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

January 2012

Jenny Saville

Jenny Saville, Bleach, 2008, oil on canvas, 99 5/16 x 73 11/16 in. Collection of Lisa and Steven Tananbaum (artwork © Jenny Saville)

Jenny Saville
Norton Museum of Art
1451 South Olive Avenue, West Palm Beach, FL 33401
November 30, 2011–March 4, 2012

Jenny Saville is the inaugural exhibition of the Norton Museum of Art’s Recognition of Art by Women (RAW) series, and the first solo American museum exhibition of the British figurative artist. This exhibition will bring together her most recognizable monumental figure and portrait paintings along with drawings from her recent series Reproduction drawing (based on the Leonardo cartoon of The Virgin and Child with St. Anne and John the Baptist from the National Gallery, London) depicting mother and child images. The presentation will include twenty-eight canvases and drawings dating from 1992 to 2011 and smaller studies, not previously shown, from the artist’s studio.

In Wonderland: The Surrealist Adventures of Women Artists in Mexico and the United States
Los Angeles County Museum of Art
5905 Wilshire Boulevard, Los Angeles, CA 90036
January 29–May 6, 2012

The Surrealist movement in art is most often identified with male artists, many of whom objectified women in their paintings. Numerous female artists at the time, however, developed their own identity-based imagery. This exhibition looks at female Surrealists working in the United States and Mexico and contains 175 works in a variety of media that were created between 1931 and 1968 by artists such as Lee Miller, Yayoi Kusama, and Frida Kahlo.

Nancy Holt

Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels: Sunset, 1976, Great Basin Desert, Utah, 1976, detail of composite of four photographs reproduced from original 35mm transparencies, (artwork © Nancy Holt)

Nancy Holt: Sightlines
Tufts University Art Gallery
Aidekman Arts Center, Tufts University, 40 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA 02155
January 19–April 1, 2012

Since the late 1960s, Nancy Holt has created a far-reaching body of work, including Land Art, films, videos, site-specific installations, artist’s books, concrete poetry and major sculpture commissions. Nancy Holt: Sightlines showcases the artist’s transformation from the perception of the landscape through the use of different observational modes in her early films, videos, and related works from 1966–80.

Cathy Wilkes
Carnegie Museum of Art
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15213
November 12, 2011–February 26, 2012

Carnegie Museum of Art presents the first solo American museum exhibition to combine the painting and sculptural installations of the Irish artist Cathy Wilkes. Often examining personal experiences, including motherhood, Wilkes is best known for vulnerable, haunting sculptures and installations in which sculpted and found objects are altered and arranged into humanistic—if sometimes disturbing—domestic scenes. Including nine paintings, a recent sculpture, and a newly commissioned installation, this exhibition provides a comprehensive view of Wilkes’s practice.

Margaret Murphy

Margaret Murphy, Reclining Woman (after Kurosawa), 2007, watercolor and acrylic on paper, 20 x 14 in. (artwork © Margaret Murphy)

Margaret Murphy, A Ten-Year Survey; Decoding the Marketplace: coupons, dollar stores, and eBay
Harold B. Lemmerman Gallery
New Jersey City University, Hepburn Hall, Room 323, 2039 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07305
January 30–March 7, 2012

This exhibition highlights varied bodies of work created during the last decade by the artist Margaret Murphy. Included in the exhibition are the Tarot Cards series (1997–2000), the Sweet 16 series (2005–7), and the Parlor Paintings (2006–7). Seen together for the first time, these paintings and collages demonstrate Murphy’s insightful feminist critique of the American consumer culture and misrepresentation of women as seen through commodity objects such as porcelain figurines and product packaging.

Andrea Fraser, Men on the Line, KPFK
National Center for the Preservation of Democracy
111 North Central Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90012
January 23, 2012

Vaginal Davis, My Pussy is Still in Los Angeles (I Only Live in Berlin)
Bullock Department Store Wilshire
3050 Wilshire Boulevard, Fifth Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90010
January 29, 2012

In late January, West of Rome Public Art will host performances by two legendary and controversial feminist artists as part of Pacific Standard Time’s Performance and Public Art Festival. Both works are part of a series inspired by the Los Angeles–based Woman’s Building (1973–81), whose history and influence is currently explored in the PST exhibition Doin’ It in Public.

Zoe Strauss

Zoe Strauss, South Philly (Mattress Flip Front), 2001/2003 (negative/print), chromogenic print, image: 6⅞ x 10⅛ in./sheet: 8 x 10⅜ in. Philadelphia Museum of Art. Purchased with funds contributed by Theodore T. Newbold and Helen Cunningham, 2003 (artwork © Zoe Strauss)

Zoe Strauss: Ten Years
Philadelphia Museum of Art
26th Street and the Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19130
January 14–April 22, 2012

This midcareer survey of the work of Zoe Strauss, a resident of south Philadelphia, focuses on her decade-long public art project in which each year on the first Sunday in May she exhibited more than two hundred of her photographs in a space beneath a section of Interstate 95 in south Philadelphia. Most of her subjects are disenfranchised people or places.

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