CAA News Today

Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship. The following exhibitions and events should not be missed. Check the archive of CWA Picks at the bottom of the page, as several museum and gallery shows listed in previous months may still be on view or touring.

February 2012

Alina Szapocznikow, Petit Dessert I (Small Dessert I), 1970–71, colored polyester resin and glass, 3 3/16 x 4 5/16 x 5⅛ in. Kravis Collection (artwork © Estate of Alina Szapocznikow/Piotr Stanislawski/ADAGP, Paris; photograph by Thomas Mueller and provided by Broadway 1602, New York, and Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne)

Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955–1972
Hammer Museum
University of California, Los Angeles, 10899 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90024
February 5–April 29, 2012
Alina Szapocznikow: Sculpture Undone, 1955–1972 is the inaugural United States museum survey for this underrepresented Polish artist. A Holocaust survivor who died in 1973 at the age of forty-seven, Szapocznikow is widely acknowledged by her artist peers as one of the most significant sculptors of the twentieth century. She pioneered the use of unconventional sculptural materials, such as polyester and polyurethane, and constructed a visual language that addressed the body’s pain and regeneration. The exhibition includes approximately sixty sculptures, fifty works on paper, and numerous photographic works, demonstrating the tremendous range of Szapocznikow’s vision and continuing influence on twentieth- and twenty-first-century artists.

Maya Lin
Heinz Architectural Center
Carnegie Museum of Art, 4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
February 11–May 13, 2012
An exhibition of work by Maya Lin explores her diverse career as architect, artist, and dedicated environmentalist. The twenty-one sculptures and drawings on view range from room-sized installations evocative of geological topography to intricately designed wall installations. Lin has made one new work inspired by Pittsburgh’s three rivers, Pin River – Ohio (Allegheny & Monongahela), specifically for the Carnegie Museum, and her new memorial video project, What is Missing?, will be screened in the museum’s Scaife Lobby.

Shares and Stakeholders: The Feminist Art Project Day of Panels
Abramson Auditorium
Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, 250 South Grand Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
February 25, 2012
This year’s Feminist Art Project Day of Panels, organized by the artists Audrey Chan and Elana Mann and held in conjunction with the CAA Annual Conference, asks the question: What are the stakes—and who are the stakeholders—of the feminist future? The conversations will address the greater inclusivity of a contemporary feminist art that embraces a multiplicity of identities and philosophies. Topics of discussion will include: feminist art educational models, the roles of men in feminist art, interventionist art strategies, radical queer art making, and feminism as a daily humanist practice. This event is free and open to the public.

Katharine Pyle, “He knocked against a tin pan that clattered down with a tremendous din,” from Three Little Kittens by Katharine Pyle (New York: Dodd, Mead and Company, 1920), 1920, graphite, ink, and gouache on illustration board, 7⅞ x 6⅜ in. Lent by David and Sarah Wyeth (photograph provided by the Delaware Art Museum)

Tales of Folk and Fairies: The Life and Work of Katharine Pyle
Delaware Art Museum
2301 Kentmare Parkway, Wilmington, DE 19806
February 18–September 9, 2012
This exhibition presents seventy-one works by the celebrated children’s book author and illustrator Katharine Pyle (1863–1938). A native of Wilmington, Katherine Pyle was encouraged from a young age to pursue poetry and illustration by her older brother, the famed illustrator Howard Pyle. She studied at the Philadelphia School of Design for Women and at the Drexel Institute of Art and Science, also in Philadelphia. Her work was stylistically aligned with her brother, and also with Beatrix Potter, Walter Crane, and Aubrey Beardsley. Pyle’s subjects were taken from Norse and Greek mythology, fairy tales, and animal stories, and her 1923 illustrations for Anna Sewell’s novel Black Beauty are among her best-known work.

A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art
Perlman Teaching Museum
Weitz Center for Creativity, Carleton College, 320 Third Street East, Northfield, MN 55057
January 13–March 11, 2012
This exhibition, curated by Martin Rosenberg and J. Susan Isaacs, looks at the current state of feminist art practices and the range of materials and theories used by contemporary artists. Personal and political identity is explored in painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, and needlework. The roster of artists include: Blanka Amezkua, Sarah Amos, Helene Aylon, Siona Benjamin, Zoe Charlton, Sonya Clark, Annet Couwenberg, Lalla A. Essaydi, Judy Gelles, Sharon Harper, Julie Harris, Fujiko Isomura, Tatiana Parcero, Philemona Williamson, April Wood, and Flo Oy Wong.

Kathryn Spence, Short sharp notes, a long whistled trill on one pitch, clear phrases (detail), 2010–11 (artwork © Kathryn Spence; photograph by Rick Schwab and provided by Stephen Wirtz Gallery, San Francisco)

Kathryn Spence: Dirty and Clean
Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
258 Main Street, Ridgefield, CT 06877
January 29, 2011–June 10, 2012
The German-born, San Francisco-based artist Kathryn Spence uses found, dirty, and discarded materials to explore the complexities of humanity’s relationship to garbage and its place in our ecosystem. Spence, an avid bird-watcher and nature enthusiast, creates life-sized animal models from scraps of paper, fabric, string, and wire. Her work plays with the idea of dirt and dirtiness as both a purifying source and as a by-product of human waste and greed.

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