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CWA Picks: Fall 2022

posted by November 17, 2022

Toni Pepe, Mothercraft, Archival Inkjet, 28″ x 35″, 2020

This fall, there are wonderful exhibitions devoted to the work of women artists. We have linked a few of them here through the theme of care and care’s connection to the urgent crisis in which legal protections for women’s bodily autonomy have been taken away right before our eyes. The artwork featured in the exhibitions below does not explicitly take up abortion bans and restrictions. Still, they provoke viewers to see women with complexity, and not as natural resources of care. With their inventive imagery, forms, materials, and ideas, each artist implicitly asserts that women’s bodies are not transparent containers for other people’s purposes. Rather, the artists create images that are layered sites, dense with women’s singular desires to imagine and place themselves in worlds of their own making.


Toni Pepe: An Ordinary Devotion
Danforth Art Museum, Framingham State University, Massachusetts
October 8, 2022—January 29, 2022

Artifacts of caregiving and its complications, these archival inkjet prints by Toni Pepe explore the tension between the analytic mind and the tenderness of touch that maternal care encompasses. Each image depicts an ordinary scene in which care is needed or expressed, but Pepe’s textual markings and imprints index care’s contradictions instead of suffusing them in the aura of idealization and satisfaction. Pepe suggests motherhood is equally about violence and abuse as it is about devotion and nurturing. All are ordinary, but when framed together in such intimate proximity, these dimensions of maternal care trouble societal expectations about what a woman should sacrifice in the name of motherhood and challenge the accepted visual tropes of a woman as a caregiver.


52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone
The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
June 6, 2022—January 8, 2023

Proving that we can both revisit feminist art’s dynamic past and witness its ongoing pertinence in an equally dynamic and transformative future, 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone celebrates the fifty-first anniversary of the historic exhibition Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists, curated by Lucy R. Lippard and presented at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 1971. 52 Artists showcases work by the artists included in the original 1971 exhibition alongside a new roster of twenty-six female-identifying or nonbinary emerging artists, tracking the evolution of feminist art practices over the past five decades. 52 Artists encompasses the entirety of the museum (approx. 8,000 sq. ft)—the first exhibition to do so in The Aldrich’s new building, which was inaugurated in 2004. The result is an exhilarating array of styles, forms, mediums, and subjects, which creates an archive of feminist expression that is, according to curator Amy Smith-Stewart, “inclusive, expansive, elastic, and free.”

Lippard’s original 1971 exhibition at The Aldrich was one of the first institutional responses to the issue of women artists’ invisibility in museums and galleries. More specifically, Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists offered a rejoinder to the protests by the Ad Hoc Women Artists Committee (founded by Poppy Johnson, Brenda Miller, Faith Ringgold, and Lucy Lippard) over the absence of women in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1970 Sculpture Annual. Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists opened the floodgates to a host of other feminist exhibitions throughout the 1970s, signaling Lippard’s emergence as a visionary feminist curator and critic and marking the debut of many groundbreaking artists. Lippard viewed curating this landmark exhibition as an activist gesture. As she explains in the catalog, “I took on this show because I knew there were many women artists whose work was as good or better than that currently being shown, but who, because of the prevailingly discriminatory policies of most galleries and museums, can rarely get anyone to visit their studios or take them as seriously as their male counterparts.” With this radical exhibition, Lippard arguably founded the feminist curatorial practice in this country, and 52 Artists underscores its ongoing influence.


Amy Sherald. The World We Make
Hauser & Wirth, London
October 12—December 23, 2022

Amy Sherald is acclaimed for her paintings of Black Americans that have become landmarks in the grand tradition of social portraiture—a tradition that for too long excluded the Black men, women, families, and artists whose lives have often placed to the side of public narratives even as they have been inextricable from them. Quiet and still but also bright with vibrant, dynamic colors, Sherald’s portraits place her subjects in everyday settings that ultimately elude viewers’ full grasp but also immortalize their depth and significance. In this new body of work on display at Hauser & Wirth, she continues confronting the Western canon of portrait painting by drawing from iconic images and deploying them to carefully reveal the worlds Black people have made for themselves.


Carolee Schneeman, Body Politics
Barbican Centre, London
September 8, 2022—January 8, 2023

Carolee Schneemann, Body Politics is the first survey in the UK of the work of American artist Carolee Schneemann (1939-2019) and the first major exhibition since her death in 2019. Tracing Schneemann’s diverse, transgressive, and interdisciplinary work over six decades, the show celebrates a radical and pioneering artist who remains a feminist icon and point of reference for many contemporary artists and thinkers. Body Politics reveals that Schneeman addressed urgent topics from sexual expression and the objectification of women to human and animal suffering and the violence of war. It shows that she explored the precarity of existence and art as a model of care. Spanning the range of Schneeman’s output and exhibiting rarely seen archival material that includes scores, sketches, scrapbooks, programs, and costumes, Carolee Schneeman, Body Politics positions her as one of the most relevant, provocative, and inspiring artists of the last century.


Mickalene Thomas: Avec Monet
Musée de l’Orangerie, Paris
October 13, 2022—February 6th, 2023

Mickalene Thomas has created a distinct visual vocabulary of Black erotica, Black sexuality, and Black queer aesthetics centered around joy and pleasure. This exhibition highlights the sensuous depths of her art historical imagination and the intimacy of her collaborations with the past. On display in Mickalene Thomas: Avec Monet are three new large-scale collages, one monumental painting, and an immersive site-specific installation featuring her 2016 video/sculpture Me As Muse. These works deepen our view of Thomas’ vivid, celebratory style and attest to her time as an artist-in-residence at Claude Monet’s home in Giverny, France, in 2011.


Martine Syms: She Mad Season One
Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
July 2, 2022—February 12, 2023

This solo exhibition features Martine Syms’s She Mad series. This ongoing conceptual project takes the form of a semi-autobiographical sitcom about a young woman trying to make it as an artist in Los Angeles. Drawing from a range of sources, including early cinema, television shows, advertisements, and internet memes, Syms, known for her humor and biting social commentary, dissects the ways Black experiences are mediated on television, in film, and online. The show marks the US premiere of the fifth and newest episode of She Mad—and the first time that the series is shown in its entirety.

Martine Syms: She Mad Season One situates the five video artworks within an immersive sculptural installation constructed from exposed aluminum studs painted in the artist’s signature shade of purple—a reference to both the chroma key backdrops frequently used in post-production of films and television shows and Alice Walker’s 1982 novel The Color Purple. Like the exposed walls of the installation, Syms’s videos lay bare the structures that shape the images and videos we consume.


Close Enough: New Perspectives from 12 Women Photographers at Magnum
International Center of Photography, New York
September 29, 2022—January 9, 2023

Close Enough: New Perspectives from 12 Women Photographers of Magnum presents pivotal projects in the careers of 12 contemporary women photographers of Magnum Photos, the pioneering photography collective. With a title inspired by Magnum co-founder Robert Capa’s quote “If your pictures aren’t good enough, you’re not close enough,” Close Enough presents more than 150 works, including Sabiha Çimen’s explorations of the experiences of young Islamic women in Turkey; Alessandra Sanguinetti’s long-term collaboration with the rural Argentinean cousins Guille and Belinda as they evolve from childhood into adulthood; Bieke Depoorter’s multiyear, multiform project Agata, about a young club performer in Paris; and Susan Meiselas’ work with women who sought refuge from domestic violence in the Midlands, UK. The exhibition also creates space for the photographers to narrate their creative journeys, providing vantage points into the extraordinary relationships they create within global situations, communities, and individual subjects.


Silvia Kolbowski: Who will save us?
Kunsthaus Glarus, Switzerland
September 4, 2022–November 27, 2022

In the two exhibition spaces at Kunsthaus Glarus, Silvia Kolbowski presents the video work Who will save us? (2022) and Missing Asher (2019) The work Who will save us? was created especially for this exhibition. The video is a “mashup” of two films: Metropolis (1927, directed by Fritz Lang) and THX 1138 (1971, directed by George Lucas), both futuristic science-fiction films about life in hierarchical two-class societies. Distilling over three hours of film into a 14-minute film loop, Kolbowski’s experimental compilation of footage creates a new narrative that resonates with the prescience of the original films but relates to the present political moment, in which the psychological aspects of group dynamics interact with neoliberal capitalism’s embrace of technology and polarized wealth. Another video, Missing Asher (2019), also makes time into a medium. This artwork, which includes Kolbowski’s correspondence with the influential conceptual artist Michael Asher – raises the question of whether the de facto stipulations of the art market are permanently aligned against conceptual, research-based works.

Filed under: CWA Picks

CWA Picks: Summer 2022

posted by June 30, 2022

Vlada Ralko, Lviv Diary No. 020, 2022, ink and watercolor on paper, 11.5 x 8.5 inches, ©Vlada Ralko, courtesy of Voloshyn Gallery and Fridman Gallery

Exhibitions and Scholarship Selected by the Committee on Women in the Arts (CWA)

 

If trauma names the psychic impact of damaging events, it also points to the possibility of working through the mute immobility that is trauma’s primary effect. Gender hierarchies are part of trauma and the recovery from it.  In What Does a Woman Want? Reading and Sexual Difference (1993), Shoshana Felman makes a broad and provocative claim: “every woman’s life contains explicitly or in implicit ways, the story of trauma.” The scholarship and exhibitions featured here substantiate Felman’s insight. In a few exhibitions, trauma is pronounced and linked to specific events, such as Russia’s assault on Ukraine. In others, trauma must be discerned in portrayals that attest to the diffuse reality of gender inequity. All of the work tells us that the current historical moment is rife with danger and violence and thereby underscores the necessity of feminism’s insights.   

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.

 

Trauma-Informed Pedagogy: Addressing Gender-Based Violence in the Classroom 
Jocelyn E. Marshall and Candace Skibba (eds.)
Emerald Publishing, 2022 

What role can teaching play in the effort to address gender-based violence? This collection offers practical, creative, and theoretical strategies for addressing this specific form of trauma in the classroom. The editors assert that teaching can create spaces that counter the “silence” and “unempathetic discourse” that gender-based violence most often meets when it is brought into the open. Featuring the artwork of and scholarship on the indigenous artist Julia Rose Sutherland, as well as a conversation between curators Monika Fabijanska and Dineke Van der Walt, Trauma-Informed Pedagogy foregrounds visual art practices as tools for exploring trauma and finding possibilities for recovery. This makes perfect sense, given the “troublesome visual representations” that block out the fact that gender-based violence is pervasive but systematically denied, a trauma in and of itself. 

 

  

Women Painting Women 
Museum of Modern Art, Fort Worth, Texas 
Through September 25, 2022   

Feminist art tends to be associated with practices that defy medium, genre, and the art historical canon, but what about the women painters who situate their work firmly in the figurative tradition? Curated by Andrea Karnes, Women Painting Women features the work of forty-six painters who have made women their subjects since the 1960s and illuminates the feminism that can animate figuration. Creatively rendering women’s “bodies, gestures, and individuality,” together these portraits play with a range of scales that move from the modest (Somaya Critchlow) to the gigantic (Jenny Saville) and suggest the spaces allotted to women and the spaces they want to claim. Women Painting Women is a refreshingly straightforward but decidedly necessary theme, given how rare it is to see women as artists and artistic subjects at the same time. 

  

 

Martine Syms, Neural Swamp 
Philadelphia Museum of Art 
Through October 30, 2022

Martine Syms’ multi-channel video installation Neural Swamp deploys the tactics of surveillance, cinema, and sport to investigate what it means to be a Black woman in a hyper-digitized world. Blurring the line between horror and humor, Syms works with algorithms and artificial intelligence to question the technologies that erase and exploit Black bodies, voices, and narratives. Accompanied by Kit’s World, a series of videos that also explore technological mediation, Neural Swamp was commissioned by the Future Fields commission in Time-Based Media. 

 

  

Women at War 
Fridman Gallery, New York 
July 6 through August 26, 2022 

In collaboration with Voloshyn Gallery in Kyiv, Ukraine, Monika Fabijanska curated this timely exhibition that documents how Ukrainian women artists explore the gendered dimensions and consequences of war. Several artworks were made after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in February 2022, others date from the eight years of war following the annexation of Crimea and the creation of separate ‘republics’ in Donbas in 2014. Together the artwork in Women at War poses questions about women as the natural victims of war and creates a nuanced picture, both of Ukrainian feminism, and the visual practices that have accompanied it. Through a wide array of themes, mediums, styles, Women at War narrates a nuanced history of women in Ukraine and is, more broadly, a historiographic project that meditates on how women become visible when history is written as a war against their agency. 

 

  

Cornelia Parker 
Tate Britain, London 
Through October 16, 2022  

One of Britain’s most beloved contemporary artists, Cornelia Parker works with domestic objects and reconfigures their scale through playful visual storytelling that often defies gravity. By doing so, Parker’s sculptures materialize the violence that undergirds everyday life and suspends it in the field of vision for all to see.   

 

  

Ancestors Know Who We Are 
Online 
National Museum of the American Indian 
The Smithsonian, Washington D.C.

Ancestors Know Who We Are is the Smithsonian’s first exhibition to feature Black-indigenous women artists. The title is borrowed from Storm Webber’s 2016 letterpress print, a statement she crafted in black sans serif letters in response to comments that she is neither Black nor Native enough. Across a range of mediums that trouble distinctions between tradition and the contemporary , the artists in this exhibition challenge assumptions that Native and Black experiences have essential and easily discernible features. In so doing, they unsettle the visual economy of race and the permission it gives to question who people are.  

 

  

Andrea Bowers 
Hammer Museum, University of California, Los Angeles 
Through September 4, 2022  

This is Andrea Bowers’ first museum retrospective and it surveys two decades of her artwork’s intimate connection to activism. A large part of Bowers’ work reframes protest banners and posters to show that political address is a form of creative expression that seeks to imagine and write more just worlds. Isolation and despair haunt this artwork, but the austerity Bowers brings to her images of protest ultimately draws attention to the bravery of individual activists as they seek collectivities that can confront and transform the regressive politics of twenty-first century mobs. 

 

 

Yayoi Kusama, A Poem in My Heart 
Yayoi Kusama Museum 
Tokyo, Japan 
Through August 28, 2022

This exhibition highlights the Surrealism that pulsates through Yayoi Kusama’s hallucinatory visions. Featuring paintings from the 1950s, viewers can see further into the artist’s inner landscapes and psychic worlds. The artwork overflows with organic, idiosyncratic forms that twist and undulate to reveal the poetics of Kusama’s creative heart. 

  

 

Suzanne Lacy, The Medium is Not the Only Message 
Queens Museum 
Queens, New York 
Through August 14, 2022

The Medium is Not the Only Message is a major survey of an artist who helped define feminist performance in the 1970s. Lacy has consistently put social issues—sex work, violence against women, racism, labor rights, poverty, and aging—at the center of her work. In recent years, she has become an artist who expands the reach of the museum, bringing institutions into the public worlds in which they are situated. This exhibition focuses on two dimensions of Lacy’s practice: personal narrative and conversation. Both underscore the value she places on relationality, co-creation, and mutual learning, all of which rebuff the presumption that technological mediums really allow people to communicate with each other. Featured projects were selected for their connections to Queens and demonstrate Lacy’s commitment to community-based practices that move “Between the Door and the Street,” the title of a 2013 project that featured women talking about the issues that impact their lives. 

 

Filed under: Advocacy, Committees, CWA Picks — Tags:

CWA Picks: March/April 2022

posted by April 21, 2022

The March and April “picks” include exhibitions that encourage viewers to reframe familiar historical narratives and hierarchies. The content explored by these artists ranges from political icons to advertising and myth; and their approaches weave together tradition with experimentation. The works in these exhibitions move between the past and the present, providing a perspective tied to both individual and collective memory. 

 

Angela Davis — Seize the Time
September 08, 2021 – June 15, 2022
Zimmerli Art Museum, Rutgers University

This exhibition is inspired by an archive in Oakland, California, collected and curated by Lisbet Tellefsen and includes contemporary works focused on the political icon, Angela Davis. The exhibit provides a rich and layered portrait of a public figure, whose image, for decades, has been associated with revolution, anti-racism, and social justice.

 

De: Lata, works by Bibiana Suarez
March 2022
National Museum of Puerto Rican Arts & Culture, Chicago, IL

Puerto Rican artist Bibiana Suárez’s colorful paintings of image and text are directly inspired by her observations of food labels. The title of the show is a play on words that points toward her motivations and includes the verb delatar (to be a bore) and the noun lata (can). Suarez is interested in exploring the often-misleading representations of contemporary Latinas and the marketing of Latino culture through food and advertising.

 

Harmonia Rosales: Entwined
January 19, 2022 – May 1, 2022
Art, Design & Architecture Museum, UC Santa Barbara

This exhibition presents work by the Afro-Cuban American artist Harmonia Rosales. Rosales’ paintings pull from Greek and Yoruba mythologies and encourage viewers to question historical representations of women.

 

Agency: Feminist Art and Power
January 22, 2022 – June 5, 2022
Museum of Sonoma County

Agency: Feminist Art and Power is an exhibition curated by Karen M. Gutfreund and presented in collaboration with the Feminist Art Project. The twenty-eight exhibiting womxn artists represent a diverse range of perspectives and experiences. The work explores notions of freedom, race and identity. 

 

Hear Me Roar: Women Photographers
August 23, 2021 – May 27, 2022
Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA

Hear Me Roar: Women Photographers is a series of exhibitions organized in honor of the 50th anniversary of the first class of undergraduate women at Lehigh University. Each exhibit highlights the work of women photographers currently found in the University’s collection.

Featured artists include:  Holly Andres, Kristin Capp, Sandra Eleta, Donna Ferrato, Florence Meyer Homolka, Jeanine Michna-Bales, Lydia Panas, Joyce Tenneson, Eugenia Vargas-Pereira, and Jennifer Williams. 

 

To Know the Fire: Pueblo Women Potters and the Shaping of History
September 3, 2022
Krannert Art Museum, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

To Know the Fire includes a selection of earthenware vessels from the Pueblo communities of New Mexico and Arizona generously gifted to KAM by the late George Ogura. The art of pottery making was a skill handed down through generations of women and continues today. It is also a practice steeped in collaboration and shared resources. Many of the pieces included in the show are dated between the 1930s and 1980s by artists from the acclaimed Nampeyo (Hopi-Tewa Pueblo), Navasie (Hopi Pueblo), Lewis (Acoma Pueblo), and Martinez (San Ildefonso Pueblo) families. A selection of more recent miniature vessels also demonstrates the potters’ virtuosity, producing exquisitely detailed, minute replicas.

 

Sharon Norwood: The Root of the Matter
February 3, 2002 – May 28, 2022
Washington and Lee University, Lexington VA

This exhibition features the work of Sharon Norwood, who explores the conceptual role of line and its relationship to the body and race. Norwood’s practice involves a range of approaches including ceramics, drawings, paintings, installations, and video. The alterations the artist makes to found objects encourages viewers to expand their view of historical narratives.

 

Opener 34: Ruby Sky Stiler—New Patterns
January 29, 2022 – May 15, 2022
Skidmore College, Saratoga Springs, New York 

Ruby Sky Stiler’s work is deeply connected to the past, while still grounded in the contemporary. From Greco-Roman sculpture to iPhone photographs, Stiler weaves content and material, breaking down time and temporal hierarchies and allowing viewers to oscillate between the past and the

present. The exhibit includes a site-specific mural for the Tang Teaching Museum, as well relief paintings, and large-scale sculpture.

 

Women, Surrealism, and Abstraction
August 25, 2020 – May 7, 2022
Utah State University, Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Logan, Utah 

Women, Surrealism, and Abstraction is an exhibit consisting of work found in the Museum collection and highlights the often-overlooked female, surrealist artists of the 20th century. The exhibit expands our understanding of Surrealism by including a range of mediums beyond painting and sculpture from photography and printmaking to fiber arts.

 

Womanhouse
February 18, 2022 – April 2, 2022
4859 Fountain Avenue, Los Angeles, CA

This exhibition, organized by LAND and Anat Ebgi Gallery celebrates the 50th anniversary of Womanhouse. Through a series of performances, film screenings, and archival materials, this exhibition shares the history, trajectory and current influence of Womanhouse and west coast Feminist Art. 

 

 

Filed under: Committees, CWA Picks

The January/February “Picks” selected by the Committee on Women in the Arts reflect on the difficult pursuit of creative freedom through idiosyncratic yet careful explorations of color, form, genre, and medium as well as voice and address. The results are odd, anxious atmospheres that test reality’s bodily contours and lament the strange alienations and lurking injustices that constitute normalcy.

Joan Semmel, Untitled (Fem Folio), 2007, Digital Print, 12 x 12 inches, copyright©Joan Semmel/Artists Rights Society (ARS) New York

 

Mika Tajima: You Must Be Free
January 22 through March 12, 2022
Kayne Griffin, Los Angeles

From an early investigation into the regulatory and relational structures of human bodies in built environments, Mika Tajima’s recent work extends her inquiry into the conditions of human agency and self-determinacy. This exhibition focuses on the necessity and impossibility of freedom in our contemporary moment. The title, You Must Be Free, appears as an external command to achieve freedom and produces a contradictory tension that reveals a social limit to its practice. The speech act presents freedom as a pressing desire and controlling demand on the subject, underlining the entwinement of control and freedom. The animating force of this paradoxical directive is manifested in this exhibition as air pressure and its circulation through contained and porous objects and architecture.

 

Brittany Tucker: Burnout
January 8 through February 5, 2022
Steve Turner Gallery, Los Angeles, California

Burnout is a solo exhibition by Vienna-based Brittany Tucker featuring new large-scale loosely rendered paintings, half of which incorporate text that was spray-painted on in a street-tag manner. Tucker’s works of the past few years often juxtaposed a realistic likeness of the artist interacting with cartoon-like characters. In these works, her principal cartoon nemesis of the past, a smiling, often taunting white man, is featured in but one canvas, where he is spilling black paint off the bottom edge of the canvas. Hand prints and foot prints mark the background around him, but Tucker is otherwise absent from the scene. When Tucker’s likeness appears in other works, she appears to be uncomfortable, contorted, or obscured. According to the artist, these works represent her desire to shut out the world’s expectations of a Black female artist and to work more impulsively. As a consequence, they represent an unrestrained portrait of her psychological state as an expat living, working and studying in Vienna in which confusion, sadness, emotional fragility, self-reflection, honesty and ultimately courage and optimism are portrayed.

 

Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game
October 28, 2021 through April 3, 2022
Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game includes approximately 40 paintings that show the remarkable continuity and assiduity of Semmel’s practice, and focus on four main themes—erotic abstraction; the self; expressive figuration; and photography and painting—that traverse five decades of work and reveal a strong counter narrative to the traditional telling of the history of painting in the United States from the late 1960s to today. Semmel’s work reflects the ongoing struggle for women’s equal representation and power to make decisions about their own bodies and sexuality while centering female empowerment through the self. In Semmel’s own words: “I do not pretend to address the problems of all women in the world. My work is personal and I speak for myself. Women artists have to speak for themselves and then unite to fight the political fight.”

 

Allison Katz—Artery
January 14 through March 13, 2022
Camden Art Centre, Arkwright Road, London

Attending to the idiosyncratic and eccentric, to personal mythologies and embodied experience, painter Allison Katz treats her own biography as source material, as well as drawing from dream objects, art historical references, and the texture of everyday life. Her exhibition unfolds through a series of biographical anecdotes and moments of synchronicity, opening the world up to a game of allusions, double entendre, slips and wordplay.

 

Emily: Desert Painter of Australia
January 21 through March 12, 2022
Gagosian, Paris, France

Emily: Desert Painter of Australia is the first solo exhibition in France of the work of Emily Kame Kngwarreye (1910–1996). Emily is unique among Indigenous Australian painters for her rapid and systematic exploration of different styles and for her bold inventiveness with regard to form and color. Over time, her mesmerizing early “dot” paintings ceded to more gestural canvases, reduced in their detail and liberated in their formal qualities. Until her death in 1996, she painted prolifically on both intimate and grand scale, with brushes, sticks, and fingertips on unstretched linen laid flat on the ground, sitting beside or within the composition itself

 

Laurie Anderson: The Weather
September 24, 2021 through July 31, 2022
Hirshorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington D.C.

Laurie Anderson: The Weather is the largest-ever U.S. exhibition of artwork by celebrated multimedia artist Laurie Anderson. Spanning her groundbreaking video and performance works from the 1970s to recent years, the exhibition guides visitors through an immersive audiovisual experience in the Museum’s second-floor galleries. This dynamic survey showcases the artist’s boundless creative process by highlighting time-based media, including To the Moon (2018), a 15-minute virtual reality work, as well as the largest exhibition of her paintings to date.

 

Lucy Kim: Skin Might See
January 24 – March 5, 2022
University Gallery, UMASS Lowell

Skin Might See includes the first gallery showing of Kim’s Knife Paintings, as well as work from her Auto-Synthetic series. Kim is a visual artist who uses mold making and illusionistic painting to create hybrid objects that navigate the borderlands between painting and sculpture. She describes mold making and casting as a “sculptural surrogate for photography.” In both bodies of work there is intrigue in the tension between skin and cast surface. Curator Julie Poitras Santos wrote that in Kim’s oeuvre “the surface skin competes for visual primacy with the three dimensional form…“ These startling integuments often seem at odds with the kitchen accoutrements and other structures that lie beneath, creating a frisson and a place of interrogation between media and meaning.

Filed under: CWA Picks, Uncategorized

CWA Picks: December

posted by January 05, 2022

A photograph of an artwork

Not My Burden, 2019. Titus Kaphar (American, b. 1976). Oil on canvas; 167.6 x 153 cm. © Titus Kaphar. Image courtesy of the artist and Gagosian. Collection of Ellen Susman, Houston, Texas. Photo: Rob McKeever

The December “Picks” of exhibitions and opportunities from CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts focus on the notion of lineage both as a subject matter and as a framework in which the featured artists are in dialogue. The following artists look back as they look forward, exploring the ways in which memory and history are intertwined with our present.   

 


BY HER HAND: ARTEMISIA GENTILESCHI AND WOMEN ARTISTS IN ITALY, 1500 – 1800 
September 30, 2021 – January 9, 2022 
The Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art 

By Her Hand presents a diverse group of female artists working in Italy during the 17th century from the celebrated Artemisia Gentileschi to her lesser-known contemporaries. While female artists played an important role in the male-dominated art world of their time, their success and contributions have historically been overlooked.  

 


Frida Kahlo: POSE 
June 25, 2021 – January 2, 2022 
Rose Art Museum 

Frida Kahlo: POSE includes contemporary art from the Rose permanent collection alongside pieces by Kahlo marking her significant influence and legacy. The exhibit is organized into five sections: posing, composing, exposing, queering, and self-fashioning. Each segment presents the revolutionary work of an artist who explored identity on an incredibly intimate and vulnerable level.  

 


Picturing Motherhood Now 
October 16, 2021 – March 13, 2022 
The Cleveland Museum of Art 

Picturing Motherhood Now represents a varied and intergenerational story of motherhood. Many of the exhibiting artists connect the experience of motherhood with other social issues including class, the history and impact of slavery, gender, migration, and indigenous cultures. While much of the work was created in the past two decades, the exhibit also highlights artists from the mid-twentieth century. 

 


Georgia O’Keeffe, Photographer 
Through January 17, 2022 
Museum of Fine Arts, Houston 

Georgia O’Keeffe, Photographer, now on view at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston shares the previously unexplored photographic work of this iconic artist. About one-hundred photographs are included, alongside many of her paintings and drawings, and providing a rich survey of her artistic practice.  

 


Josephine Halvorson 
October 1, 2021 – March 28, 2022 
Exhibition featuring the Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s first Artist-in-Residence 

Josephine Halvorson, a painter from Massachusetts, was the first Georgia O’Keeffe Museum’s Artist-in-Residence in 2019. Halvorson is currently exhibiting work she created in response to the landscape surrounding O’Keeffe’s homes as well as the personal collections that filled those homes at Ghost Ranch and in Abiquiú, New Mexico, and at the Museum in Santa Fe. This exhibition will be on view in Gallery 3 from October 1, 2021 to March 28, 2022. 

 


Barbara Deming Memorial Fund  
The application period is January 1 – 31, 2022 for Visual Art, Fiction, and Mixed Genre. 

Money for Women is the oldest ongoing feminist granting program and disperses funds to feminist writers and visual artists on a yearly basis. In this grant cycle, the foundation is seeking applications from visual artists, fiction writers, and mixed genre creators.  

 

 

 

Filed under: CWA Picks

The November “Picks” from the Committee on Women in the Arts explore spaces between the human figure and its psychic figurations. Each artist featured in the exhibitions traces the vacillations between interior perceptions and the objective contours of an external world eroded by alienation and violence. Whether they draw from traditional genres or experiment with new media, these artists destabilize the grammar of recognizable forms to reveal the vulnerability of human subjectivity and test the possibilities for repair.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Condor and the Mole, 2011, Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre, London © Courtesy of Lynette Yiadom-Boakye.

 


Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Fly in the League with the Night

October 16, 2021-February 13, 2022

Kunstammlung Nordheim Westfalen, Düsseldorf, Germany

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye paints portraits to evoke the psychic depths of Black subjects while gently keeping them from the demand for full exposure. The fields of rich colors and soft, slightly loose brush strokes in which Yiadom-Boakye holds her sitters allow her paintings to pulsate with an elegance that is tangible but difficult to pinpoint, though it seems to emerge from the value the artist attributes to seeing as a private act. One painting featured in this exhibition, Condor and Mole (2011), seems to illustrate the mysterious camaraderie indicated by the title of the exhibition and links it to the veils of privacy Yiadom-Boakye brings to the painted image . Condor and Mole portrays two Black girls on a beach punctuated with dark rocks; the tide pulls their shadows into tan and blue-grey sheens that continue into the horizon line. The girls are turned to each other as they look down into a dark crevice in the sand. Viewers do not see what they are looking at, and Yiadom-Boakye portrays the playful attunement of their collaboration, expressed through the correspondence of their body language, without providing full access to their shared vision.

Ana Torfs, Dark Spaces Where Things Cannot Be Put

January 10, 2021-February 27, 2022

Museo Universitario Arte Contemporáneo

México City, México

Ana Torfs is an artist based in Belgium and Dark Spaces Where Things Cannot Be Put is her first solo exhibition in the Americas. Working with an idiosyncratic array of materials and sources, Tors makes her subject the contingency of visual perception and the unstable connections among images, words, and knowledge. How do words determine what becomes visible to us? For Tors, this is an aesthetic, historical, ethical question that takes her work into contexts of great consequence. The installation The Parrot and the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria (2014) exemplifies her interest in language, translation, and power. In it, Tors draws from Christopher Columbus’ travel diaries to provoke reflections on linguistic alienation, curiosity, order, and repression. In dialogue with 81 black-and-white images of tropical nature, Tors presents a female interpreter translating an English version of Columbus’ diary into American Sign Language and then three male interpreters bring the text back to a spoken English fractured with error. The “original” diary and its exploratory record recedes further from vision and the connection to the photographs becomes even more unstable, but Tors suggests that the damage imperial encounters remain. The female translator in The Parrot and the Nightingale, a Phantasmagoria points to the stealth feminism running through Tors’ artwork and her attention to the long histories of depriving women access to the voice of authority. The installation Echo’s Bones/Were Turned to Stone (2020), a carpet overlaid with a recording of a woman speaking in an endless chain of associations, suggests that this gendered displacement into irrationality forces women to carry the deaths embedded in and covered over by sensible, rational language.

Lubaina Himid

November 25, 2021-July 3, 2022

Tate Britain, London

The winner of the 2017 Turner Prize, Lubaina Himid is well-known for her impact on the Black British art movement and her innovative depictions of everyday life in the Black diaspora. This Tate exhibition features Himid’s recent work as well as selected highlights from her influential oeuvre, focusing in particular on her interest and training in the theatre. With vivid colors that appear within slightly unsettling arrangements of geometric forms, Himid stages mise-en-scènes that reflect on diasporic imagining, building, and making. These qualities are evident in Six Tailors (2019), a painting in which Himid has arranged six men of African descent around a table covered in bright turquoise blue. The fabric, scissors, and spools thread with which they work materialize the colored and textured worlds they are in the process of making, which sharply contrasts the painting behind them that depicts the sky and sea as flat gray horizontal lines. Himid’s work as a painter is figured into this meditation on making and registers the losses that compose it.

Pipilotti Rist: Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor

September 12, 2021-June 6, 2022

Geffen Contemporary, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles

The first West Coast survey of Pipilotti Rist’s work reveals how much her Pop-friendliness fits with Los Angeles. The playful eroticism, love of sparkle and shine, and hyper femininity that are the Swiss artist’s stylistic signatures all resonate with the city’s central place in the fantasy of making dreams come true. Of course, a dark cruelty lurks within this fantasy, and it therefore makes sense that despite the generosity alluded to in the exhibition’s title, Big Heartedness, Be My Neighbor also reveals the artist’s affinity with figures such as Lynn Hershman Leeson and David Lynch. Surveying more than thirty years of her work, this exhibition highlights Rist’s talent for stretching video to its extremes with scale, color, and sound. For her, video is a threshold into a rich and elastic imaginary that lets interiors and exteriors flow into each other and announces the desire for big-hearted connections.

Baseera Khan: I Am an Archive

October 1, 2021-July 10, 2022

Brooklyn Museum of Art, Elizabeth Sackler Center for Feminist Art

Baseera Khan recently received the UOVO Prize for an emerging Brooklyn artist, and with an aesthetics of distortion pushed to theatrical extremes, they make their body a site for realizing spaces of disjuncture between Muslim and American identities. All of Khan’s artworks collage together a struggle with the archive of commodified objects, images, and materials through which Muslim Americans are perceived. Khan’s I Arrive in a Place with a High Level of Psychic Distress (Blue) (2021) encapsulates this struggle and crystallizes the meaning of the kaleidoscopic layers that are a predominant feature of their work. In this photograph, brown hands and legs adorned with silver chains, bracelets, and rings emerge from behind the broken fragments of painted floor tiles. It is a beautiful and violent fight to “arrive in a place,” but also a challenge to the conditions of raced and gendered visibility that materialize on the terrain of the image.

Yoko Ono: Mend Piece for London

August 25, 2021-January 2, 2022

Whitechapel Gallery, London

Yoko Ono’s Mend Piece for London consists of two plain white tables upon which she has placed broken cups and saucers as well as instruments of repair: scissors, glue, twine, and tape. In her instructions she states, “Mend carefully/ think of mending the world/ at the same time.” A gentle reassertion of her central place in the Fluxus tradition and its continued pertinence, Ono also draws from the Japanese tradition of Kintsugi, in which broken pottery is repaired with lacquer mixed with precious metals and silver. Mend Piece for London also exemplifies Ono’s irrepressible commitment to reaching people with her aesthetics of repair and inspiring them to create and hold an image of a peaceful world in their minds so as to thoughtfully cohere all its broken pieces.

Jennifer Packer: The Eye is Not Satisfied with Seeing

October 30, 2021-April 17, 2022

Whitney Museum of Art, New York

The Eye is Not Satisfied with Seeing features 30 artworks Jennifer Packer has produced over the last decade. Emerging from a historical period in which visual media testifies to the state-sanctioned murder of Black people, Packer explores the psychic states and experiences that exceed visual evidence with a lyrical and melancholic vision. Layered with swaths of bright color, discordant fragments, blank spaces, and the weeping lines of vertical drips, Packer’s paintings and drawings are both heavy and light, private and revelatory, understandable and illegible. It seems that for Packer, traditional genres are tools for containing chaotic feelings, giving them form, but also evoking what has yet to be expressed. The still life Say Her Name (2017) is Packer’s response to the 2015 murder of Sandra Bland. The flowers, leaves, and stems of this painted funerary bouquet, loosely suspended before an unstable background of yellow and black, becomes a scrim that evokes the intimacy of identification and the reality of death’s irrevocable distance.

Filed under: CWA Picks

The October Picks from the Committee on Women in the Arts engage with the notion of space and its rich, multi-layered resonances with politics, gender, sexuality, ecology, diaspora and survival. Our selection features exhibitions featuring the work of feminist and womxn artists who respond to current urgencies and stress the importance of thresholds and their liberatory potential in showing these subjects, histories, narratives and discourses which have been invisible and silenced. 

 

Bianca Bondi 

Bianca Bondi, The Daydream, 2021, exhibition view, Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris. 

 


Sharon Hayes
Ricerche 

October 9–November 7, 2021 

The Common Guild, Glasgow, United Kingdom 

https://www.thecommonguild.org.uk/programme/project/ricerche-6b86 

Inspired by Pier Paolo Pasolini’s 1964 film Comizi d’Amore (Love Meetings), Ricerche comprises of several video works presented as ‘ricerche’ or research that navigate intersections between gender, sexuality, politics and contemporary collective identifications in the United States. Hayes’ project with The Common Guild includes three films featuring a range of individuals in which the artist continues her journey of exploration into the entanglements among activism, queerness, love, sexuality and history and their entanglements. 

 

Noémie Goudal
Post Atlantica
October 10, 2021–January 2, 2022 

Le Grand Café, Contemporary Art Centre, Saint-Nazaire, France 

https://www.grandcafe-saintnazaire.fr/en/expositions/post-atlantica/ 

Noémie Goudal creates visual stories that via construction of handmade sceneries displaying structural imperfections and playing with perspectives and points of view reveal the process of making an image. Clues that she leaves unveil technical experiments and effects behind constructed scenes that at the first glance do not appear artificial. The exhibition includes works that explore layers of time and space. It features the artist’s new series Post Atlantica, a result of her research into paleoclimatology and her fascination with extreme mutations of landscapes subjected to the force of nature. With this work Goudal invites us to consider, via the image, past and future climate changes.  

 

Frida Orupabo
How did you feel when you come out of the wilderness
September 23–November 21, 2021 

Kunsthall Trondheim, Trondheim, Norway  

https://kunsthalltrondheim.no/en/utstillinger/frida-orupabo 

Frida Orupabo’s art practice reclaims spaces for narratives that are silenced or erased elsewhere. Her physical and digital collages, some of which are featured on her Instagram account @nemiepeba, emphasize the cracks and cuts that need to be sutured with care. Exploring mostly Black visual culture, Orupabo salvages fragments of counternarratives to create a body of knowledge that is rebellious, fugitive and willful. The exhibition presents the artist’s new body of work, including a wallpaper and a wooden sculpture that accompany collages, which engages with survival and the continuous struggle for freedom. 

 

Bianca Bondi 
The Daydream
September 22, 2021–January 24, 2022 

Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France 

https://www.fondationlouisvuitton.fr/en/events/open-space-8-bianca-bondi  

Bianca Bondi’s The Daydream transforms Fondation Louis Vuitton’s gallery space into an artificial interior garden offering a multisensorial experience. Inspired by sacred springs, this landscaped place of meditation invites the audience to immerse themselves in reflection and reverie. The artist references rituals and occult practices which connect us to the invisible world. The exhibition features sound designed by Jenn Hutt and flower arrangements designed by Tata Msellati. Olfactive ambience is created by the perfumeur Yann Vasnier. Fostering mutations and transformations between materials, senses and experiences, Bondi’s artistic practice is alchemical, seeking to discover and reveal the intangible.  

 

Eva Davidova  

Global Mode > Omnivores 

October 5–November 10, 2021  

Instituto Cervantes, New York, USA 

https://cultura.cervantes.es/nuevayork/en-US/espacios-ocupados-/143561  

Global Mode > Omnivores is a solo exhibition of new media artist Eva Davidova. It is part of the Occupied Spaces program inviting multi-faceted collaborations between artists and contexts within which the Instituto Cervantes centres are located. Davidova’s interest in unfixed positions and counterstrategies that disrupt prevailing hierarchies translates into the exhibited single channel video Garden for Drowning Descendants. The work engages with global ecological disaster and interspecies dependency to reflect on the current condition of the world. 

 

Diane Severin Nguyen
IF REVOLUTION IS A SICKNESS
September 16–December 13, 2021 

SculptureCenter, Long Island City, NY, USA 

https://www.sculpture-center.org/exhibitions/13184/if-revolution-is-a-sickness  

Diane Severin Nguyen’s new moving image work commissioned by SculptureCenter and the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago traces the dichotomous relationship between the East and the West. Set in Warsaw, Poland, the film follows the character of an orphaned Vietnamese child fascinated with K-pop dance culture. The artist navigates the fractures between Eastern Europe and Asia with roots in Cold War allegiances to question inherited cultural divisions and layered conflicts and ways in which these are reckoned while trying to find shared identifications and symbols. The narrative is accompanied by the voice reading excerpts from texts on revolution by Ulrike Meinhof, Hanna Arendt, Mao Zendong among others. The juxtaposition of text and image, and the engagement with contradictory discourses via a photographic and moving image serve to interrogate subject formation and the tensions that emerge from cultural divisions. 

 

Candeğer Furtun
September 16, 2021–April 17, 2022 

ARTER, Istanbul, Turkey 

https://www.arter.org.tr/en/exhibitions/candegerfurtun  

This first retrospective exhibition of Candeğer Furtun’s works, curated by Selen Ansen, explores the notion of the ‘shell’ which often emerges, explicitly and implicitly, in Furtun’s ceramic practice. Featuring over a hundred works, the exhibition presents the artist’s innovative approach to ceramics embodying forms, textures and natural processes that liberate the soil. The notion of the shell manifests the threshold space between the human body and nature which are important in Furtun’s formal and conceptual explorations. It also enables the viewers to interrogate the dynamic transitions between interiority and exteriority, abstraction and figuration, or singularity and plurality. 

Filed under: CWA Picks

The September Picks from the Committee on Women in the Arts highlights a selection of events, exhibitions, and calls for work that includes feminist and womxn artists, and addresses issues about reproductive rights and the female body, equal access to education, and previously under-recognized contributions from womxn artists to the visual arts. 

Carmen Winant: The Making and Unmaking of the World 

Patron Gallery 

September 18, 2021 – November 27, 2021 

Carmen Winant’s work is engaged with the politics, value, and meaning of caretaking and labor traditionally taken on by women. The Making and Unmaking of the World includes nine mobiles, eight collages, and a large-scale, site-specific installation entitled The Actual World (2021). These works combine photographic materials that Winant has collected from instructional books about craft from the 1970s. Both her approach to making these pieces and the source material itself challenge the categorization of fine art vs. craft.  

 

GAIA FUGAZZA: VIRGINITY IS NOT A CONTRACEPTIVE 

September 13, 2021  – October 22, 2021 

Richard. Saltoun 

Gaia Fugazza’s Virginity Is Not a Contraceptive includes several mixed-media pieces that reference the female body and fertility juxtaposed with imagery of the cosmos and the natural world. Fugazza’s work is layered and carved, marked by the artist’s hand, and often incorporates natural materials such as beeswax and animal skin. The artist takes great care to reveal and conceal certain aspects of each composition, referencing the complicated and multifaceted nature of identity and the interconnected nature of life. 

 

For the Record: Celebrating Art by Women 

continues through October 3, 2021 

Norton Museum of Art 

For the Record: Celebrating Art by Women is made up of pieces from the Norton Museum of Art’s collection that specifically reference the role of women’s contributions in the visual arts. The exhibit includes painting, sculpture, works on paper, photography, and video from both 20th and 21st-century artists and emphasizes their varied and diverse practices.  The exhibit also encourages viewers to consider gender equity both within and outside of the art world. 

 

Hair Stories 

July 17, 2021  - October 31, 2021 

Cushing & Morris Galleries 

Newport Art Museum 

Hair Stories brings together artists whose work centers around hair as a subject or material. The exhibit frames the political, cultural, and gendered implications of hair and offers a more nuanced understanding of its role in shaping our understanding of ourselves and others. Featured artists include Eunice Adorno, Melanie Bilenker, Tara Bogart, María Magdalena Campos-Pons, Sonya Clark, Sean M. Johnson, Nneka Kai, Vivian Keulards, Wangui Maina, Ana Mendieta, Patricia Miranda, Zanele Muholi, J.D. ‘Okhai Ojeikere, Rachel Portesi, Shahzia Sikander, Lorna Simpson, Gu Wenda, Nafis M. White, Anne Wilson, and D.M. Witman. 

 

Any Distance Between Us 

July 17, 2021  – March 13, 2022 

RISD Museum 

Any distance between us is curated by artist-writer Stephen Truax (RISD BFA 2007, Painting) in collaboration with Dominic Molon, the Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art at RISD Museum and focuses on works from the museum’s collection that explore the importance of intimate relationships. The exhibit is made up of works by 25 artists who identify as Queer and of color including, Louis Fratino, Aaron Gilbert, Doron Langberg, Deana Lawson, Catherine Opie, Jack Pierson, Elle Pérez, and Salman Toor.  

 

Tomashi Jackson, detail from Brown II, 2021. Image courtesy of the artist and the Tilton Gallery 

Tomashi Jackson: Brown II 

September 20, 2021–January 15, 2022 

Harvard. Radcliffe Institute 

Tomashi Jackson’s Brown II, commissioned by the Harvard Radcliffe Institute, explores the landmark Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka Supreme Court decision. Working with a research team of students Jackson interviewed experts and culled the Schlesinger Library archives to inform her practice and visual this historic moment. 

 

Filed under: CWA Picks

Visitors in the Musée du Louvre in 2020 © Antoine Mongodin

Visitors in the Musée du Louvre in 2020 © Antoine Mongodin

In the spring of 2021, the CAA Museum Committee initiated a survey of our members for the purposes of revising current directions and charting new ones that respond to updated knowledge of their concerns.

The results indicate that the Museum Committee‘s previous and planned Conference sessions and professional development workshops in 2021–2022 are appropriate, that they should publicize their presence more, and should use these projects and others to strengthen connections with professional museum groups; encourage diversity, decolonization, and the use of museums to educate; in addition to fight for salary equity. In this endeavor, they ask any interested CAA members to join and help in this mission.

Key Takeaways of the Report

In general, respondents likely appreciate the recent focuses and activities of the Committee, yet wish they would also move forward in new directions.

Both the CAA panels and professional development workshops should be continued and can be used to achieve the following desired goals culled from survey responses:

  • Help publicize the Museum Committee more broadly.
  • Give museum and curatorial studies students, young professionals, and museum professionals, particularly those from underrepresented groups, necessary resources as they start their careers, and mentor persons who want to become museum professionals or teach museum/curatorial studies, including in concert with art history coursework.
  • Support the function of museums as pedagogical sites, especially during the processes of decolonizing and defining decolonization.
  • Develop and disperse a list of curatorial/museum studies programs in American universities, including those offered on conjunction with art history training, and perhaps have a dedicated space on CAA’s website or another location with a link on the CAA website homepage to publicly disperse this list.
  • Renew efforts to craft and chart the implementation of policy statements and best-practice guidelines particularly concerning salary equity and unpaid internships, among similar issues relevant to the field, and to do so in concert with professional museum organizations, such as the Association of Art Museum Curators (AAMC), American Alliance of Museums (AAM), and the Association of Academic Museums and Galleries (AAMG). One way to do this is to have present and future Museum Committee members actively reach out to persons within professional museum groups to create joint projects.

Check out the conclusions in the full report.

Filed under: Artists, CAA News, CWA Picks, Exhibitions

CWA Picks: August 2021

posted by August 03, 2021

The August “Picks” from the Committee on Women in the Arts respond to the danger and uncertainty that characterizes the contemporary moment and explore how gender figures into the possibility of imagining new forms of collectivity.

Malgorzata Markiewicz, "Medusa: Sensing-With and Thinking-With the World," 2021. Print on textile. Photo by Grzesiek Mart

Malgorzata Markiewicz, “Medusa: Sensing-With and Thinking-With the World,” 2021. Print on textile. Photo by Grzesiek Mart

Mona Hatoum
April 16 – September 12, 2021
Institut Valencià d’Art Moderne

Mona Hatoum received the Institut Valencià d’Art Moderne’s Julio González prize in 2020, and this exhibition is a tribute to the influential body of work she has created over the last two decades. Across her installations, sculptures, drawings, and textiles, Hatoum’s investment in materializing spatial concepts as instruments of power asserts itself with a poetic and severe consistency. This spatial refrain emerges from the histories she inherits as an Arab woman, but Hatoum is also committed to showing that oppression can be mapped across the globe. Empty and haunted, ephemeral and permanent, each of Hatoum’s pieces creates an aperture for seeing and sensing the pervasive threat of vulnerability that cannot be cordoned off with neat geographical boundaries.


Double Trouble
July 8 – September 21, 2021
Institute of Contemporary Art of Maine College of Art

The double has often meant trouble for women, as it can encapsulate an assembly-line definition of woman and a Stepford-wife loss of control. This exhibition, however, features the work of five artists who explore the double as a resource for upending habitual definitions of the self without indulging in the fantasy that one can leave historical patterns behind. Creating echoes of bright colors and bold graphic forms, the artwork in Double Trouble is immersed in Pop-like patterns–wallpaper is a recurring motif–as if to watch for the differences that slip free from repetitions.


Malgorzata Markiewicz: Medusa: Sensing-with and thinking-with the world
July 15 – September 30, 2021
Triangle, Riverside, Illinois

Malgorzata Markiewicz’s Medusa makes the production of textiles a form of feminist world-making. Slowly, persistently, intentionally, over seven months of the Covid-19 health emergency, Medusa’s crocheted body emerged, spreading with its fifty-feet long tentacles into the space, first from Markiewicz’s home in Kraków, Poland, and then into her studio. Markiewicz made Medusa with three double-warp fabrics specific to Podlasie, a region in the northeast of Poland. The figure of Medusa stands at the center of this exhibition, masked and regal. Her densely textured form also appears in a film, walking across a meadow and through a forest, and in a series of photographs that stage a liberating journey that moves away from the fear, disgust, and shame traditionally associated with Medusa and toward a new feminist way of sensing-with and thinking-with with the world.


New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century
August 28 – January 30, 2022
Berkeley Art Museum Pacific Film Archives

New Time: Art and Feminisms in the 21st Century is a major survey exploring recent feminist practices in contemporary art. Rather than defining feminist art, New Time reveals all that the category can encompass as artists respond to the unfolding of history in the present. Although artworks made since 2000 are the primary focus, the objects and installations on view span several generations, mediums, geographies, and political sensibilities. New affinities emerge—the silhouettes of Kara Walker resonate with the sculpture of Kiki Smith—and convey the heterogeneous, intergenerational, and gender-fluid nature of feminist practices today.


Louise Bourgeois, Freud’s Daughter
May 21, 2021 – September 12, 2021
The Jewish Museum, New York

Louise Bourgeois viewed her artistic practice as a form of psychoanalysis. Rather than relegating that claim to a footnote or a biographical aside, this exhibition makes it central. Freud’s Daughter places Bourgeois’s original psychoanalytic writings, which include dream recordings and process notes, in dialogue with 40 works of art. These texts, many of which have not been seen before, become their own form of artmaking. They attest to Bourgeois’s onerous, often lyrical, and profoundly feminist struggle to loosen the Oedipal confines placed around women’s capacities to imagine and materialize different forms of feeling.


Wangechi Mutu: I Am Speaking, Are You Listening?
May 7 – November 7, 2021
Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco

Wangechi Mutu’s I Am Speaking, Are You Listening? intervenes in the Legion of Honor’s homage to the classical imaginary of Euro-American culture. Many of her gorgeous sculptures portray earthy hybrid beauties who stand for the vulnerable physicality western culture systemically inflicts on people of African descent. Vibrant, damaged, and thoughtful survivors of colonial extraction, Mutu’s figures rhyme with the museum’s canonical objects but also register the pathologized differences Black bodies are made to bear. The Legion of Honor is known for Auguste Rodin’s The Thinker (1904), which dominates its atrium entrance, and in his field of vision, Mutu has placed bronze sculptures of corpses covered with opaque blankets that suggest a crime scene. Except for the hands with polished nails and the feet decorated with red stilettos that stick out from the edges of the blankets, the bodies are not visible. But the feminized excesses—one of the artist’s prominent themes—evoke other possibilities for thinking that Mutu has begun to create through her dialogue with histories of willed silence.


Eileen Agar: Angel of Anarchy
May 19 – August 29, 2021
Whitechapel Gallery, London

This definitive retrospective of the British-Argentinian artist Eileen Forrester Agar (1899–1991) demonstrates just how much her work absorbed and foresaw the twentieth century’s wide array of aesthetic innovations. Agar was included in the 1936 International Surrealist Exhibition, and her rebellious oeuvre certainly captures its feminist potential, but Angel of Anarchy resists the impulse to identify her work only or primarily through Surrealism. Exhibiting over 150 artworks and newly discovered archival material, Angel of Anarchy captures Agar’s nimble travels through artistic mediums, movements, and hierarchies to better see the bright, undulating landscapes of erotic anarchy she created in their wake.


Pauline Curnier Jardin, Fat to Ashes
April 12 – September 19, 2021
Hamburger Bahnhof, Museum für Gegenwart, Berlin

In 2019, the French artist Pauline Curnier Jardin won the Preis de Nationalgalerie, and the film installation Fat to Ashes lives up to the epic scale that might be associated with such an honor. In the historic halls of the Hamburger Banhof, Jardin has created a large-scale amphitheater with material that looks like pie dough—edible, soft, and supple. Inside the arena is a bright red seating area, and the elevated screen appears amidst draped fabrics of translucent pink. The film interweaves three scenes: the procession of St. Agatha in Sicily, the slaughter of a pig, and the carnival in Cologne. Jardin’s cinematic triptych, with its sensual, tactile visuality, portrays the excess and death swirling around the center of collective existence.


Lynn Hershman Leeson: Twisted
June 30 – October 3, 2021
New Museum of Contemporary Art, New York

Twisted is Lynn Hershman Leeson’s first solo exhibition in New York City and tracks her prescient engagement with technology—its sinister and generative impact on corporeal life. The exhibition displays Leeson’s drawings (many of which have never been seen before) and wax sculptures from the 1960s, and together they express her interest in the body’s porous boundaries and detachable parts. Twisted of course includes Roberta Breitmore (1973–1978), the well-known performance series that exemplifies feminist art’s look into the empty heart of identity. A new multi-media installation, Infinity Engine (2014–present), is also part of Twisted. Commissioned by ZKM Center for Art and Media Karlsruhe, Infinity Engine is a simulacrum of a genetics laboratory that replicates its world of science, technology, and self. “Twisted” is a great title for this exhibition: it evokes a sinister sickness, cords, the strands of a DNA molecule, and collaboration. Working with scientists, Leeson revitalizes the historical connection between art and scientific research, but her primary collaborators have always been viewers. She addresses her audience with her accessible message that technology does not have to cancel out the human, but can actually be part of realizing its ethical potential, and creates generous invitations for a participatory response.


 

Filed under: Artists, CAA News, CWA Picks, Exhibitions