Bastienne Schmidt (born 1961) challenges the popular idyll of household as private utopia with her Home Stills series. Posing in the role of lone housewife, and staging her works exclusively in Long Island
, the artist recapitulates disconcertingly familiar scenarios excerpted from daytime TV. Following Highway 27 across Long Island from Patchogue to Easthampton, Schmidt recreates her interiors--from cheap motel rooms to upscale mansions--as imaginary rooms of her own, performing
a dystopian twist on Virginia Woolf's eponymous idea of a feminist haven. Recalling the work of Cindy Sherman, Schmidt draws on such diverse visual influences as the films of Wim Wenders
and the paintings and prints of Hokusai, Sigmar Polke, Jan Vermeer and Edward Hopper, to portray the alienated social contracts of a world of suburban fragmentation and loneliness.