**Portrait of Kim Gordon.** David Black

Portrait of Kim Gordon. David Black

You could not have crashed your way through the 1980s and 1990s indie-rock world without encountering Kim Gordon, then best-known as the bassist and vocalist of the seminal noise-pop band Sonic Youth. With long blonde hair cascading over her eyes, a low-slung bass around her neck and an EAT ME shirt on her lanky frame, Gordon was—and is—a ferocious musician who became an alt-rock style icon, a high-profile feminist and a muse to everyone from Kurt Cobain to Tavi Gevinson. ¶ But before she began pursuing music in earnest, Gordon was an art student with a collaborative streak. In addition to exhibiting her mixed-media work everywhere from Tokyo to London, she has co-founded a clothing company (X-Girl), curated countless art shows and created work with Yoko Ono, among many others. These days, Gordon’s output is more varied than ever: A few years ago she launched the cathartic guitar duo Body/Head (their album No Waves came out on Matador last month); in 2015 she published her unflinching memoir, Girl in a Band; and this September she released “Murdered Out,” her first single under her own name. Visitors to this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach experienced her take on music, fashion and art all at once in Proposal for a Dance, a video performance piece in which Gordon and another artist, clad in Rodarte dresses, mercilessly manipulate electric guitars in front of (and at times in the middle of) a live audience. ¶ Her recent paintings and sculptural works are rooted in her downtown No Wave beginnings, visually name-checking bands like Pussy Galore, using spray paint and trashed canvas and somehow achieving, through the wreckage and noise, a sublime abstraction. Almost 40 years in, Gordon continues to provide a reverberating commentary on the high and the low—and a point-blank look at what she recently called “culture collapsing in on itself.”

__*mirror wreath #2.* Spray paint on mirror, 24 x 18 inches, 2016.__ © Kim Gordon, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

mirror wreath #2. Spray paint on mirror, 24 x 18 inches, 2016. © Kim Gordon, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

__*Pussy Galore.* Acrylic on canvas, 55¼ X 39½  inches, 2015.__  © Kim Gordon, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Pussy Galore. Acrylic on canvas, 55¼ X 39½ inches, 2015. © Kim Gordon, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

__Stills from *Proposal for a Dance.* DVD, dir. Philipp Virus, 2012.__ © Kim Gordon, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York

Stills from Proposal for a Dance. DVD, dir. Philipp Virus, 2012. © Kim Gordon, courtesy 303 Gallery, New York