CAA News Today

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

April 2011

Diane Burko

Diane Burko

“Global Warming: Women in Science and Art Discuss Climate Issues and Activism”
Rutgers University
Center Hall Auditorium
, Busch Campus Center, 604 Bartholomew Road, Piscataway, NJ 08854
April 20, 2011

A discussion between the artist Diane Burko and Åsa Rennermalm, assistant professor in the Geography Department at Rutgers University, takes place on Wednesday, April 20, 2011, 7:15–8:30 PM. Kathryn Uhrich, a professor and dean of Math and Physical Sciences at Rutgers, is the moderator.

Sheila Hicks: 50 Years
Institute of Contemporary Art
University of Pennsylvania, 118 South 36th Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104
March 24–August 7, 2011

A student of Joseph Albers at Yale University, Sheila Hicks was inspired by the Bauhaus principle of ignoring traditional boundaries separating art, craft, and design. Her work with fabric, fiber, and found objects came to prominence in the 1950s, and this retrospective, first mounted at the Addison Gallery of American Art in Andover, Massachusetts, features more than ninety of her most important pieces, including a major installation on loan from Target’s headquarters in Minneapolis. Sheila Hicks: 50 Years offers insights into the artist’s thinking and her approach to materials.

Lynda Benglis

Lynda Benglis, The Graces, 2003–5, cast polyurethane, lead, and stainless steel, dimensions from left to right: 103 x 26 x 26 in.; 113 x 21½ x 23 in.; 95 x 30 x 27 in. (artwork © Lynda Benglis, DACS, London/VAGA, New York)

Lynda Benglis
New Museum of Contemporary Art
235 Bowery, New York, NY 10002
February 9–June 19, 2011

This exhibition, Lynda Benglis’s first retrospective in New York and her first solo show in the city in twenty years, spans the range of her career. The survey covers her early wax paintings and brightly colored poured latex works, the Torsos and Knots series from the 1970s, and her recent experiments with plastics, cast glass, paper, and gold leaf. Lynda Benglis also contains a number of rarely exhibited works, such as Phantom (1971), an installation consisting of five monumental sculptures that glow in the dark, and Primary Structures (Paula’s Props), an installation first shown in 1975. Because throughout her career Benglis was constantly experimenting with materials and techniques, some of which were ephemeral or less than permanent, a few of the works exhibited are the only survivors of some series of works.

Reviewing the show for the New York Times, Roberta Smith wrote, “This exhibition stresses Ms. Benglis’s dual role as innovator and commentator, adept at extending ideas of her mostly male contemporaries while also skewing and skewering them with her own implicitly libidinous sensibility.”

Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster 1964–1966
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
March 13–June 5, 2011

Vija Celmins is best known as a painter of soft, monochromatic images of stars and spider webs. However, as a young artist in Los Angeles in the mid-1960s, she created a series of brightly colored works with violent themes such as crashing warplanes, smoking handguns, and other images of death and disaster influenced by the violence of the era and mass media representations of it. Vija Celmins: Television and Disaster 1964–1966 is the first exhibition to concentrate on these paintings and sculptures made during this brief period.

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