillo, Perú), amongst others. They were a resident at The Fountainhead Residency in Miami, FL in 2019. Mynerva is currently undertaking a residency at the Rijksacademie in Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Sarah Slappey (b. 1984, Columbia, South Carolina) is a painter based in Brooklyn, NY. Slappey received her MFA from Hunter College in 2016. She has had solo exhibitions at Maria Bernheim Gallery (Zurich, Switzerland) and Sargent’s Daughters (New York, NY).

Her work has been included in group exhibitions at Pace Gallery (Hong Kong, China); the Pond Society (Shanghai, China); the Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, OH); ICA Miami (Miami, FL); Perrotin (Paris, France); Schlossmuseum (Linz, Austria); Marinaro (New York, NY); Musée D’Art Moderne et Contemporain (Geneva, Switzerland); Venus Over Manhattan (New York, NY); Xiao Museum of Contemporary Art (Suzhou, China); White Cube (Paris, France); Tick Tack (Antwerp, Belgium); The Pit (Los Angeles, CA); and Andrew Edlin Gallery (New York, NY).

Slappey’s work is included in the permanent collections of the Hirshhorn Museum (Washington D.C), The Albertina Museum (Vienna, Austria), Pérez Art Museum (Miami, FL), Institute Contemporary Art (Miami, FL), Columbus Museum of Art (Columbus, OH), Musée D’Art Moderne et Contemporain (Geneva, Switzerland), Orange County Museum of Art (Costa Mesa, CA), Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), The Pond Society (Shanghai, China), The Vanhaerents Art Collection (Brussels, Belgium), The Zabludowicz Collection (London, England), and the Xiao Museum of Contemporary Art (Suzhou, China). Slappey’s work has been reviewed by Artforum, The New Yorker, The Art Newspaper, Artnet, Artsy, ArtSpace, Harper’s Bazaar Japan, Vogue Italia, and Flash Art, among others. She is represented by Sargent’s Daughters.

Rachel Youn (b. 1994, Abington, PA) is an artist working across sculpture and installation, based in New Haven, CT. Youn has recently exhibited at Night Gallery (Los Angeles, CA), Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea (Rome, Italy), Laumeier Sculpture Park (St. Louis, MO), Soy Capitán (Berlin, Germany), Truman State University Art Gallery (Kirksville, MO), Linseed Gallery (London, UK), VSOP Projects (Greenport, NY), McClain Gallery (Houston, TX), Contemporary Arts Center (Columbus, OH), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin, Italy), The Naughton Gallery at Queen’s (Belfast, UK), Brutus (Rotterdam, The Netherlands), La Clinica (Oaxaca, México) Hair + Nails (Minneapolis, MN), CICA Museum (Gimpo-si, Gyeonggi-do, South Korea), and the Contemporary Art Museum (St. Louis, MO).

Youn is a recipient of the Vermont Studio Center Fellowship and the 2020 Great Rivers Biennial Award. They received their BFA from the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts at Washington University in St. Louis. Youn is currently an MFA candidate at Yale School of Art in New Haven, CT. Youn’s work has been reviewed in the LA Review of Books, Artillery Magazine, and Elephant, amongst others. They are represented by Sargent’s Daughters.