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.

August 2013

Linder Buzzcocks

Linder’s artwork for the Buzzcocks’ first single, “Orgasm Addict”

Linder: Woman/Object
Kestnergesellscahft Hanover
Goseriede 11, 30159 Hanover, Germany
June 7–August 4, 2013

The first major survey in Germany of the oeuvre of a leading protagonist of the late-1970s punk scene, Linder: Woman/Object brings together more than two hundred selections that capture the diversity of an artistic practice that cuts across music, dance, and fashion and transcends all types of visual media, from collage and photography to video and performance. The exhibition also highlights the feminist politics that underpin the artist’s work and self-staging.

Linder Sterling—known simply as Linder—was born in Liverpool as Linda Mulvey in 1954. By the end of the 1970s, she had become a key figure in the culturally explosive period of punk and postpunk, developing her art alongside bands such as the Buzzcocks, Magazine, Joy Division, and the Smiths. One of her best-known works is the cover of the Buzzcocks’ single “Orgasm Addict,” which shows a naked woman with grinning mouths on her breasts and an iron replacing her head. In 1978 Linder cofounded the postpunk group Ludus, whose singer she remained until the band split up in 1983. She caused a furor in 1982 by appearing—a quarter of a century before Lady Gaga—in a dress made of scraps of poultry. Linder’s work has become internationally known in recent years through presentations at important institutions such as the Institute of Contemporary Arts and Tate, both in London, and with a solo exhibition at MoMA PS1 in New York.

Mother Armenia

Mother Armenia
Armenian Center for Contemporary Experimental Art
1/3 Pavstos Biuzand Boulevard, Yerevan, Armenia
July 3–August 17, 2013

Organized by the 4Plus Documentary Center in Armenia and curated by Svetlana Bachevanova, this exhibition brings together the work of ten female documentary photographers: Mery Aghakhanyan, Sara Anjargolian, Nazik Armenakyan, Anush Babajanyan, Knar Babayan, Anahit Hayrapetyan, Hasmik Hayrapetyan, Piruza Khalapyan, Inna Mkhitaryan, and Nelli Shishmanyan. Addressing the role of women in modern Armenia as well as broader social injustices, their work captures several aspects of Armenian life from a female point of view that remains rarely voiced in the region. “Women in Armenia still battle to establish a career,” the curator says. “Women are still expected to be full time mothers and housekeepers. But these ten documentarians broke the rules and found a way to pursue careers and create powerful bodies of work.”


Installation view of Sturtevant: LEAPS JUMPS AND BUMPS at the Serpentine Gallery (photograph © 2013 Jerry Hardman-Jones)

Serpentine Gallery
Kensington Gardens, London, W2 3XA, United Kingdom
June 28–August 26, 2013

The first solo exhibition of Sturtevant in a public institution in the United Kingdom, LEAPS JUMPS AND BUMPS showcases work created since the 1970s by this Paris-based American artist, illuminating her groundbreaking exploration of the relationship between repetition and difference while demonstrating the wide variety of media she has embraced. The exhibition includes a large-scale video work, Finite Infinite (2010), and a piece comprising garlands of light bulbs, Gonzalez-Torres Untitled (America) from 2004, that is a later version of a work shown at the Serpentine Gallery in 2000 in the Félix González-Torres exhibition.

Autoritratti: Iscrizioni del femminile nell’arte italiana contemporanea
Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna
Via Don Giovanni Minzoni 14, 40121, Bologna, Italy
May 12–September 1, 2013

Autoritratti features old and new works—including some made specifically for the show—by a large number of female Italian artists. Exploring inscriptions of difference in contemporary Italian art, this exhibition, first proposed initially by Uliana Zanetti, is part of an inter- and extramuseum collective initiative that is investigating the role of gender in the work of contemporary women artists in a country in which second-wave feminism was not influential in the arts. That said, the positions and practices of several women artists clearly demonstrate intriguing negotiations of gender difference.

The title of the show merges references to two important feminist thinkers: the British Griselda Pollock and the Italian Carla Lonzi. The artists in the show are: Alessandra Andrini, Paola Anziché, Marion Baruch, Valentina Berardinone, Enrica Borghi, Anna Valeria Borsari, Chiara Camoni, Annalisa Cattani, Alice Cattaneo, Daniela Comani, Daniela De Lorenzo, Marta Dell’Angelo, Elisabetta Di Maggio, Silvia Giambrone, goldiechiari, Alice Guareschi, Maria Lai, Christiane Löhr, Claudia Losi, Anna Maria Maiolino, Eva Marisaldi, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Marzia Migliora, Ottonella Mocellin and Nicola Pellegrini, Maria Morganti, Margherita Morgantin, Liliana Moro, Chiara Pergola, Letizia Renzini, Moira Ricci, Mili Romano, Anna Rossi, Elisa Sighicelli, Alessandra Spranzi, Grazia Toderi, Sabrina Torelli, Traslochi Emotivi, Tatiana Trouvé, Marcella Vanzo, and Grazia Varisco.

Dame Laura Knight

Dame Laura Knight, Ruby Loftus Screwing a Breech-ring, 1943. Imperial War Museum, London (artwork © Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA)

Laura Knight: Portraits
National Portrait Gallery
Saint Martin’s Place, London, WC2H 0HE, United Kingdom
July 11–October 13, 2013

With over thirty portraits, this exhibition revisits the work and exceptionally successful career (for a woman of her time) of Dame Laura Knight, among the most popular British artists of twentieth century and the first official female member of the Royal Academy of Arts (since 1936). Knight studied art at the Notthingham Art School, encouraged by her mother, an amateur artist herself, who is remembered setting such ambitious goal for her daughter by saying “one day you will be elected in the Academy.” Knight eventually became so successful that she was featured as a role model in books for careers aimed at women in England.

Knight rejected modernism but focused on capturing modern life and culture through portraiture. She was recognized for her commissioned work as an official war painter, creating propagandistic portraits of female factory workers and heroines of wartime bravery. Yet it is her portraits of theater, ballet, and circus performers, English gypsies, and the segregated black patients of Baltimore’s Johns Hopkins Memorial Hospital that illuminate the diversity of the works’ backgrounds, vividness of their style, and the immersive method of their production.

Platform: Josephine Meckseper
Parrish Art Museum
279 Montauk Highway, Water Mill, NY 11976
July 4–October 14, 2013

Josephine Meckseper is known for the cool, seductive conflation of art objects and commodities in her installations, films, and photographs that unmask the political implications of consumer culture. As this year’s Platform guest at the Parrish, she has responded to the museum’s site, using it as “a perfect display platform” that resonates with the use of commercial displays and everyday items in her work. Two vitrines near the museum’s entrance, containing original sculptures and mass-produced objects, introduce visitors to Meckseper’s signature approach, while other works referencing automobile culture engage the museum’s collection and the world outside it. Alluding to both Jean-Luc Godard’s driving-centric film Weekend and the nearby car dealerships, Sabotage Auto Assembly Line to Slow It Down (2009) incorporates car tires, a conveyer belt, two of the artist’s videos on stacked monitors, and mirrored tiles that cinematically reflect the vehicles in transit along Montauk Highway. With its prominent Jeep insignia, Crow (2011) is placed adjacent to John Chamberlain’s crushed car sculpture

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