September picks by the Committee on Women in the Arts include a range of online and in-person exhibitions and events featuring works of women artists breaking boundaries. This month we focus on practices that explore boundaries, whether material, conceptual or methodological, and which performatively address space. Often, threshold spaces, literal and metaphorical, are interrogated in order to further explore the potential of the arts in creating change and claiming an equal and just society.
September 4 – 27, 2020
Woman Made Gallery, Chicago, Illinois
A virtual exhibit with works by 120 artists from the United States, Austria, Canada, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Nigeria, and Turkey and in a variety of media, including painting, drawing, print-making, sculpture, photography, digital works and video, exploring the concept of loss.
September 7 – October 15, 2020
Richard Saltoun, online event
An online exhibition featuring a range of photographic works produced by Jo Spence, including her early commercial works as well as activist, feminist and social photography.
September 5, 2020 – January 7, 2021
Fondazione Berengo, Venice, Italy
An exhibition featuring works of art in glass produced by over sixty contemporary female artists from Europe, the United States, Latin America, Iran, and South Korea. Held in the heart of Murano in the Fondazione Berengo Art Space, an old glass furnace, it references and honors the history of the island and its relationship with glass production and its innovation. The works in the exhibition reference potentialities of glass and its transparency as a metaphor for the future healed from the scars from history.
November 4, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève, Geneva, Switzerland
The exhibition presents the first retrospective of Chiara Fumai’s works in which the artist developed the language of performance and made a significant contribution to the feminist aesthetics in the 21st century. Producing uncomfortable situations and environments through the use of concepts of boredom, threat, offense, revolt, vandalism and violence, she explored her ideals of anarchist feminism.
October 2, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Cabaret Voltaire, Zürich, Switzerland
The exhibition features the installation to the operetta which has been developed by Agnes Scherer since 2015. The production will be animated by the artist with Tobias Textor, Soya Arakawa and Claudia Barth at the opening on October 2nd, and on December 8th and 10th. Scherer’s operetta draws inspiration from theatre forms and versatile formats of presentation to activate work of art and give it a magical power.
September 23, 2020 – January 3, 2021
Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris, France
After being closed due to the COVID-19 health emergency, the Fondation Louis Vuitton reopens on September 23rd with the exhibition featuring 170 works by Cindy Sherman produced between 1975 and 2020, including very recent and unseen series. To coincide with the retrospective, the Fondation will also present a selection of works from its Collection brought together under the title “Crossing Views.” Chosen together with Cindy Sherman and echoing her work, the artworks focus on the theme of the portrait and its interpretations in different mediums and disciplines.
August picks by the Committee on Women in the Arts include virtual exhibitions and programs, gallery exhibitions, a new podcast series, and a call for papers. This month, we recognize the US suffrage centennial, while acknowledging the reality of continued voter suppression tactics. The Feminist Art Coalition documents an extensive list of exhibitions worldwide dedicated to women in conjunction with this anniversary.
- Strength in Suffrage: Tracing one hundred years and one hundred stories of women’s history, a live broadcast, August 26th at 7pm (CDT), featuring artists Ginny Sykes on her photography project and Carron Little performing poetry from her Spare Rib Revisited public engagement project. A Q&A follows with both artists. Co-sponsored by the Chicago Women’s History Center, this virtual event addresses individual emancipation of one hundred women through image and one hundred years of lived experience transformed into lyrical poetry. [Link]
- Meaning of Life: Performance and artist discussion by Out of Site Chicago with Irina Danilova. In collaboration with the Ukrainian Museum of Modern Art, the artist discussion, August 29th, will be moderated by Joanna Matuszak, a scholar in Post-Soviet Performance Art avant-garde practices; performance, August 31st, both available online. [Link]
- 100 Years | 100 Women Project Archive: a collaborative and ongoing collection of work by students, activists, artists, scholars, and community leaders, around the complex legacy of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution. [Link]
- Between You and Me at John Michael Kohler Arts Center, Sheboygan, Wisconsin (August 5, 2020 – January 24, 2021): group show of contemporary artists whose work featuring everyday objects engages in acts of connection and care, part of the Center’s On Being Here (and There) series of exhibitions highlighting the roles cultural organizations and artists perform as community members, potentially divided by public discourse or isolation. Exhibition website offers an interactive online zine and printable postcards. [Link]
- The War Outside My Door, virtual film screening, Evanstan Experimental Film Showcase (August 13, 2020): a film by Kristin Anahit Cass, from The New Freedom Fighters: Women And Nonviolent Resistance project, which explores hope and determination in a province of war-torn Tavush to bring about peace during a global pandemic. [Link]
- Barbara London Calling: a new podcast series by the founding and now emeritus video and media curator at Museum of Modern Art New York and author of VIDEO ART: The First Fifty Years (Phaidon Press, 2020), just launched a podcast featuring interviews with twelve artists working with media technology. [Link]
- Margaret Mee: Portraits of Plants, an online exhibit by Dembarton Oaks Library and Collection in Washington, DC, features paintings of Amazonian flora by the artist, explorer, and environmentalist Margaret Mee (1909–1988) from the rare book collection, along with a devoted section, Visualizing Knowledge, around the role of women artists, botanical knowledge and aesthetics from the early 17th through the mid-19th centuries. [Link]
- A Studio of Her Own: Women Artists from the Collection is an online and gallery exhibition by Brigham Young University Museum of Art, featuring 112 works by 60 artists in various styles and types of art, including painting, textiles, prints, photographs, mixed media, and digital work. Available through September 12, 2020. [Link]
- Return to Nature: an exhibition by the National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) featuring twenty photographs by eleven artists from the collection themed around the outdoors, on view through January 3, 2021. [Link]
- Call for papers: Reclaim: Narratives of African Women Artists, a symposium by AWARE association : Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions in the framework of the Africa2020 Season, April 15-16, 2021, at the École du Louvre, Paris. The event enters into the programs of the pan-African and multidisciplinary project Africa2020 taking place in France from December 2020 to mid-July 2021, at an invitation by N’Goné Fall, General Commissioner, to look at and understand the world from an African perspective. Deadline: October 15, 2020. [Link]
- Undefeated: Canvas(s)ing the Politics Around Voter Suppression Since Women’s Suffrage by West Virginia University Libraries, online exhibit including artwork and educational content on view now, with a print exhibit forthcoming in the fall. [Link]
In response to COVID-19, artists, institutions, and organizations have initiated virtual exhibitions, presentations, screenings, and curated newsletters, among other innovative approaches, welcoming the public to online platforms and opening dialogues on a range of topics. May and June 2020 CWA Picks presented a number of initiatives that demonstrated ways in which social media channels and websites can be repurposed in light of social distancing measures currently in place; these Picks emphasized the social role of the arts as a healing positive force during these challenging times. As protests about systemic racism and structural injustices raged globally, museums and institutions were inclined to acknowledge their fundamental accountability and engagement in the misrepresentation or excision of Black and Indigenous histories from white imperialist and colonial narratives, including the prevalent or implicit use of racist language and practices. As the world witnesses and participates in “good trouble” and social unrest, our July Picks cover a range of online and in-person exhibitions and events and strike a balance between feminist ecologies of care and political activism. At this unprecedented historical juncture, some art spaces have opened their doors to audiences and slowly resumed activities, enforcing precautions and timed visits:
- ecofeminism(s) curated by Monika Fabijanska at Thomas Erben Gallery (7.19.20-7.24.20) takes us on a visual journey of the pioneering environmental art works of the 1970s and 80s through the present. Countering patriarchal and corporate structures and philosophies, many artists engage scientific and analytic approaches to experimental practices, utilizing photographic documentation, archives, time-based media, and ritual performances. Advancing principles of spiritual feminism, feminist metaphors of the Great Goddess and Cosmic Mother, and anti-nuclear activism, among other social and technological positions, the early eco–feminists underscore earth’s fragility and vulnerability—thinly veiling our fears and prophetically imagining our current global crises and pandemic—yet glimmers of care, community, and agency strikingly emerge. As an intergenerational show presenting contemporary women artists making ecological art, Fabijanska proposes, “What makes today’s female environmental artists ‘ecofeminists’?” Artists include Andrea Bowers, Helène Aylon, Eliza Evans, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Hanae Utamura, Betsy Damon, Aviva Rahmani, Jessica Segall, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Bilge Friedlaender, Carla Maldonado, Mary Mattingly, Cecilia Vicuña, Barbara Kruger, and Agnes Denes. Public programming with Zoom conversations between artists, art historians, and critics: July 8, July 15, and July 22.
- Earthkeeping, Earthshaking – art, feminisms and ecology (Earthkeeping/Earthshaking – arte, feminismos e ecologia), curated by Giulia Lamoni and Vanessa Badagliacca at Galerias Municipais (Galeria Quadrum) in Lisbon (7.25.20-10.4.20) takes its title from the thirteenth issue of the pioneering US feminist art magazine called Heresies (1981) published by the feminist collective. Lucy Lippard, Ana Mendieta, and Faith Wilding, among other contributors to this issue, raised complex points around the following question: ‘What can women do about the disastrous direction the world is taking?’ Curators Lamoni and Badagliacca return to this pressing question in a global 21st-century context by reframing ideas of capitalism, colonialism, and current environmental pressures, further exploring a Portuguese perspective. Earthkeeping, Earthshaking presents radical feminist artists from the 1970s through the present day: Alexandra do Carmo, Alicia Barney, Ana Mendieta, Bonnie Ora Sherk, Cecilia Vicuña, Clara Menéres, Emilia Nadal, Faith Wilding, Gabriela Albergaria, Gioconda Belli, Graça Pereira Coutinho, Irene Buarque, Laura Grisi, Lourdes Castro. Maren Hassinger, Maria José Oliveira, Mónica de Miranda, Rui Horta Pereira, Teresinha Soares, Uriel Orlow.
- AWARE (Archives of Women Artists Research & Exhibitions) has launched the podcast Woman House in response to the pandemic. Each episode invites a female narrator to read stories and texts by women writers on the broad theme of confinement. For example, hear Virginia Woolf’s To the Lighthouse read by Julie Wolkenstein; Céleste Albaret’s Monsieur Proust read by Jeanne Balibar; and Marguerite Dumas’s Writing read by Camille Morineau.
- Virtual Views: Faith Ringgold at MoMA explores Ringgold’s extraordinary position in the sixties as an African-American woman painter and offers personal commentary about cultural identity and documentation during the civil rights movement. Ringgold’s American People Series #20: Die, a masterpiece from the museum collection, visualizes the realities of race, police brutality, and violence, and makes direct references to Picasso’s Guernica.
- Not Yet Written Stories is an online archival repository of avant-garde women artist practices (documentation, exhibitions, conferences, publications), supported by workshops and conferences. Managed by the SCCA-Ljubljana Center for Contemporary Arts, Arton Foundation, Warsaw, and Latvian Center for Contemporary Art (Riga), Office for Photography, Zagreb.
- Whitechapel Gallery offers an instructional list of audio resources (podcasts and audiobooks) on Black Lives Matter.
- Carla Repice: The White Problem Redux, an online exhibition at Equity Gallery, highlights the “optics of whiteness and the ways in which white supremacy virally replicates itself in visual culture,” according to the accompanying online essay by Ronika McClain. Repice’s intimate, gestural figurative paintings unveil quick glimpses into childhood, focused sharply on youth and education as primary source material for the formulation of implicit racism, symbols, and narratives. Public programming includes a series of poetry readings by Black writers, organized by poet Maya Pindyck.
In response to COVID-19, artists, curators, institutions and organizations have initiated virtual exhibitions, presentations, screenings, and curated newsletters, among other innovative approaches, welcoming the public to online platforms and opening dialogues on a range of topics. May and June 2020 CWA Picks present a number of initiatives that not only demonstrate ways in which social media channels and websites can be repurposed in light of social distancing measures currently in place; but most importantly emphasize the social role of the arts being a healing positive force in these unprecedented challenging times. June Picks focus on the continued presence and significance of feminist art both independently and in conversation with each other, in the context of our current virtual living circumstance.
- Dream is Wonderful, Yet Unclear: an online exhibit of Maria Kapajeva considers the history of a community surrounding a textile mill in Narva, Estonia, now closed, where members of the artist’s family once worked. On view online May through June 2020, by Gallery of Photography Ireland.
- Artist video features by San Francisco Museum of Modern Art: Suzanne Lacy: Women Fight Back; Suzanne Lacy: We Are Here; Close Looking: The Artist Initiative with Vija Celmins; Vija Celmins: Saying the Unsayable; and Veja Celmins on her life in (and out of) the studio.
- White Chapel Gallery Artists’ Film International, since 2008, has premiered world-class artists from modern artists featuring Rosa Barba, Mwangi Hutter, Theresa Traore Dahlberg; Dominika Olszowy, Lisa Tan, Ailbhe Ní Bhriain; or Rhea Storr, Vika Kirchenbauer, Yu Gou and more on their YouTube channel.
- Michelle Handelman – BloodSisters: Leather Dykes and Sadomasochism: films and discussions in celebration of the 25 year anniversary of Michelle Handelman’s ground-breaking documentary, by the London BFI Flare 2020 Festival programmer Jay Bernard. The post-screening panel called BODILY AUTONOMY on the significance of Bloodsisters 25 years on–and current consent laws that restrict queer sexualities and subcultures also on view.
- Feminism is A Browser, a new film by Charlotte Eifler, was previewed online at the 58th Annual Ann Arbour Film Festival. The trailer can be viewed on vimeo here.
- Professional Organization for Women in the Arts is hosting ongoing online conversations around the arts during the COVID-19 crisis.
- Toward Freedom: A Progressive Perspective released a “Feminist emergency plan in the face of the Coronavirus crisis” in Chile by the Coordinadora Feminista 8M, a central force over the last five months of popular uprisings of millions of women.
- Johanna Unzueta: Tools for Life, a virtual exhibition by Modern Art Oxford.
- Google Art and Culture Online Feminist Exhibits: From large collections to smaller virtual exhibits, Google Art and Culture has several feminist and women-centered online offerings.
- Women Being Talks: the COVID-19 experience, a series of interviews by journalist Natalia Bonilla and WomenBeing Magazine Founder Monica Martins, through June.
- AIR Gallery’s Intimacy without Proximity, the collective of women-identified artists regularly shares resources, readings and prompts for communal making and thinking.
- Creative Mornings, a worldwide creative community, hosts free virtual zoom gatherings daily from locations across the globe.
- I Like Your Work podcast, hosted by artist and curator Erika b Hess, provides opportunities and resources centered around the weekly podcast interviews with creative people from painters and artists to collectors and curators.
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In response to COVID-19, artists, curators, institutions and organizations have initiated virtual exhibitions, presentations, screenings, and curated newsletters, among other innovative approaches, welcoming the public to online platforms and opening dialogues on a range of topics. May 2020 CWA Picks present a number of initiatives that not only demonstrate ways in which social media channels and websites can be repurposed in light of social distancing measures currently in place; but most importantly emphasize the social role of the arts being a healing positive force in these unprecedented challenging times. May Picks focus on the power of the collective and mutual support in the context of questioning our being in the world.
- Nottingham Contemporary, UK: 3D Online exhibition ‘Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance’, exploring a global history of resistance movement through a gendered perspective: https://www.nottinghamcontemporary.org/whats-on/still-i-rise/
- AutoZine ‘Friendship as a Form of Life’ on the importance of friendship: ‘We face each other without terms or convenient words, with nothing to assure us about the meaning of the movement that carries us toward each other. We have to invent, from A to Z, a relationship that is still formless, which is friendship…’: https://resonanceaudiodistro.org/2016/06/11/friendship-as-a-form-of-life-audiozine/ (Listen / Read / Print)
- Jackie Wang’s text ‘Oceanic Feeling & Communist Affect’, exploring the concept of oceanic feeling as a radical reorientation towards the world: https://friendship-as-a-form-of-life.tumblr.com/post/162453258727/friendship-as-a-form-of-life-friendship-as-a (Read / Print)
- Gasworks, a non-profit contemporary visual art organization working at the intersection between UK and international practices and debates, organizes online screenings. From May 11-17, 2020, Maryam Jafri, ‘Mouthfeel’, a short film investigating the politics of food production in the context of overconsumption: https://www.gasworks.org.uk/events/maryam-jafri-mouthfeel-online-screening/
- Hauser & Wirth, founded in Zurich, an international modern and contemporary art gallery presents an online exhibition Louise Bourgeois: Drawings 1947 – 2007, exploring Bourgeois’s rich emotional terrain: https://vip-hauserwirth.com/louise-bourgeois-works-on-paper/
- An Instagram exhibition #ARTISTSINQUARANTINE created by @giadapellicari involving artists living in ‘confined red areas’ in Italy due to coronavirus pandemic: https://www.instagram.com/artistsinquarantine/?hl=en
- Online platform How Can We Think of Art at a Time Like This?, co-curated by Barbara Pollack and Anne Verhallen, invites artists to exchange ideas at the time of current pandemic crisis: https://artatatimelikethis.com
- Micol Hebron, Los Angeles based artist, organises ‘Feminist Friday – USA’. Now run via Zoom, this community event provides a platform for discussion of contemporary feminist issues: https://www.facebook.com/Feminist-Friday-USA-1722541601351749
- The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts, makes available online resources celebrating women artists who are changing the world: https://nmwa.org/nmwa–at-home
CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship to share with CAA members on a monthly basis. See the picks for March below.
March 6 – May 24, 2020
This important exhibition examines the formative investigations of Lygia Clark (b. 1920, Belo Horizonte–d. 1988, Rio de Janeiro), the pioneering Brazilian artist and founding member of the avant-garde Grupo Frente in Rio de Janeiro, and places significant chronological emphasis on her primary transition from figuration to abstraction and major series of geometric and concrete abstractions between 1948-1958. The exhibition traces the artist’s evolution in three organized sections: “The Early Years, 1948-1952”; “Geometric Abstraction, 1953-56”; and “Variation of Form: Modulating Space, 1957-58”. In 1956, Clark delivered a keynote lecture and spoke of painting as an “experimental field.” In her early experiments, she liberated the painting’s frame and explored space as an “organic and spatial line.” Clark envisioned spatial divisions as elastic and indeterminate and reinvigorated the pure grid of Neo-Plasticism through bodily and “vital” surfaces, a process of restructuring the plane of the canvas as a locus of exchange with the viewer. While much scholarly attention has been granted to her later therapeutic practices, Painting as an Experimental Field traces her formal painterly principles and early constructivist influences, ideas that will develop and mature in her profound contribution to Brazilian Neo-Concretism.
Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Galleries, Rutgers University – Mabel Smith Douglass Library,New Brunswick, New Jersey
January 21 – April 3, 2020
The exhibition features the work of two exiled Venezuelan artists, Deborah Castillo and Érika Ordosgoitti, who respond to the increasingly repressive government of Venezuela and question the rising nationalism, economic inequality, and worsening social problems. It is part of the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series and hosted by the Mabel Smith Douglass Library, the oldest continuous running exhibition space in the United States showcasing the work of emerging and established contemporary women artists. Castillo’s and Ordosgoitti’s artistic practice could be described as performance of protest. The female body featured in their work is imbued with agency and is able to effect social change. Their performative acts of disobedience and feminist social protests activate the body to challenge Venezuelan political regime and the country’s heteronormative patriarchal culture and canonical aesthetics.
In lieu of the Committee on Women in the Arts’ monthly write ups on select exhibitions, programs and scholarship that explore gender issues, feminist practices and the work of women artists from around the world and the United States, this month’s picks will focus on local highlights during the 2020 Annual Conference in Chicago.
Among them we would like to highlight the performance program curated by Out of Site Chicago for CWA’s Reception at HAUS and the Hokin Gallery, Columbia College Chicago during CAA 2020 on Thursday February 13. For more information and to RSVP, click here.
The evening celebrates the centennial of US women’s suffrage and the 50% women-centered content of this year’s conference, marking this monumental occasion while also acknowledging the discriminatory practices that limited voting rights for indigenous women and women of color, even after the passage of the 19th amendment. Seeking to extend conversations on gender, race, class and equality from a local and transnational perspective in light of the fraught history of inclusion in the US and this CWA-spearheaded initiative, Out of Site brings together two riveting, thought-provoking performances by Chicago-based artists Wannapa P-Eubanks and Alexandria Eregbu.
The 50/50 initiative’s spirit and the critical commemoration of US women’s suffrage underpin also several of the participatory projects and workshops of the 2020 ARTexchange program and exhibition that can be also explored during the CWA Reception. Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s 19th-century women’s suffrage address “Solitude of Self” is, for instance, the focus of Carol Flueckiger’s drawing workshop Solitude of Selfie, while the underside of the movement is addressed in UNDERBELLY, a participatory performance by Jennifer Natalya Fink and Julie Laffin. Click here to participate in this modern suffragette parade. For complete list of artists and workshops of 2020 ARTexchange click here.
CWA PICKS FOR CAA 2020 IN CHICAGO
Woman Made Gallery
Woman Made Gallery is a tax-exempt, not-for-profit organization founded in 1992. Its goal is to cultivate, promote and support the work of female-identified artists by providing exhibition opportunities, professional development, and public programs that invite discussion about what feminism means today.
Vaginal Davis: The White to be Angry at the Art Institute Chicago
at the Art Institute Chicago
February 1 – April 26, 2020
Mika Rottenberg: Easypiecesat
at the Bergman Family Gallery
October 2, 2019 – March 8, 2020
Female Trouble: Amanda Joy Calobrisi, Lilli Carré, Qinza Najm, Kathryn Refi, Frances Waite
at Western Exhibitions
January 10 – February 22, 2020
Margie Criner: Mind Over Matter
at Bert Green Fine Art
January 11 – February 22, 2020
Candida Alvarez: Estoy Bien
at Monique Meloche Gallery
February 1 – March 28, 2020
American Medina: Stories of Muslim Chicago
at Chicago History Museum
Why women should vote
at Jane Addams Hull House
True Peace: the presence of justice
at Jane Addams Hull-House Museum
Facing Freedom in America
at Chicago History Museum
at Gallery Victor Armendariz
January 10 – February 28, 2020
Weaving Beyond the Bauhaus
at the Art Institute Chicago
August 3, 2019 – February 17, 2020
Robyn O’Neil: The Tapestries
at Western Exhibitions
January 10 – February 22, 2020
CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship to share with CAA members on a monthly basis. See the picks for December below.
dieFirma, New York, New York
October 13, 2019 – January 5, 2020
The inaugural exhibition at dieFirma, a new gallery and arts space nestled in the bustling Bowery at 32A Cooper Square, New York, celebrates the life of multidisciplinary artist Gloria Kisch (1941-2014). An impressive presentation reveals the range and significance of Kisch’s abstract sculptures and highlights her late series of metalwork constructions called Bells (2000-2003) and Flowers (2007-13); functional furniture and objects (benches and chairs); and early hard-edge paintings from the 1960s. Also displayed are ephemera from the artist’s extensive personal archive. A large body of drawings by British artist Jane Gifford accompanies the installation. Gifford turned to Kisch’s sculptures for inspiration and produced a collection of smaller watercolors that offer a fascinating interplay and homage; the gentle conversion of three-dimensional volumetric space through line and gesture encourages a subdued reciprocity between the two artists. Kisch’s metalwork equally invites multiple readings and comparisons to likeminded artists who crossed media and arbitrarily ignored traditional fine art, craft and design hierarchies. Utilizing hand-forged stainless steel, Kisch’s statuesque Bells take on a corporeal presence—linked geometric elements vertically hang, some extenuated and stretched, others widely berthed. But it is through their mythic presence that the viewer makes connections to sculptors who gloriously filled and emptied space, recalling the mobiles of Alexander Calder and totems of David Smith, the quasi-furniture of Isamu Noguchi, the calibrated wire constructions of Ruth Asawa or the scaled modular systems of Gego. Kisch’s series of wall-mounted Flowers bring a playful pop of color with their reflective metal petals and flexible use of materials. Kisch’s own history is equally as colorful.
San Marco Gallery in Archbishop Alemany Library, Dominican University, San Rafael, California
November 12, 2019 – January 17, 2020
Using real-life work data and personal narratives, artist Sawyer Rose highlights the pervasive inequalities working women face via visualization sculpture. Rose collects data herself from female-identifying workers from across the US, and translates it into large-scale installations that visualize the number of hours women log at paid and unpaid jobs, demonstrating the physical, emotional, and practical effects of disproportionate labor loads. With the installation, she photographs the women lifting and carrying her sculpture, visually bearing the real and physical burdens. Dawline, a teaching artist, teaches elementary school and balances multiple volunteer art tutoring positions. Rose’s installation for Dawline is dozens of gold and silver leafed objects hanging from the ceiling, made of linen, cotton, rope, gold and silver leaf, metal clasps and rings, wood, stones, acrylic, and enamel. Dawline is depicted in a photo next to the installation with the stones on her lap, representing the weight of both her paid and unpaid jobs. The accompanying text includes statistics around volunteerism, disproportionately falling on women. The multi-layered, educational, and visually driven exhibit, says the artist, “may not represent your life or your particular situation, but…definitely depicts the lives of many women you know and love, women who work with you or for you…The good news, though, is that everyone can reap the benefits of a gender-equitable workforce: increased Gross Domestic Product (GDP), more profitable businesses, and healthier, happier partners and children.”
lokal_30, Warsaw, Poland
November 29, 2019 – January 24, 2020
The widely recognized 1969 essay by Carol Hanisch, an American feminist activist, entitled “The Personal Is Political,” was not known in communist Poland in 1970s. And yet, many women artists, including Natalia Lach-Lachowicz, known as Natalia LL, were using their bodies and most intimate surroundings to explore what it meant to be and become a woman. In her 1972 manifesto “Transformative Attitude,” Natalia LL wrote that “Art is in the process of becoming in every instant of reality,” and that she “records common events.” Since her studies at the Academy of Fine Arts in Wrocław, Poland, and in her artistic career spanning almost 50 years, Natalia LL has been using photography and film to investigate everyday bodily activities such as sleeping, eating, or speaking. Her works engage with issues concerning the rise of consumer culture and the fetishization of objects and bodies. She is known as a pioneer of feminist avant-garde in Poland and has become one of the first Polish women artists to be influential in the international feminist art movement of 1970s. The exhibition in lokal_30 features some of the key works of the artist alongside photographs which Natalia LL sent for an exhibition in Paramedia gallery in Berlin in 1974 and which have never been displayed in Poland.
Central Museum of Textiles, Łódź, Poland
October 5, 2019 – March 15, 2020
Łódź, a city in central Poland, has been cultivating its textile industry traditions since the 19th century. The International Trennial of Tapestry is the oldest and most important presentation of phenomena connected to the medium of textiles. For the first time in its history, the formula of the Triennial has been opened and artists themselves could apply to participate. It has also been enriched by the introduction of the role of the curator, Marta Kowalewska, and focus on an overarching key theme, which for the 16th edition is “Breaching Borders.” The understanding of borders is multi-layered. Artists from 21 countries in 55 selected works explore the threats and fears marking our contemporary condition, historical references, and personal stories that question the concept of borders as sources of conflict and trauma. The theme also references textiles and their place as one of liberated arts on one hand, and their structure enabling interlacing and layering of meanings and perspectives. The exhibition includes works of many significant women artists, such as Dorte Jensen, Ola Kozioł, Lucy Brown, Lisa Palm, Caroline Achaintre, Agata Borowa, Dobrosława Kowalewska, Anne Wilson or Joanna Malinowska, among others. It also features the unique work titled Your Things, a 20-meter fabric created in the Center for Foreigners in Łuków, Poland by Chechen refugees Zaira Avtaeva, Zalina Tavgereeva, Liana Borczaszvilli, Makka Visengereeva, Khava Bashanova, and Alina Malcagova, who await international protection. The work was created as part of a mini-grant of the Feminist Fund implemented in cooperation with the For the Earth Association according to a concept developed by Pamela Bożek.
Boise Art Museum, Idaho
June 8, 2019 – April 26, 2020
Artist Margaret Jacobs couples her steel sculptures celebrating Indigenous culture with early twentieth century ironworking tools, exploring the tension and harmony between forces of nature and humans. Jacobs’ sculptures, such as Steel Medicine, depict medicinal plants with a strong aesthetic via the dark color and heavy materiality of the metal, complemented by the softness of the sinewy shadows of the sculpture on the wall, emphasizing too the resilience and fragility of nature. Jacobs, a member of the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe, created two new series, Steel Medicine and Survival Medicine, on view, especially for this exhibit. “My culture inspires me to create pieces charged with power, strength, and beauty,” writes the artist in her statement, and in turn, “I believe my work celebrates indigenous culture with a bold, powerful aesthetic.”
CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship to share with CAA members on a monthly basis. See the picks for November below.
Americas Society/Council of the Americas, New York, New York
October 9, 2019 – January 25, 2020
Alice Miceli (born in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil) works with time-based tools, such as video or still camera, which she uses to produce works focused on time manipulated through mathematical formulas in order to represent its complex relationship with history and the body. Projeto Chernobyl (2006-2010), included in the 29th Bienal de São Paulo in 2010, includes a series of radiographs documenting the effects of Chernobyl’s nuclear disaster following the Soviet nuclear plant explosion of April 26th, 1986. Apart from formal experimentation core to her artistic methodology, Miceli uses investigative travel and archival research to explore trauma inflicted on social, cultural, and natural landscapes. For the purpose of this project she developed a specific photographic processes that capture contamination caused by gamma radiation, invisible to the naked eye and to traditional methods of photography. Her radiographic technique makes the destructive radioactive contamination visible raising issues around the occupation of land but also the act of looking itself—how to look and by what means. Miceli’s work questions ways in which our bodies are affected in a biopolitical manner, and how they are militarized and economized in contemporary society.
5th edition of Contemporary Art Program 2019 at Culture palace Ziemeļblāzma, Riga, Latvia
October 20 – December 12, 2019
Curated by Jana Kukaine, a feminist scholar from Riga, Latvia, the title of the exhibition references both a Latvian traditional folk song, executed during national celebrations of Mother’s Day in Latvia and Elvis Presley’s song Home Is Where the Heart Is. These cultural references present the home as a place of comfort and belonging. Yet, the utopian vision of home is disturbed by the still existing gender imbalance concerning responsibilities in the making of a home. It is usually the woman, often labeled a domestic goddess, who looks after the home. Six Latvian women artists, Anda Magone, Elīna Brasliņa, Eva Vēvere, Katrīna Gaile, Mētra Saberova, and Rasa Jansone, in their works presented in the exhibition (one of the events of the centenary program of the Latvian State) challenge the widespread gendered ideology of domesticity while raising issues concerning unpaid labor, social reproduction, and affective care. Home is associated with a number of rituals, objects, values, practices, duties, and responsibilities, inscribed into the division of the public and the private and the oppressive mapping onto gender roles. Social reproduction and sexual normativity is contextualized by the artists within neoliberal and late-capitalist frameworks to question and call for a shared responsibility in creating a home.
Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio
September 21 – December 29, 2019
Three Ohio-born visual artists exhibit together for the first time in HERE: Ann Hamilton, Jenny Holzer and Maya Lin at the Wexner Center for the Arts. The artists’ disparate styles and perspectives shown together create new connections and conversations between art, space, methodology, and the questions each of them pose through their work. Hamilton presents when an object reaches for your hand, using outmoded scanners creating ethereal images from Columbus campus special collections juxtaposed with her personal objects. The images are presented in book form stacks and visitors are welcome to take a print; two of the images are also large-scale murals in Columbus; both projects encouraging accessibility for university archives. Holzer presents a new installation of her renowned commonly-held slogan posters, Truisms (1977-79) and Inflammatory Essays (1979-82), statements influenced by diverse manifestos. Holzer’s vocabulary is screened throughout the city to further the impact of her work outside the gallery, too. Lin’s site specific installations were created with thousands of steel pins and glass beads resembling Ohio waterways, considering how rivers have both shaped and been shaped by humans, and questioning the impact of fracking and global warming. Lin’s permanent work, Groundswell (1992-93) greets visitors as they enter the Center, inspired by Native American mound landscapes from her youth. The accompanying gallery guide includes essays from writers, curators, and educators with Ohio connections, further contextualizing the far-reaching exhibit.
Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series Galleries, Douglass Library, New Brunswick, New Jersey
September 3 – December 13, 2019
Curated by art historian and curator Tatiana Flores, Sea and Self presents artworks produced by Maria Magdalena Campos-Pons (b. 1959, Matanzas, Cuba) from the late 1960s to present, ruminating on the sea. Campos-Pons draws on the rich Caribbean tradition of sea image while exploring self and the female body. Depictions in works such as She Always Knew of the Space In-Between (2019), include silhouette drawings of African sculptures, referencing female gender; and Nesting IV (2000), four large-scale Polaroids depicting the artist as split by the sea, connect through her uniting hair. Intersecting environmental humanities, personal history, and gender in beautiful, multi-colored and mixed media, Campos-Pons’ work exudes a unique and relatable perspective, provoking new inquiries around feminism and art.
CAA’s Committee on Women in the Arts selects the best in feminist art and scholarship to share with CAA members on a monthly basis. See the picks for October below.
National Museum of Women in the Arts
September 19, 2019 – January 20, 2020
Judy Chicago (a feminist artist renowned for the 1970s mixed media installation, The Dinner Party), takes on her own demise in this exhibition, which includes 40 works of painted porcelain and glass and two large bronze sculptures in her hallmark bold, graphic style. Other themes captured in this exhibit are the five stages of grief and species endangered by the action or inaction of humans. Chicago’s ever-present feminist content challenges the culture that prizes youth and beauty, often over the suffering of other creatures. The Price of Love (after Kollwitz) (kiln-fired glass paint on black glass, 2015) shows two figures in a tight kneeling embrace, hands covering their faces, with the script: “Grief / DESOLATION / Sorrow / LOSS” all painted with white on black, evoking the depth of sorrow. The imagery remarkably reflecting the style of Käthe Kollwitz’s prints depicting the sorrows of those left behind after World War I, notably in people tightly embracing. This tribute by Chicago to an artist who came before her exudes the layers of meanings in her work and refreshingly acknowledges the myth of the individual artist. Beyond content, her continued commitment to feminism is also echoed through her choice of media historically associated with women’s artistic endeavors, thus exposing the socially constructed ideals of high versus decorative art, as famously done in The Dinner Party.
West Virginia University Libraries
Deadline: December 31, 2019
West Virginia University takes on a contentious topic on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th amendment to the US Constitution (granting women the right to vote), and the 55th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965 (enforcing voting rights for racial minorities) by looking at the efforts to suppress the votes of women and minorities since 1920. The WVU Libraries are calling for artwork using the template of a round button design (digital or otherwise; the Library has round canvases to disperse should artists need) around the major themes: Information/Disinformation, Access/Intimidation, Legislation/Legal Questions, Voter Fraud, and Advocacy/Action. Selected works will be on display at the University’s main campus Library from August 2020 through June 2021, and selected designs from the exhibit will be made into buttons/stickers. Located in Morgantown, artists have a great opportunity to make an impact in a local hub of arts activity in an otherwise underserved region of Appalachia.
Museum of Contemporary Art, Belgrade, Serbia
September 21, 2019 – January 20, 2020
This is the first major European retrospective of Marina Abramović, a female artist renowned for her radical performances developed since 1970s. The location of the exhibition, the final on its tour (it was first shown in 2017 at the Moderna Museet (Stockholm, Sweden), and then traveled to the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art (Humlebæk, Denmark), Henie Onstad Kunstsenter (Oslo, Norway), Bundeskunsthalle (Bonn, Germany), Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi (Florence, Italy) and the Centre of Contemporary Art ‘Znaki Czasu’ (Toruń, Poland)) is significant, as Belgrade is Abramović’s place of birth. It is also where her artistic career began.
The artist has experimented with performance art and used her body as a method and a medium, relentlessly testing its boundaries and limits and challenging social and cultural stereotypes. The exhibition reviews Abramović’s over fifty-year long career, focusing on chronological phases in her artistic practice and emphasizing her solo career from 1991 until 2017. It is a rich display of over 120 works including a range of objects, photographs, paintings, drawings, video installations, films, and archival materials. There is also a live segment presented through re-performances by local and international performers.
White Cube Bermondsey, London
September 12 – November 3, 2019
White Cube’s exhibition captures Mona Hatoum’s new and recent installation, sculpture and work on paper. Hatoum, a Palestinian multimedia and installation artist, throughout her career has created a rich aesthetic vocabulary that often references the grid and geometry as references to systems of social control. In the exhibition the artist reflects on surveillance systems and mobilizes issues concerned with mobility, conflict, and power. Once again working with the grid, Hatoum uses industrial materials such as steel, brick, concrete, rubble, and glass—but also human hair—and collapses them into light, a suspended cube. Her visual poetics tests spatial and spherical limits and explores possibilities for formal but perhaps also social and political collapse. The theme of the grid and its negotiation overarches the works presented at the exhibition, the new installation Remains to be Seen (2019), Orbital I (2018), A Pile of Bricks (2019), Hair Mesh (2013), or Cells (2014), among others. Hatoum tests different confinements while exploring the basic form of the globe and questions the different and multiple boundaries that are imposed on society.
Wave Hill, Bronx, New York
September 15 – December 1, 2019
Bahar Behbahani’s (b. 1973, Tehran, Iran) site-specific installation titled All water has a perfect memory. [the period is intentional] is settled somewhat precariously along the eight-acre wooded expanse at Wave Hill, the Bronx public garden and cultural center known for supporting dynamic contemporary art projects and exhibitions. The installation’s primary feature is the large presence of a land-bound raft constructed in the shape of an octagon, ornamented with inlaid mosaic and tile, and supported on plastic barrels. Behbahani’s structure fosters multiple discussions about the garden’s surrounding woodlands and ecosystems and engages in prescient ecological debates. At the same time, the artist’s centerpiece addresses the historical flux of migration and the restriction of geographical borders. The title aptly recalls a poetic line from writer Toni Morrison’s essay, “The Site of Memory”: “All water has a perfect memory and is forever trying to get back to where it was.” In her research-based practice, Behbahani heavily layers and builds upon her cultural and aesthetic references, and water plays a central biographical and performative role in her videos and paintings. Likewise, water functions as a primary visual and spiritual element in the Persian Gardens of Iran, the majestic walled paradises and civilian sanctuaries dating back to the sixth-century BC. Water was a foremost compositional cornerstone of these historic gardens that were organized on a fourfold plan around central pools or fountains from which flowed four channels. At Wave Hill, the manifestation of the octagonal pool, raft or “fountain,” accessorized with botanical panel designs, forges further connections to eight of the world’s contested rivers: the Euphrates, Ganges, Hudson, Karun, Mississippi, Rio Grande, and Wouri. Moreover, the octagon appears as both a sheltering and perilous object. As a stationary structure, it conjures the urgent political narratives on mobility and circulation that underline the fraught experiences of migrants and refugees. In the accompanying pamphlet, the artist explained these multifold references, stating that “the project made her think about the ‘complexity’ of building a ‘worthy raft,’ one that would be able to ‘move people, food, belongings as well as culture and memories to safety…” The project also questions broader horticultural concerns about what determines “native” flora and species. Additional technological components activate river sounds, a meditative element arranged by musician Maciek Schejbal. In the near future, the octagon will hopefully find a way to reach water, holding with it a bounty of new and old memories.