Art Fix Friday: December 14, 2018

The National Gallery of Art has named Kaywin Feldman its new director. Feldman is the first woman ever to hold the position in the institution’s 77-year history.

Kaywin Feldman will start her new job as director of the National Gallery of Art in March. (Dan Dennehy/Minneapolis Institute of Arts/National Gallery of Art)

Kaywin Feldman will start her new job as director of the National Gallery of Art in March. (Dan Dennehy/Minneapolis Institute of Arts/National Gallery of Art)

“I do believe it is indicative of a sea change, nationally and internationally,” Feldman has said about her post. She comes to the NGA with an impressive track record of increasing both online and in-person visitors, accessibility, and has established programs that deepen community engagement.

Front-Page Femmes

Frieze connects the work of feminist theorist and filmmaker Laura Mulvey to the #MeToo movement.

The New York Times found that films with female leads earn more than those starring men.

Writer Zadie Smith interviews Toyin Ojih Odutola, whose portraits depict diasporic people of color “defy[ing] the smallness” that she feels America forces on them.

Toyin Ojih Odutola, Paris Apartment, 2016-17. Charcoal, pastel, and pencil on paper, 59 3/8″ x 42″, Dean Collection, Courtesy of the Drawing Center, New York

Toyin Ojih Odutola, Paris Apartment, 2016-17. Charcoal, pastel, and pencil on paper, 59 3/8″ x 42″, Dean Collection, Courtesy of the Drawing Center, New York

Bomb profiles “rediscovered maverick” Ree Morton, whose sculptural work challenged notions of traditional feminism in the 1970s.

A new study shines light on the gendered wage gap in the U.K. art world.

The Anonymous Was a Woman program awards grants to established women artists over the age of 40. Here are the 2018 winners.

The Art Newspaper interviews three of the women in charge of some of the Arab art world’s key institutions.

Overlooked in Atlanta, black women artists head to Art Basel Miami Beach.

Victoria Beckham teams up with Sotheby’s to host an exhibition highlighting female Old Masters.

Recently jailed for protesting Cuba’s art censorship laws, performance artist Tania Bruguera has been released, and vows to remain in her home country to fight for artistic expression.

Two London gallerists discuss the art world’s current interest in female artists.

Hyperallergic interviews Andrea Giunta, curator of the acclaimed exhibition Radical Women, about the role of feminist art in post-election Brazil.

Shows We Want to See

A major survey of sculpture artist Cady Noland is on view at the Museum für Moderne Kunst in Frankfurt, Germany. Eerily relevant to America’s current political climate, the show draws heavily on some of the less pleasant aspects of America’s past. Hyperallergic praises the show’s “dark thematic complexity as well as formal rigor.”

Turner Prize-winning video artist Elizabeth Price exhibits two new films at the Walker Arts Center in Minneapolis. These cinematic works explore current political issues in her native Britain, as well as the “relationship between the material and the digital, sites of labour and markers of gender and social class.”  

Ebony G. Patterson....wata marassa-beyond the bladez..., 2014. Mixed media on paper, 85 x 84 inches.Collection of Doreen Chambers and Philippe Monroguie, Brooklyn, NY. Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

Ebony G. Patterson….wata marassa-beyond the bladez…, 2014. Mixed media on paper, 85 x 84 inches.Collection of Doreen Chambers and Philippe Monroguie, Brooklyn, NY. Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

Perez Art Museum Miami presents Ebony G. Patterson… while the dew is still on the roses….The Jamaican artist creates multi-media works saturated with embellishment to explore issues related to violence, masculinity, and youth within the post-colonial context of her native country.

—Becca Gross is the fall 2018 publications and marketing/communications intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: December 7, 2018

Artsy looks at the history of fierce pussy’s bold poster campaigns in New York City.

fierce pussy façade installation, Leslie-Lohman Museum. Photo © Kristine Eudey, 2018.

fierce pussy facade installation, Leslie-Lohman Museum. Photo © Kristine Eudey, 2018.

The queer women artist collective launched a provocative project in 1991, peppering the city with posters reclaiming the offensive language often used towards the LGBTQ+ community. Recently, the group has revamped that initiative, showcasing an updated version of their early works in the windows of the Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in SoHo.

Front-Page Femmes

16 of the 21 awardees of the Andy Warhol Foundation’s 2018 Arts Writers Grant are women.

artnet News ventures into the studio of Cj Hendry, whose photorealistic drawings have earned her an impressive Instagram following.

Frieze interviews curator Julia Peyton-Jones for their Women in the Arts series.

“Please buy me these artworks.” Andrew Russeth, executive editor of ARTnews highlights 20 impressive women artists in his annual roundup of Art Basel Miami’s best offerings.

The Art Gallery of Ontario acquires one of Yayoi Kusama’s “Infinity Rooms” for their permanent collection.

Filmmaker Charlotte Prodger wins the prestigious 2018 Turner Prize.

Judy Chicago EU-69 Mother India (1985). Image courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York.

Judy Chicago, EU-69 Mother India (1985). Image courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York.

“It’s Judy time.” Artnet and the New York Times feature iconic feminist artist Judy Chicago, who has upcoming shows at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Miami and here at NMWA in 2019.

Artsy profiles Lina Iris Viktor, who hopes her paintings can “counter the negative associations of blackness.”

Meet the film industry’s pioneering female directors in this new home video box set from Kino Classics.

“Radio Juxtapoz” podcast debuts with an interview with textile artist Lucy Sparrow.

The Dia Art Foundation acquires 155 sculptures by Minimalist artist Charlotte Posenenske.

In Chicago? Check out the events for Where the Future Came From, a collective research project on the history of Chicago’s feminist and women-run art activities.

Iranian artist Shirin Neshat discusses her experience creating political art—and when it can cross a line.

Shows We Want to See

A preeminent figure in art activism, sculptor and teacher Augusta Savage is regarded as one of the most significant artists of the Harlem Renaissance. Her work influenced countless African American artists and successfully “elevat[ed] images of black culture into mainstream America.” Augusta Savage: Renaissance Woman is on view at the Cummer Museum in Jacksonville, Florida.

Akunnittinni: A Kinngait Family Portrait, currently at Pasadena’s Armory Center for the Arts, showcases the work of three generations of women from a single Inuit family. The exhibition “weaves together more than a century of personal, political, and cultural life in the Arctic,” presenting the experiences of these women in an “indigenous feminist context.”

Family Sleeping in a Tent, 2003-04, by Annie Pootoogook. (Eduardo J. Guarino Collection)

Family Sleeping in a Tent, 2003-04, by Annie Pootoogook. (Eduardo J. Guarino Collection)

Robilant + Voena gallery in London presents The Gentileschi Effect, a show highlighting Renaissance master Artemisia Gentileschi’s “influence over the centuries.” The exhibition includes several exquisite examples of Gentileschi’s work alongside those of her followers, both historical and contemporary.

—Becca Gross is the fall 2018 publications and marketing/communications intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Modern Makers: Jess Rotter

L.A.-based illustrator/artist Jess Rotter collaborated with NMWA, Kate and Laura Mulleavy of Rodarte, and custom design studio Third Drawer Down to create a set of paper dolls featuring Rodarte fashions. Buy them from the Museum Shop and learn more about her process and inspiration:

Jess Rotter, photo by Michael Reich

Jess Rotter, photo by Michael Reich

Can you describe your work?

I’m best known for paying homage to music of the 1960s and ’70s (Grateful Dead, Yusuf/Cat Stevens, Harry Nilsson, Judee Sill) through my scribbles. In 2007, I started a T-shirt line called “Rotter and Friends” and that shepherded my work into more exposure. Recently I have branched out to working in more diverse areas of entertainment, fashion, and editorial, but am still a big record nerd at heart.

How did you get started?

I have always been an artist, and studied painting at Syracuse University. When abroad for a semester in London, I got my first job designing graphics, for a streetwear label for girls called Birdie, and that was my first foray into the world of merchandise and fashion.

What is a typical work day like for you?

I love being home in the quiet morning, making a chemex’d pot of coffee, taking in the news, and having daydreams, before reality strikes and it’s time to get to work! I usually put a record on or listen to an old ’70s radio show while I draw or paint. The projects change every day. I’m grateful to have a freelance routine, as it has taken me many years to get to this place.

What inspires you?

I love old album covers, comics, and magazines. I cherish wine-filled talks with friends where we share creative ideas and discuss the state of the world. That in-person camaraderie is the good stuff.

Can you name a female artist whose work you love?

So many that it is hard to pick! But the recent retrospective of Aline Kominsky-Crumb’s comics, Love That Bunch, is hitting home…perhaps because I am also a sarcastic Long Island Jewess. Her work is so honest and needs to be recognized more.

How did you begin this collaboration with Rodarte?

I’ve been close friends with Kate and Laura for over a decade and we always look for projects we can work on together. It’s hard to find friends who you can belly laugh and philosophize with at the same time, and those two have been very important souls to me. I have followed their work closely all these years, and their collections forever inspire. The process was pretty natural, just them calling me asking to draw their amazing dresses. The answer was immediately, “Duh!”

Art Fix Friday: November 30, 2018

The Getty Research Institute has received a grant to digitize the archives of the historical Woman’s Building in Los Angeles.

The influential feminist art center was founded in 1973 by Judy Chicago, Sheila de Bretteville, and Arlene Raven. It gave women a space to experiment and learn, housing the first independent school for women artists.

Read more and hear from some of the artists involved in the project in this Hyperallergic feature.

Front-Page Femmes

Turner Prize-winning artist Lubaina Himid investigates how the prominent British newspaper The Guardian portrays black people.

Artsy calls attention to 7 Female Impressionists Every Art History Lover Should Know.

Lilian Rice, an important early 20th-century architect, is spotlighted in the New York TimesOverlooked No More series.

Betty Tompkins has (literally) made her mark on art history by painting the apologies of #MeToo offenders onto images of famous artworks.

A proposed Judy Chicago museum in the artist’s hometown of Belen, New Mexico, has been vetoed due to dissent from some of the local religious community.

Daria Martin wins the 2018 Film London Jarman Award.

According to Frieze, although many historical female artists have recently gained recognition through an increase in temporary exhibitions, museums are failing to take steps toward achieving gender parity in their permanent collections.

American Theatre highlights 10 plays by women of color currently running Off-Broadway.

Hyperallergic profiles Tamara Pertamina, a multidisciplinary artist seeking to “reclaim Indonesia’s pre-colonial acceptance of non-binary genders.”

Apollo and Artsy come to differing conclusions in their reviews of Sarah Lucas’s current New Museum retrospective.

The Met is receiving intense criticism for including only one woman in its upcoming exhibition Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll.

Kelsey Wishik, who was a part of NMWA’s recent exhibition Heavy Metal, created a mural for the city of Hattiesburg, Mississippi.

Shows We Want to See

Now on view at the Museo Textil de Oaxaca in Mexico, Emilia Sandoval’s solo show Buscas Aún, Nos Buscas Lugar (You Are Searching Still, Searching for a Place for Us) explores themes of death and loss. The exhibition is made up of “ghostly echoes” fashioned from the belongings of Sandoval’s late mother, which serve to bring an otherworldly spirit to those objects normally dismissed as commonplace.

The Eternal Thread, Louise Bourgeois’s first major exhibition in China, is on view at the Long Museum in Shanghai. The show weaves together seven decades of the artist’s diverse body of work, highlighting her incredible ability to “investigate the power of materials…to connect the present and the past.”

Sara Cwynar’s first museum show, Image Model Muse, is at the Minneapolis Institute of Art. Cwynar’s work often deals with issues related to capitalism, prompting ARTnews to tout her as an artist who is “attuned to the rush of advertising and persuasion that now flows through screens and feeds.”

—Becca Gross is the fall 2018 publications and marketing/communications intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: November 16, 2018

In light of a new book on her color photography, The New Yorker and Artsy highlight little-known street photographer Vivian Maier.

The artist was prolific in the 1960s and ’70s but never showed her photos, instead working as a nanny for most of her life. “I’m sort of a spy,” Maier once claimed.

Maier’s color photography is also the subject of an exhibition on view at New York’s Howard Greenberg Gallery.

Front-Page Femmes

Video artist and sculptor Sondra Perry receives the 2018 Nam June Paik Award, her second major award this year.

Alison Rossiter, whose photo book Expired Paper is on view in NMWA’s Library and Research Center in Full Bleed, wins the 2018 Shpilman International Prize for Excellence in Photography.

Hyperallergic spotlights Escape to Berlin, the new memoir of conceptual artist and philosopher Adrian Piper.

Jenny Holzer has created a mobile art exhibition “illuminating the words of activists, poets, artists, educators and people living with H.I.V. and AIDS,” which will tour New York City on World AIDS Day, December 1.

A group of 31 female musicians performed Ragnar Kjartansson’s Romantic Songs of the Patriarchy, an arrangement of 26 popular songs demonstrating the “fine threads in our culture that are demeaning to women.”

Artsy profiles painter Lisa Yuskavage.

The Manhattan-based collective Assembly Room is “invested in representing the female curatorial vision,” says Hyperallergic.

Nijla Mu’min’s new film, Jinn, is called “a remarkably honest portrait of black Muslim girlhood.”

Sigrid Nunez, Elizabeth Acevedo, and Isabel Allende were among the women honored at this year’s National Book Awards.

In examining Tate Modern’s Anni Albers retrospective, Frieze concludes that “the artificial divide between fine art and textiles is a gendered issue.”

Natalie White, Carrie Mae Weems, and Shirin Neshat are among several artists creating work for Planned Parenthood’s UNSTOPPABLE campaign.

Shows We Want to See

Disrupting Craft: Renwick Invitational 2018, on view in Washington, D.C., features the work of two women artists whose socially engaged craft responds to the current sociopolitical landscape. Tanya Aguiñiga creates work related to gender and nationality. “Craftivist” Stephanie Syiuco deals with concepts of authenticity, consumerism, and digital culture. In a recent interview with Art21, Syiuco discusses her attempts to process the world using a combination of craft and digital platforms.

Paula Rego, Dancing Ostriches from Disney’s Fantasia (left panel of triptych; 1995); On view at Musée de l’Orangerie; Courtesy Marlborough Fine Art; © Paula Rego

Paula Rego, Dancing Ostriches from Disney’s Fantasia (left panel of triptych; 1995); On view at Musée de l’Orangerie; Courtesy Marlborough Fine Art; © Paula Rego

U.K.-based Portuguese artist Paula Rego is the subject of an exhibition at the Musee de l’Orangerie in Paris. Apollo Magazine describes the show’s “narrative twists that transform the everyday into the fantastic.”

The Jewish Museum presents Martha Rosler: Irrespective, which illuminates more than five decades of work by the artist and activist. As curator Darsie Alexander told Art Daily, Rosler’s art continues to be “a call to action.”

—Becca Gross is the fall 2018 publications and marketing/communications intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: November 9, 2018

The Art Newspaper delves into the art and lives of Dorothea Tanning and Leonor Fini.

Left to right: Dorothea Tanning, Birthday, 1942; On view in Dorothea Tanning: Behind the Door, Another Invisible Door at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid); Leonor Fini in Arcachon, France, in 1940; Art Newspaper; Courtesy of the Leonor Fini Estate

Left to right: Dorothea Tanning, Birthday, 1942; On view in Dorothea Tanning: Behind the Door, Another Invisible Door at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (Madrid); Leonor Fini in Arcachon, France, in 1940; Art Newspaper; Courtesy of the Leonor Fini Estate

Both artists, who are often considered female Surrealists, were actually quite resistant to such labels. Tanning famously said, “Women artists. There is no such thing… It’s just as much a contradiction in terms as ‘man artist’ or ‘elephant artist.’” Similarly, Fini, was a vocal critic of Surrealism’s misogynistic tendencies.

Two major exhibitions on view in Madrid and New York City explore the complex relationship that these women had with Surrealism, gender, and sexuality. Learn more about the artists and in this week’s The Art Newspaper Podcast and the New York Times.

Front-Page Femmes

Hyperallergic highlights Biennale Bitch, a humorous collection of short stories by veteran arts journalist Nadja Sayej.

The U.K.-based initiative Her Stories is hosting their second annual art auction. The event features donated art from women and non-binary artists to raise money for female refugees.

Artsy expresses concern over the recent upswing in the women’s art market.

Prominent feminist artists used their work to encourage voting at last weekend’s We Vote parade in New York City.

Sotheby’s gives a brief history of the all-female exhibition committee for the 1978 Hayward Annual.

Hyperallergic profiles influential filmmaker Margarethe von Trotta, whose new documentary, Searching for Ingmar Bergman, is now on view as a part of her Quad Cinema retrospective.

NPR’s What’s Good with Stretch & Bobbito interviews curator and art activist Kimberly Drew.

The Boston Ballet has begun its new ChoreograpHER Initiative, which aims to “support and develop female choreographers” in the historically male-dominated field.

Shows We Want to See

In an effort to “combat stereotypes and dominant narratives,” the Brooklyn Museum presents Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection. The exhibition displays more than 100 of the museum’s artworks through an intersectional feminist lens. Aesthetica Magazine calls the show “a direct response to the crucial social and political issues that have dominated the global conversation in the past year.”

A retrospective of photographs by Martine Franck is on view at the newly opened Fondation Henri Cartier-Bresson (Paris). Franck’s images documented the political and the social, capturing life during her travels in the latter half of the 20th century.

Firelei Báez, magnitude and bond (detail), 2018; On view at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Harlem)

Firelei Báez, magnitude and bond (detail), 2018; On view at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture (Harlem)

Firelei Báez: Joy Out of Fire at Harlem’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture vibrantly highlights the accomplishments of “women activists, writers, artists, and politicians of color.”

The Modernist, on view at Lehmann Maupin gallery (NYC), includes Catherine Opie’s first work of film accompanied by a series of photographs chronicling the exploits of a fictional arsonist named Pig Pen. The queer figure fearlessly burns down “structures that reflect such exclusive [white male] privilege.”

—Becca Gross is the fall 2018 publications and marketing/communications intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

5 Fast Facts: Yael Bartana’s “What if Women Ruled the World”

Impress your friends with five fast facts about What if Women Ruled the World (2016) by Yael Bartana (b. 1970, Kfar Yehezkel, Israel), on display in the third-floor galleries.

1. New Neon

NMWA acquired the neon sculpture What if Women Ruled the World (2016) by Israeli artist Yael Bartana in 2017, in celebration of the museum’s 30th anniversary.

Yael Bartana, What if Women Ruled the World, 2016; Neon, 98 1/2 x 38 1/2 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Museum purchase, Belinda de Gaudemar Acquisition Fund, with additional support from the Members’ Acquisition Fund; © Yael Bartana; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

Yael Bartana, What if Women Ruled the World, 2016; Neon, 98 1/2 x 38 1/2 in.; NMWA, Museum purchase, Belinda de Gaudemar Acquisition Fund, with additional support from the Members’ Acquisition Fund; © Yael Bartana; Photo by Lee Stalsworth

2. Multimedia Maven

Bartana is known for her films, installations, and photography. Her complex, multimedia pieces often address and question the ceremonies and rituals that affirm national identity. Her work demands reflection on the ways in which countries develop and sustain dominant narratives.

3. Turning the Tables

Inspired by Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 film Dr. Strangelove, in which a select group of powerful white men assemble to discuss nuclear war and unilaterally determine the fate of the human race, Bartana’s What if Women Ruled the World both proposes and proclaims a peaceful alternative.

4. Women Rule

Approximately 10% of United Nation member countries are led by women. To learn more about trailblazers and current women leaders, check out this Al Jazeera interactive and Pew Research Center 2017 study findings.

5. “Year of the Woman”

The United States House and Senate midterm elections, on November 6, 2018, could bring about a tidal wave of change: 260 women are on the ballot. Inform yourself and vote! Check out this Vice video and the Rutgers Center for American Women and Politics “2018 Summary of Women Candidates” report.

—Adrienne L. Gayoso is the senior educator at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

 

Art Fix Friday: November 2, 2018

NMWA Assistant Curator Orin Zahra contributed to an Art and Object feature on Impressionist Marie Bracquemond.

Researcher Sarah Bochicchio points out that while female Impressionists Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot have had major solo shows in 2018, Bracquemond continues to remain relatively unknown. The article sheds needed light on this under-recognized member of the “three great ladies of Impressionism.”

Front-Page Femmes

German Chancellor Angela Merkel has urged her country to “improve the standing of women in the arts [by ensuring] balanced award-giving juries and grant bodies.”

Researchers at Indiana University Bloomington are creating a comprehensive online database of female artists active in the U.S. and Europe from the 15th to 19th centuries.

Though only three are women, the four-person curatorial team for the 2020 Berlin Biennale has stated, “we identify as female because we feel the rule of everything by overconfident-macho voices must end.”

Hilma af Klint, Group X, No. 1, Altarpiece (Grupp X, nr 1, Altarbild), 1915; from Altarpieces (Altarbilder); Oil and metal leaf on canvas, 237.5 x 179.5 cm; The Hilma af Klint Foundation, Stockholm; Photo by Albin Dahlström, the Moderna Museet, Stockholm

Hilma af Klint, Group X, No. 1, Altarpiece, 1915; On view at the Guggenheim Museum

Priscilla Frank of The Huffington Post  discusses the sometimes troubling associations drawn between female creativity and the occult. In her investigation, she examines Amazon’s recent remake of the 1977 horror film Suspiria and Hilma af Klint’s current Guggenheim retrospective Paintings for the Future.

German video artist Hito Steyerl wins the 2019 Käthe Kollwitz Prize.

Mickalene Thomas discusses the way photography became the “center of her practice” at a luncheon honoring the accomplishments of women in film and photography.

Nan Goldin and Catherine Opie are among several artists selling signed prints in a five-day sale organized by Magnum Photos. Proceeds from Goldin’s sales will go to her activist group P.A.I.N. (Prescription Addiction Intervention Now).

BAMcinématek in Brooklyn is presenting a film series highlighting the “overlooked work of women in the domestic space.”

Shows We Want to See

Betye Saar, Extreme Times Call for Extreme Heroines, 2017, Mixed media and wood figure on vintage washboard, clock, Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, California

Betye Saar, Extreme Times Call for Extreme Heroines, 2017; On view at the New-York Historical Society

Betye Saar: Keepin’ It Clean goes on view at the New-York Historical Society today. The 92-year-old black feminist icon hopes the exhibition will convince America to “clean up its act” regarding politics and actions.

The Guardian profiles a new exhibition on view at England’s Nottingham Contemporary. Still I Rise: Feminisms, Gender, Resistance features 40 women and non-binary artists whose work examines the ways in which women combat oppression. In an effort to present a fresh perspective on the topic, the curators of the show have “ditched typical exhibiting systems and hierarchies to allow feminist and intersectional queer thought to direct everything from the ground up.”

Patricia Cronin, Aphrodite, and the Lure of Antiquity reimagines classical mythology through a distinctly feminist lens. Part of the Tampa Museum of Art’s Conversations with the Collection series, the show is based around artist Patricia Cronin’s encounters with museum’s holdings of ancient Aphrodite imagery. The result is an exhibition that “erases the bias of the original myth and replaces it with an icon absolutely appropriate for contemporary women.”

—Becca Gross is the fall 2018 publications and marketing/communications intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: October 26, 2018

The New Yorker profiles photographer Martine Gutierrez, who compiled her latest collection of self-portraits into a 146-page fictional fashion magazine called “Indigenous Woman.”

Gutierrez’s witty publication plays with concepts drawn from art history and pop culture, resulting in “a critique of colonialism that’s ready to party.”

Front-Page Femmes

The queer women artists collective fierce pussy has published a free downloadable poster compelling people to vote in the upcoming election. “TIME SENSITIVE: DISSEMINATE!!!” their website urges.

Hyperallergic discusses Rockhaven: A History of Interiors, an artful anthology of essays themed around the first feminist psychiatric institution in the US.

Artsy presents a short film highlighting the work and influence of artist Carrie Mae Weems.

Julia Louis-Dreyfus became the sixth woman to win the Mark Twain Prize, considered the highest honor in comedy.

The National Gallery in London released a video interview with the writers of It’s True, It’s True, It’s True, a new play inspired by Renaissance artist Artemisia Gentileschi, whose Lucretia was auctioned at a record-breaking $2.1 million sale on Tuesday.

NPR interviews Jill Soloway about their hit show Transparent and their new memoir She Wants It: Desire, Power and Toppling the Patriarchy.

MOCA Los Angeles has reinstalled Barbara Kruger’s famed mural Untitled (Questions), originally commissioned in 1989.

Feeling nostalgic? Photographer Janette Beckman worked with today’s most influential graffiti artists to reimagine her archival images of iconic hip-hop stars.

The podcast In Other Words chats with curators Cecilia Alemani and Ingrid Schaffner about their work in the art world.

Shows We Want to See

Now on view at the New Orleans Museum of Art, Mildred Thompson: Against the Grain is the first solo showing of the artist’s work in more than 30 years.

IMMA in Dublin opens a major retrospective on Mary Swanzy, a historically under-recognized painter whom they hope to “reinstate as a Modern Irish Master.”

Paintings from the Future, a retrospective of the spiritual and abstract work of Hilma af Klint, is on view at the Guggenheim Museum. Ben Davis of Artnet News dubs af Klint “the perfect artist for our technologically disrupted time,” claiming that her colorful canvases will make you “rethink what it means to be modern.”

Four decades of work by photographer Laurie Simmons is on view at the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth in Texas in Big Camera/Little Camera. Critic Linda Yablonsky says, “This game-changing year feels exactly right for Simmons as a feminist, social commentator, and above all, a colourist.”

—Becca Gross is the fall 2018 publications and marketing/communications intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

5 Questions with Holly Laws

The fifth installment of NMWA’s Women to Watch exhibition series, Heavy Metal, is presented by the museum and participating national and international outreach committees. The exhibition showcases contemporary artists working in metal, including those who create sculpture, jewelry, and conceptual forms. Heavy Metal engages with the fluidity between “fine” art, design, and craft, whose traditional definitions are rooted in gender discrimination.

Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018
Artist: Holly Laws
Nominating committee: Arkansas Committee / Consulting curator: Matthew Smith, Arkansas Art Center

Holly Laws with her works in Heavy Metal; Photo: Sarah Baker

1. What do you like best about working with metal?

I am intrigued by the almost infinite variety of processes and techniques associated with metal, as well as the range of metals available to the contemporary sculptor. From fine gold beaten into delicate sheets for leafing to molten iron for casting, one could spend a lifetime discovering new ways of working.

 2. How do your works on view in Heavy Metal fit into your larger body of work?

For the past several years I have been focusing on immersive installations with interconnected objects, using recorded sound and dialogue to explore the repercussions of human actions and interactions. These two works are metaphors for our current sociopolitical climate, and were part of a larger body of work exploring the divisive state of affairs in American politics and the collective interpersonal polarization, splintering, and miscommunication.

 3. As an artist, what is your most essential tool? Why?

Because I employ so many different materials and methods of construction in my work, I don’t have just one essential tool.  When I’m extruding rubber, my most essential tool is my miniature precision caulking gun. When I’m sewing rawhide, it would be my Japanese screw punch, and when I’m growing alum crystals it would be my kitchen stove and a large enameled pot. This is probably why my house and studio are packed to the rafters with miscellaneous tools and materials.

Laws_Placeholder_02

Holly Laws, Placeholder, 2017; Cast bronze, found ironing board, and plywood pedestal, 39 1/2 x 54 x 26 in.; Courtesy of the artist

Laws_Placeholder_06

Holly Laws, Placeholder (detail), 2017; Cast bronze, found ironing board, and plywood pedestal, 39 1/2 x 54 x 26 in.; Courtesy of the artist

Laws_Three_Eastern_Bluebirds_02

Holly Laws, Three Eastern Bluebirds, 2017; Copper, steel, mahogany, found ironing board, and plywood pedestal, 50 1/2 x 60 x 28 in.; Courtesy of the artist

Laws_Three_Eastern_Bluebirds_01

Holly Laws, Three Eastern Bluebirds, 2017; Copper, steel, mahogany, found ironing board, and plywood pedestal, 50 1/2 x 60 x 28 in.; Courtesy of the artist

 4. Who or what are your sources of inspiration and influence?

All the women in my family who came before me are a huge influence. My father’s mother tatted. My mother’s mother sewed clothing for her five daughters and herself. My aunts sewed, did needlework, Ikebana flower arranging, and many other creative pursuits that required a good eye for design and fine motor skills. There were never idle hands. I grew up with everyone around me making.

 5. What is the last exhibition you saw that you had a strong reaction to?

Women Artists in Paris, 1850–1900 at the Clark Art Institute in Williamstown, Massachussetts is great. The exhibition was a stark reminder of the struggles women artists have faced and all the obstacles they needed to overcome to study and to carve out a place for themselves in a male-dominated art world. These women were trailblazers, and marveling at the fruits of their labors was uplifting and empowering.

Visit the museum to see Heavy Metal, on view through September 16, 2018. Hear from more of the featured artists through the online Heavy Metal Audio Guide.