“Women’s work” … in plates and dolls lies the basis of feminist art
An exhibition featuring contemporary female artists inspired by centuries-old household objects
Sunday – 30 Ramadan 1443 AH – 01 May 2022 AD Issue No. [
Porcelain soup bowls and decorative coffee mugs – 2009 works by Paula Hayes (The New York Times) Dust puppets inspired by fairy tales (New York Times)
New York: Laurel Graber
Judy Chicago is no longer irritated when she remembers the initial reaction of male critics to her work and that of other pioneering women artists, who then dismissed Chicago’s 1979 sculpture The Dinner Party, which was inspired by Chinese paintings and embroidery. , created by brilliant women. in this field.
In a recent phone call, Chicago responded with an irritated tone: “Female art? You may not describe it that way. Not art. It’s a craft.”
But Chicago, the iconic woman with colored purple hair, still has the last word, now that her work has become an essential part of feminist art. And now the prototypes of two of her paintings are about to become valued guests at another party. In this gallery you will also find a circular vial dating from 1893, designed by artist Elvira Curtis Hullet. There’s also another work by an untitled aluminum head, which was covered with some material by artist Louise Bourgeois in 2002, and next to it is a silk brocade pillow made from weaving by Dolly Madison, former first lady.
These exhibitions are at the heart of the exhibition “Women’s Work”, which emphasizes how the creations of contemporary women artists are drawn from household objects of previous centuries, all made by women. From May 27 to September 26, at the Lindthurst Manson Gallery, a Gothic-style house museum, in Tarrytown, New York, more than 125 works of art, almost all American, will be exhibited in one place according to its era. In this context, Howard Zar, executive director of the museum, said that in these lush spaces, which served as the interior design for the successful “HBO” series, entitled “The Gilded Age”, the pieces such as “Taking a conversation” will be. “You can only imagine Cindy Sherman’s hand-painted 1990 porcelain soup bowl, which contains the artist’s self-portrait, Madame de Pompadour, and what it can say to the delicate, hand-painted skewer cups and plates of the early 19th century, following her on a dinner table, the palace.
In an interview, Mr. Zar said the idea for “Women’s Work” came to him after Helen Molesworth, chief curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, was fired in 2018 over what museum curators described as “creative differences.” (Some in the art world have claimed she was fired for her strong support for minority women artists.) He drew further inspiration from Womanhouse, a 1972 public sculpture of feminist artists in Hollywood’s Victorian Palace, organized by Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro, which also works at the Lyndhurst Gallery.
Mr. Zar added: “This new exhibition is a discussion of what these women have done, what is revolutionary in it, and what is beautiful in it.” This exhibition is designed not only to highlight how the work of contemporary women artists has been refined and reinterpreted traditional techniques, but also to demonstrate that this early craftsmanship is more than just women’s work. In many cases it was a fine art in its own right. This work was a valuable way of self-expression and also provided them with independent financial income.
In the same vein, says Nancy Carlisle, senior curator of collections at Historic New England, a heritage organization in Massachusetts that includes collectibles from the colonial era, when “women had no family to look after them, they had to find a way find to survive.. ” . Carlisle co-authored Women’s Work in collaboration with Becky Hart, the recently retired independent curator of contemporary art at the Denver Museum of Art.
Their choices help save shadowy figures like one of the early pop artists, Adele Webber, as well as historical women like Elizabeth Adams, whose copy of the self-portrait of French court painter Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun will hang in Lindhurst Palace Picture Gallery. “Adams had the luxury and love of celibacy, so she could learn to be an artist,” Carlisle remarked.
But some of the women in the program remain unidentified, such as the creator of the early 20th-century black rag doll who was allegedly made by an African-American babysitter for a white child. The doll will occupy one of the museum’s bedrooms with Brenda, a 1976 Faith Reingold sculpture of a well-dressed black woman.
This museum bedroom will also feature fairy-tale-inspired canvas dolls by Kiki Smith that combine 19th-century folk art with her own drawings. “I really appreciate the creativity of the past, but to be able to live, you have to redecorate, relive, or somehow bring them to life,” Kiki said.
Some pieces, whether subtle or blatant, may distort and undermine their historical predecessors. In the palace library, the silhouettes in Kara Walker’s 1997 book Freedom: A Languages look like a work of cute Victorian ladies, but they actually contain a version of racial oppression. Reingold displays a similar surprise in “Feminist Series: Two of My Disabilities No. 10,” part of her decades-old series on the Tibetan Thangkasi style. However, the sewn-up vertical letters do not look like Tibetan writing.
“Above these painted landscapes were gilded phrases uttered by black women, from periods of slavery to the present day,” Reingold wrote in an email. This photo contains words from Shirley Chisholm, the first African-American congressman, who says, “Among my disabilities, I am female, and that puts more obstacles in my way than being black.”
It is remarkable that even the smallest thing in the exhibition “Women’s Work” makes great comments. There is a jewelry box with a 19th-century engraving, with a feminist ethereal image, along with a rough and realistic copy of Catherine Opie. Also on display will be the 2014 Pocahontas jewelry collection, ring, necklace and earrings made by Native American artists such as Keri Atombe and Jimmy Okuma, inspired by the colonial paintings of the “Native Iconic Female” Mrs. Atombe. Perhaps the sharpest criticism comes from the exhibition’s 1966 video, Yoko Ono’s “Cut Piece,” which invited the audience to come on stage one by one and cut off some of her clothes while she sit and stay still. Me. Hart sees this work as a depiction of a “history of violence against women’s bodies”, which would resonate especially in a brightly decorated Victorian setting. She added, “I think this Yoko Ono show cuts it all off as short as no other work on the show does.”
The New York Times Service