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.

Artist Spotlight: Alejandra Prieto

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: Alejandra Prieto
Nominating committee: Chile Committee / Consulting curator: Gloria Cortés Aliaga, Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes

Alejandra Prieto with Pyrite Mirror (2018) in Heavy Metal; Photo: NMWA

Alejandra Prieto’s Pyrite Mirror (2018), on view in Heavy Metal, is over seven feet in height. The metal mirror is made from pyrite—often called “fool’s gold”—resin, and wood. She based her work on mirrors made by the ancient peoples of Central and South America. Because of this connection to the past, Prieto says that her mirror “functions as a contemporary ruin that activates the past in the present, thus making visible the transience of our present time.”

The artist has made several versions of Pyrite Mirror, and each has a unique web of cracks and imperfections. They interrupt the reflection of the viewer observing the piece, and draw attention to the materiality of the mirror. Often, when looking at mirrors, viewers can only focus on their reflection, or the details of the object, one at a time. But with Prieto’s mirrors, the viewer sees both at once. Indeed, the work forces the viewer to confront the mirror as an object, instead of merely examining their own image.

Alejandra Prieto, Pyrite Mirror, 2018; Pyrite, resin, wood, and metal.; Photo: NMWA

The artist often uses coal in her sculptures, and she has also created mirrors out of this material, which was also used for mirrors in ancient cultures. Her coal and pyrite mirrors likewise encourage contemplation on the history and nature of the mirror—now a ubiquitous item, it was once an uncommon luxury. Her other coal sculptures of everyday objects include a chandelier, sneakers, gloves, a belt, shoes, and a carpet. Like her mirrors, these carvings display the artist’s incredible attention to detail and are slightly reflective. Prieto’s surprising sculptures make the viewer reconsider humble materials and aesthetics, as well as the human history of crafting and using objects.

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.

—Nana Gongadze is the 2018 summer publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

5 Questions with Venetia Dale

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: Venetia Dale
Nominating committee: Massachusetts State Committee / Consulting curator: Emily Zilber, editor, Metalsmith (formerly of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Venetia Dale; Photo: Daniel Portal

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

Pewter was commonplace in colonial homes in the form of practical objects like plates and tankards. Today, pewter is often used to make souvenir spoons, wizard figurines, and other trinkets. I am constantly negotiating this associated space, as kitsch and fantasy meet the colonial American home, when I am making my work. I love both the reverence and sense of play that these associations carry.

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

The works Touchmarks: Made in India (2009), As it Comes to Bear (2015), and Between: Kitchenaid Mixer (2017) share a common thread. I took common-but-overlooked objects (Styrofoam inserts, keychains, and plastic baskets) and translated them through material and form. These works, like most I create, use a similar making methodology of fragmenting an object, then molding and casting it in pewter. Once I have a good stockpile of castings, I cut, piece, and solder them together.

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

My three-wheel vintage Craftsman bandsaw is my most useful tool. It expedites my process by making quick, straight cuts to my castings. I am fascinated by the way people adapt objects to fit their needs. When I bought this bandsaw on Craigslist, it was outfitted with a DIY motor taken from a treadmill. I fell in love with two disparate objects of use becoming one.

Dale_Venetia_asitcomestobeardetail

Venetia Dale, As It Comes to Bear (detail), 2015; Teddy bear keychains cast in pewter, found keychains, and pewter, 38 x 42 in.; Courtesy of the artist

Dale_Venetia_asitcomestobear

Venetia Dale, As It Comes to Bear, 2015; Teddy bear keychains cast in pewter, found keychains, and pewter, 38 x 42 in.; Courtesy of the artist

Dale_V_kitchenaidmixer

Venetia Dale, Between: Kitchenaid Mixer, 2017; Styrofoam cast in pewter, two elements, each 29 x 21 x 8 in.; Courtesy of the artist

Dale_V_touchmarksback

Venetia Dale, Touchmarks: Made in India, 2009; Fragments of plastic baskets cast in pewter, 22 x 22 x 17 in.; Courtesy of the artist; Photo by Adam Krauth

Dale_V_touchmarksdetail

Venetia Dale, Touchmarks: Made in India (detail), 2009; Fragments of plastic baskets cast in pewter, 22 x 22 x 17 in.; Courtesy of the artist; Photo by Adam Krauth

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

I am drawn to what people leave behind and what those traces can tell us about our relationships to things and to one another. My work relies on things people use out of delight, need, or convenience. Sometimes tracing one’s habits of buying and throwing away—or imagining why something is made, and how—guide my work.

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

In 2013, I visited Ann Hamilton’s installation the event of a thread at the Armory in New York. Hamilton took a spacious drill hall and turned it into a place where intimate yet connected interactions occurred. Objects became facilitators that connected the viewers. It was unexpectedly moving, and that is likely why it has stayed with me.

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.

5 Questions with Alice Hope

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: Alice Hope
Nominating committee: Greater New York Committee / Consulting curator: Shannon Stratton, Museum of Arts and Design

Alice Hope with her untitled work in Heavy Metal; Photo: Sarah Baker

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

What I love most about working with metal is the material’s reflectivity. Because I use thousands of metal parts to make my work, there are thousands of points for light to potentially bounce. Consequently, the works notably change, as the light changes.

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

I like my work to appear as if it grew itself, as if the materials reproduced and multiplied. This illusion is suggested in some of my installations; the materials seeming to colonize and take over space. The works in Heavy Metal attempt to suggest this colonizing, within the object or grid.

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

I’m informed by the layers and levels of seeing. These days my most essential tool is my magnifying glasses, but research and dialogue also intensify my seeing.

010_Alice Hope_June2017_0233

Alice Hope, Untitled, 2017; Steel ball chain, used fishing tackle, and found net, 36 x 30 x 30 in.; Private collection; Photo by Jenny Gorman

005_Hope_Feb2017_9609

Alice Hope, Untitled, 2016; Used Budweiser tabs, 6 ft. diameter; Private collection; Photo by Jenny Gorman

027_AliceHope_May2016_4531

Alice Hope, Untitled (detail), 2016; Used Budweiser tabs, 6 ft. diameter; Private collection; Photo by Jenny Gorman

Alice Hope-1051flipPanel

Alice Hope, Untitled, 2012; Aluminum ball chain and perforated metal, 6 x 6 ft.; Private collection; Photo by Jenny Gorman

Alice Hope Detail-1032

Alice Hope, Untitled (detail), 2012; Aluminum ball chain and perforated metal, 6 x 6 ft.; Private collection; Photo by Jenny Gorman

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

Unquantifiable quantities inspire me. I’m deeply moved when looking into a Gaylord box filled with used can tabs, when seeing schools of fish or swarms of insects, or when I’m part of mid-day pedestrian traffic. Perceiving overwhelming numbers of things likens to experiences of the infinite.

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

Laurie Anderson’s show at Guild Hall literally had me questioning the ground I stand on. Her work makes me rethink spatial awareness like no other.

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.

5 Questions with Petronella Eriksson

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.

Petronella Eriksson; Photo courtesy of the artist

Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018
Artist: Petronella Eriksson
Nominating committee: Sweden Committee / Consulting curator: Inger Wästberg, independent curator

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

I fell in love with metal as a child, after finding a copper cable that had blown into my parents’ garden. I like its plasticity. Metal is almost like clay, but harder and more precise.

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

Plant growth has always inspired me. These works are no exception. The containers of the sake pot with cups (2017) and of my Water Lily (2013) are inspired by the fleshy, juicy fruit of yellow water lilies. I added airy, three-dimensional lines, like those found in trees and tendrils.

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

When working with metal you never use just one tool. Some of my most essential tools are my goldsmith saw, my rough titanium-coated file, and my favorite light planishing hammer. But, as an artist, it is all in the eye.

necklace_Water_lily_silver_ lemon_quartz_petronella_erikssonphotograp_ Christian_Habetzeder.

Petronella Eriksson, Water Lily, 2013; Necklace with silver and lemon quartz, 5 1/8 x 15 3/4 x 10 5/8 in.; Courtesy of the artist; Photo by Christian Habetzeder

SakeJugwithCups_silver_petronella_eriksson

Petronella Eriksson, Sake pot with cups, 2017; Silver, 6 x 6 1/4 x 11 3/8 in. (pot); Courtesy of the artist

Jug _The_forest_Silver_wood_Petronella_Eriksson _2_

Petronella Eriksson, The Forest, 2017; Vessel with silver and wood branch, 4 1/2 x 20 x 2 3/4 in.; Courtesy of the artist

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

In my work I investigate the place of silver in everyday life. For me, the utility of objects is intimately associated with the artistic experience. Function is important. When it comes to the shape of my works, I’m inspired by plants and the way they move, and the way metal really wants to move in the same way.

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

It was really not an exhibition at all. I visited one of the few old-growth forests left in Sweden with a skilled botanist. The forest, untouched by humans, is awe-inspiring.

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.