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Each month, CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts produces a curated list, called CWA Picks, of recommended exhibitions and events related to feminist art and scholarship in North America and around the world.

The CWA Picks for August 2013 consist of several excellent exhibitions of women artists in Europe and the United States: Linder Sterling in Hanover, Germany; Elaine Sturtevant and Dame Laura Knight in London, England; and Josephine Meckseper in Southampton, New York. Also included are two important group shows: Mother Armenia in Yerevan, Armenia, and Autorotratti in Bologna, Italy.

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.

Image Caption

Dame Laura Knight, Self Portrait, 1913. National Portrait Gallery (artwork © Estate of Dame Laura Knight DBE RA).

Filed under: Committees, Exhibitions

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

Filed under: CWA Picks, Uncategorized — Tags:

Each week CAA News publishes summaries of eight articles, published around the web, that CAA members may find interesting and useful in their professional and creative lives.

The Young Wellesley Professor Who Invented Contemporary Art

When you think of the cities that helped define cutting-edge art in the twentieth century, you think of Paris, New York, maybe Berlin. In the standard histories, Boston plays a decidedly background role, with the city’s gatekeepers ensuring that the wild works by artists like Picasso, Braque, or Mondrian didn’t soil their elegant private and public collections. “Boston is very dead so far as contemporary art is concerned,” complained a young Wellesley art-history instructor, Alfred Barr Jr., writing to a friend and gallery owner in New York in 1926, well after modernism had caught fire elsewhere. (Read more in the Boston Globe.)

How to Build a Digital Humanities Took in a Week

Twelve scholars convened at the George Mason University last week to build a web application for the digital humanities as part of the “One Week | One Tool” challenge, sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities. The participants—who included web developers, faculty members, museum professionals, undergraduate and graduate students, and a high-school librarian—spent five days brainstorming, designing, and developing their tool. (Read more in the Chronicle of Higher Education.)

Arts Majors Jump Ahead of Tech Grads in Landing Jobs

Here’s a surprise for college students: recent graduates with technology degrees are having a tougher time finding a job than their peers in the arts. The unemployment rate for recent grads with a degree in information systems is more than double that of drama and theater majors, at 14.7 percent vs. 6.4 percent, according to a recent Georgetown University study. Even for computer science majors, the jobless rate for recent grads nears 9 percent. (Read more in USA Today.)

Protecting Detroit’s Artwork Is a Job for Detroit

By now, everybody knows that the city of Detroit has finally filed for bankruptcy—and everybody in the art world knows that its museum, the Detroit Institute of Arts, is in deep trouble. Here’s why: Detroit owes roughly $18 billion that it doesn’t have. The sixty-thousand-plus works of art in the permanent collection are owned by the city, not the museum (as is normally the case). According to the Detroit Free Press, the thirty-eight most important pieces have a market value of about $2.5 billion. What next? (Read more in the Wall Street Journal.)

Only the Artists Can Save the Arts Critics

How do you put a price on thought? How do you price an opinion? How do you even price the creative thought that the opinion was formed on? How do you do this in a culture—I think that’s the right word—where people are used not only to getting opinion for nothing, but expect good information for nothing as well? (Read more in the Guardian.)

Caveat Emptor: An Art Exhibit Made Entirely of Forgeries Confiscated by the FBI

Upon entering Caveat Emptor you will likely recognize the exhibition’s work with confidence. Iconic pieces made famous by art legends such as Chagall, Warhol, Gauguin, and de Kooning adorn the walls, and yet, you probably haven’t heard of a single artist showing. That’s right, Caveat Emptor, which translates to “let the buyer beware,” is composed entirely of forgeries that have been confiscated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. (Read more in the Huffington Post.)

The Hole in Our Collective Memory: How Copyright Made Midcentury Books Vanish

Last year I wrote about research being done by Paul J. Heald at the University of Illinois, based on software that crawled Amazon for a random selection of books. At the time, his results were only preliminary, but they were nevertheless startling: there were as many books available from the 1910s as there were from the 2000s. The number of books from the 1850s was double the number available from the 1950s. Why? Copyright protections—which cover titles published in 1923 and after—had squashed the market for books from the mid-twentieth century, keeping those titles off shelves and out of the hands of the reading public. (Read more in the Atlantic.)

Did You Hear That? It Was Art

Nothing? Listen again. Note the sound of your computer’s fan amid distant sirens. Hear your spouse in the next room, playing the Bowie channel on Spotify while chatting on the phone with your mother-in-law. Farther off, a TV is tuned to the news and a stereo plays Bach, while a mouse skitters inside a wall. And know that every one of those sounds can now be the subject of art, just as every vision we see and imagine, from fruit in a bowl to the color of light to melting clocks, has been grist for painting and sculpture and photos. (Read more in the New York Times.)

Filed under: CAA News

As we all know, the health-insurance industry is undergoing significant change due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), signed into law in March 2010. The New York Life Insurance Company recently informed CAA that it will no longer offer catastrophic healthcare coverage previously available to CAA members. CAA investigated the possibility of offering members health insurance through another company but found this is no longer an option to associations whose members reside in different states.

Here’s the good news: PPACA includes comprehensive reform that is designed to provide affordable health coverage for all individuals. The average premium for individuals who purchase coverage directly today (i.e., they do not receive coverage through their employer) is expected to decline significantly.

Individuals can purchase medical insurance on or after January 1, 2014 without regard to health status and/or limitations because of preexisting conditions or impairment. Purchases for health coverage may be made through the Health Insurance Marketplace, state insurance exchanges, or the federal insurance exchange. Open enrollment for the exchanges starts on October 1, 2013, and ends on March 31, 2014.

Information on insurance plans state-by-state and how the insurance exchanges will work may be obtained at or by calling 800-318-2596, twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week.

Filed under: CAA News

Anitra Haendel: In Memoriam

posted by August 05, 2013

CAA staff mourns the loss of its dear friend and colleague, Anita Haendel. Anitra was CAA’s office services and purchasing coordinator (2004–10) and brightened the lives of all of us every day with her presence and her work. She received her BA from Brown University and an MFA from the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in 2012.

Projekt Papier Interview

Watch Anitra Haendel’s video interview with Projekt Papier, posted in 2012.

Filed under: Obituaries

New Faces for CAA’s Journals

posted by August 02, 2013

The president of the CAA Board of Directors, Anne Collins Goodyear, has confirmed new appointments to the editorial boards of CAA’s three scholarly journals and to the Publications Committee, in consultation with the vice president for publications, Suzanne Preston Blier. The appointments took effect on July 1, 2013.

The Art Bulletin

The three new members of the Art Bulletin Editorial Board are: Sarah Betzer, assistant professor of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century art and director of the undergraduate program in art history at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville; Rita Freed, a historian of Egyptian art and chair of the Department of Art of the Ancient World at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, in Massachusetts; and Glenn Peers, a professor of medieval art at the University of Texas at Austin. They will serve four-year terms, through June 30, 2017. In addition, Goodyear appointed David Getsy of the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois to a two-year term as editorial-board chair.

Art Journal

The new member-at-large for the Art Journal Editorial Board is Juan Vicente Aliaga, a curator and a professor of modern and contemporary art and theory at Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain.

The Editorial Board welcomes David Raskin as editor designate through June 30, 2014. Raskin is professor of contemporary art history in the Department of Art History, Theory, and Criticism and chair of the Department of Sculpture at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Illinois. Juliet Bellows, assistant professor of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art in the Department of Art at American University in Washington, DC, joins the editorial board for a three-year term.

New field editors for the journal are: Suzanne Hudson, a historian of modern and contemporary art at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles and an active critic, as field editor for reviews of exhibitions of modern and contemporary art on the West Coast; Kevin Murphy, chair of the History of Art Department at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, as field editor for books on architecture and urbanism from 1800 to the present; Kristoffer Neville, assistant professor in the Department of the History of Art at the University of California, Riverside, as field editor for books on architecture and urbanism, pre-1800; Andrei Pop, assistant professor of art history at Universität Basel in Switzerland, as field editor for books on theory and historiography; and Jason Weems, assistant professor in the Department of the History of Art at the University of California, Riverside, as field editor for books on American art.

Publications Committee

Susan Higman Larsen joins CAA’s Publications Committee. Larsen is director of publications at the Detroit Institute of Arts in Michigan and an adjunct professor in the graduate program in museum studies at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland.

Major NEA Cut Frozen until Fall

posted by August 01, 2013

Americans for the Arts sent the following email on August 1, 2013.

Major NEA Cut Frozen until Fall

Yesterday the US House Appropriations Committee began consideration of legislation that would devastate the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) with a 49 percent cut to its budget. An amendment to restore the funding to the NEA was defeated along a party-line vote of 19–27. With rising tempers over this cut and many others, the committee has now suspended its consideration until mid-September.

This legislation began its journey as a subcommittee proposal last week and the full committee is the middle step before it goes to the House floor for final consideration. Arts advocates are outraged and have sent more than 22,000 messages to Capitol Hill this past week calling for a rejection of these cuts.

If you have two minutes, please contact your member of Congress, or you can use our powerful media alert tool to send a Letter to the Editor to your local newspapers calling for Congress to reject this cut.

As stated in yesterday’s committee meeting by members of Congress from both parties, the cuts to our cultural resources are misguided and disproportionate. Not only will they impact the NEA, but the millions of Americans working in the creative industries that are boosted by the strategic grants made by the NEA.

  • Senior Democratic appropriator Rep. Nita Lowey (D-NY) described the bill as the “worst bill considered during this appropriations cycle”
  • Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) said, “We’d be better off passing a blank piece of paper”
  • Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-ME) noted how many communities in her state have been revitalized because of NEA support and how critical it is

The Road Ahead

As members of Congress head back to their home districts shortly for a five-week recess period, the appropriations process will be put on hold until their return on September 9. Americans for the Arts will continue to build our advocacy efforts, looking ahead to later in the fall when the committee will try again to complete its work and move consideration of the bill to the House floor, where amendments to restore funding, and unfortunately reduce funding even further, could be offered.

The steps beyond that are unclear as the appropriations process this year appears to be heading toward a dysfunctional ending. As the Senate and the House have vastly different appropriations levels on a variety of bills, it is unlikely that they will find a compromise position. The most likely outcome would be a “continuing resolution” that would maintain the current NEA funding level into the next fiscal year.

If you have two minutes, please contact your member of Congress, or send a Letter to the Editor to your local newspapers calling for Congress to reject this cut. Americans for the Arts has further details and will be providing updates on our ARTSblog here.

Please help us continue this important work by becoming an official member of the Arts Action Fund. If you are not already a member, you can play your part by joining the Arts Action Fund today—it’s free and easy to join.

The National Humanities Alliance sent the following email on August 1, 2013.

Speak Up Now! 49 Percent Cut to the NEH Stalled in the House

By acting now, you can help to ensure that this devastating cut doesn’t move beyond the committee room.

Yesterday, the House of Representatives Appropriations Committee considered a 49 percent ($71 million) cut to the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). After a lengthy debate, the committee adjourned for the August recess without acting on the proposal but with the intent to take it up again in September. We must use this recess to make our voices heard in order prevent these devastating cuts from being enacted. Please send messages to your elected officials today by clicking this link.

If you sent a message last week, please send this new message to both your Senators and Representatives. Click here to send a message today.

This battle will continue into the fall, as this bill moves toward a vote of the full House of Representatives and as the Senate considers its own spending bills. During this period it is important that your elected officials hear from you and your friends and colleagues. Click here to learn about six steps that you can take to oppose these cuts and preserve the NEH during this time. Please take these steps and circulate them widely.

This drastic cut would end programs that provide critical support for humanities teaching, preservation, public programming, and research and result in positive impacts on every community in the country. Programs supported by the NEH teach essential skills and habits including reading, writing, critical thinking, and effective communication that are crucial for ensuring that each individual has the opportunity to learn and become a productive member of society. Further, NEH’s programs strengthen communities by promoting understanding of our common ideals, enduring civic values, and shared cultural heritage.

Please share this message with your friends.

Click here to download “Six Steps to Oppose cuts to NEH.”

The NEH desperately needs your help.

Click here to send a message to your elected officials.