Art Fix Friday: November 8, 2019

A collage image of a young girl wearing a crown and boxing glove, facing the left of the page. She wears a striped dress with two bows and has no legs.

Deborah Roberts, Glass Castles, 2017; On view at the Tang Teaching Museum at Skidmore College as part of the Feminist Art Coalition project

The Feminist Art Coalition has coordinated with more than 50 museums and institutions across the U.S. to feature feminist art in anticipation of the 2020 presidential election. The programming includes retrospectives, surveys, symposiums, and performances focused on feminist perspectives and concerns.

“The whole project is an attempt to be strategic and collaborative and collective in our institutional attempts to create a strong cultural network…in order to inspire civic engagement and critical discourse and participation in the fall of 2020,” said Apsara DiQuinzio, curator of modern and contemporary art at the UC Berkeley Art Museum.

Front Page Femmes

A traveling Yayoi Kusama retrospective in Europe will open in September 2020 at the Gropius Bau in Berlin.

The New York Times Magazine questions whether gender will always be an inherent part of the artist-genius trope in an article examining the lives and careers of Celia Paul and Cecily Brown.

The Dallas Opera and the Dallas Symphony are hosting networking gatherings for women in classical music to challenge the male-dominated world of composers and conductors.

Hyperallergic reviews At the still point of the turning world, there is the dance at the Sursock Museum in Beirut, Lebanon, which presents Helen Khal’s influence on the Beirut art scene in the 1960s and ’70s.

The Guardian reviews Radical Women: Jessica Dismorr and Her Contemporaries at the Pallant House Gallery in Chichester, U.K., which traces the career of the suffragist and artist.

A black and white self-portrait of Abigail Heyman, her face visible in a bathroom mirror against a dirty concrete wall, the counter littered with various bottles and makeup.

Abigail Heyman, Self-Portrait, 1971

The New Yorker examines Abigail Heyman’s feminist photographs of women’s lives. “Heyman’s work is the perfect illustration of ‘the personal is political,’” says photo historian and curator Clara Bouveresse.

The Art Newspaper discusses the need for museums to engage with Indigenous peoples: “Decolonisation is not simply a question of returning bodies that have been stolen, but also restoring the Native communities that continue to survive settler invasion.”

LACMA’s ninth annual Art + Film gala celebrated renowned artist Betye Saar in conjunction with the museum’s current exhibition Betye Saar: Call and Response.

Artnet News interviews art dealer Kate Shin and artist Sun K. Kwak about their non-traditional journeys into the art world.

Painter Monika Baer was awarded Berlin’s prestigious Hannah Höch Award, and Natascha Sadr Haghighian won the Hannah Höch Förderpreis.

Exhibitions We Want to See

Bridget Riley, a retrospective of the 88-year-old abstract painter’s career, is open at the Hayward Gallery in London. The Guardian called the show “seductive, erotic, piercing, tense” and noted that “the edginess of the early works gives way to calmer, richer, more contemplative works, a blaze of red gathering speed in a multi-panel painting, the delight of the great outdoors lassoed in whiplash curves.”

Artist Bridget Riley stands smiling, in a navy jumpsuit, in front of one of her vibrant abstract works.

Bridget Riley at the Hayward Gallery with her 2012 work Rajasthan; Photograph: Guy Bell/Rex/Shutterstock

At the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, Vivian Suter presents the artist’s layered and suspended canvases. Suter works closely with the natural environment surrounding her home and studio in Panajachel, Guatemala, often moving her vividly painted canvases between the indoors and outdoors and exposing them to the climate.

—Hannah Southern is the fall 2019 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: November 1, 2019

Female Old Masters are finally receiving their due. An Artsy feature summarizes the recent wave of exhibitions, initiatives, and auction popularity of 16th- to 18th-century women artists.

A composite of two self portraits from female Old Masters. On the left is Lavinia Fontana's Self-Portrait at the Spinet in which the artist wears a regal purple dress and sits at the piano, behind her in another room an easel stands, she stares directly at the viewer. On the right is Sofonisba Anguissola's Self-Portrait at the Easel in which the artist is pictured from the waist up wearing black, with paintbrushes in hand, staring straight at the viewer. The painting she is working on pictures a woman and a naked small child.

Left to right: Lavinia Fontana, Self-Portrait at the Spinet, 1577; Sofonisba Anguissola, Self-Portrait at the Easel, ca. 1556–57; Courtesy of the Museo del Prado

Women Artists of the Dutch Golden Age is now on view at NMWA. In Madrid, A Tale of Two Women Painters: Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana opened at the Museo del Prado as part of the institution’s 200th-anniversary programing (featuring a work on loan from NMWA). At the National Gallery in London, an exhibition on Artemisia Gentileschi opens in April 2020.

Front Page Femmes

A Fantastic Sunset (1970) by Alma Thomas will be sold at auction on November 13. Christie’s estimates the circular rainbow burst will sell between $2.2 and $2.8 million, more than double Thomas’s current auction record.

ArtForum interviewed Kiki Smith as she prepared to travel to France for a survey of her works at the Monnaie de Paris, on view until February 9, 2020.

The Royal New Zealand Ballet’s 2020 season will only feature work by women choreographers. “It is important that artistic directors give talent the platform and opportunities, regardless of gender,” said director Patricia Barker.

Artsy profiled five of Yoko Ono’s most iconic works, including Cut Piece (1964) and Museum of Modern [F]art (1971).

Hyperallergic interviewed femme and non-binary artists to learn about their experiences in the male-dominated world of street art.

A photograph of South African artist Faith XVVII’s mural "Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto" (2018) painted on a building on Skid Row in Los Angeles. It is a grayscale rendering of hands folded across a chest overlaid with geometric shapes.

South African artist Faith XVVII’s installation Salus Populi Suprema Lex Esto (2018) on Skid Row in Los Angeles; The artist established herself in street art in her boyfriend’s graffiti crew while waitressing and working as a graphic designer

In an interview on the Kojo Nnamdi Show, Lynora Williams, director of NMWA’s Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center, and artists Malaka Gharib and Carolyn Toye spoke about NMWA’s upcoming exhibition DMV Color.

Doris Salcedo won the first annual Nomura Award, the world’s largest prize for contemporary art. She will use the $1 million prize to continue her “Acts of Mourning” installations, memorializing those murdered in Colombia’s civil war.

In solidarity with the Kurdish people, German artist Hito Steyerl demanded that Germany stop showing her work as part of cultural diplomacy; the artist condemns her home country’s complicity with Turkey’s military offensive.

The New Yorker examines the erasure of women from the early history of Hollywood. “By the 1930s, we find a powerful case of…forgetting that so many women had even held the posts of director and producer,” says historian Antonia Lant.

Colossal profiles the wax sculptures of Rebecca Stevenson, featuring “classical busts and seemingly deceased animals…surrounded by ribboning cascades of plants.”

Shows We Want to See

Betsabeé Romero unveiled her new site-specific installation An Altar in Their Memory/Un Altar en Su Memoria at the Latino Arts Project in Dallas, Texas, on October 29.

Artist Berenice Bing lays on the wooden floor of her studio in the late 1950s, resting her head in her hands; in the background some of her paintings are visible, as well as a rocking chair

Berenice Bing in her studio, late 1950s; Photo by Charles Snyder

At the Sonoma Valley Museum of Art through January 5, 2020, BINGO: The Life and Art of Bernice Bing is the first retrospective of the San Francisco native, community activist, and artist. Bing, a Chinese American, reclaimed Abstract Expressionism, redefining its connections to non-Western philosophies and aesthetics.

Julie Mehretu, the artist’s most comprehensive retrospective, opens November 3 at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. The Wall Street Journal Magazine profiled Mehretu last month in preparation.

—Hannah Southern is the fall 2019 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: October 25, 2019

In a New York Times feature, NMWA is profiled along with five other museums that are addressing gender inequality and diversity through programming, collections, and leadership. Current exhibitions at NMWA, the National Portrait Gallery, the National Archives Museum, the Library of Congress, the National Museum of African Art, and the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery all highlight women or work by women artists.

Rania Matar, Rayven, Miami Beach, Florida, from the series “SHE,” 2019; Courtesy of the artist and Robert Klein Gallery; © Rania Matar; On view at NMWA in Live Dangerously

“It is essential for cultural institutions to take substantial and systematic steps to address gender inequity and diversity…so that this conversation moves beyond a single moment,” says NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling.

Front Page Femmes

Yayoi Kusama has collaborated with balloon specialists on Love Flies up to the Sky, a balloon for this year’s Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Americans for the Arts has honored Luchita Hurtado with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Arts Awards.

Hyperallergic reviews Ahree Lee’s exhibition Pattern : Code, on view at Women’s Center for Creative Work, which explores the connection between weaving and computer programming.

Artsy profiles glass artist Deborah Czeresko, who won Netflix’s reality show Blown Away creating feminist glass artworks.

The oldest existing Last Supper painting by a woman is on public view for the first time at the Santa Maria Novella Museum in Florence; Plautilla Nelli, a Renaissance-era nun, painted the scene 450 years ago for the Santa Caterina da Siena convent.

South African singer Brown Lindiwe Mkhize in the role of Rafiki in Julie Taymor’s production of The Lion King; Photograph by Brinkoff and Mogenburg

The Guardian interviews Julie Taymor, director and designer of the musical The Lion King. “Everybody acknowledged that the film’s story should be fleshed out. There were no good female roles…I knew that Rafiki, the storyteller, should be female,” Taymor said.

The Los Angeles Times interviews Shirin Neshat about her career and new solo show, I Will Greet the Sun Again, at the Broad Museum.

The New York Times interviews choreographer Twyla Tharp about her new book Keep it Moving: Lessons for the Rest of Your Life. “After we terrorize ourselves with self-doubt, our only relief is to get moving again,” says Tharp.

The Art Matters podcast examines the history of witches in art, tracing the shifting narrative from old hag to beautiful temptress.

Shows We Want to See

Betye Saar, Black Girl’s Window, 1969; Saar’s deeply autobiographical picture alludes to her African American heritage along with her interest in mysticism and astrology; Photo: Museum of Modern Art

Betye Saar: The Legends of Black Girl’s Window is on view at the newly renovated Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition explores the relationship between her experimental print practice and the artistic language Saar debuted in her famous 1969 work Black Girl’s Window. The New York Times reviewed the “scholarly study of a specific period, anchored by MoMA’s recent acquisition of a group of 42 of her works on paper.”

A Tale of Two Women Painters: Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana is on view at the Museo Nacional del Prado in Madrid. Hyperallergic dives into the history of Bologna to examine why women artists like Lavinia Fontana thrived in the region during the 17th century.

At the Pérez Art Museum in Miami Teresita Fernández: Elemental is a comprehensive survey of the artist’s work. Fernández uses landscape to unpack colonial histories and binaries.

—Hannah Southern is the fall 2019 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: October 18, 2019

Opening tomorrow at the Broad Museum, Shirin Neshat: I Will Greet the Sun Again is the largest exhibition to date of the acclaimed artist’s 30-year career. Taking its title from a poem by Iranian poet Forugh Farrokhzad, the exhibition presents more than 230 photographs and eight immersive video installations. It offers a rare glimpse into Neshat’s artistic journey, exploring topics of exile, displacement, and identity with beauty, dynamic formal invention, and poetic grace.

Shirin Neshat, Land of Dreams video still, 2019; Photo courtesy of the Broad Museum

Shirin Neshat, Land of Dreams video still, 2019; Photo courtesy of the Broad Museum

The Art Newspaper interviews Neshat about the power of political satire and the similarities she has observed between Iran and the U.S.

Front Page Femmes

For the first time in almost 30 years, Booker Prize judges broke their own rules and awarded the literary prize to two recipients: Margaret Atwood and Bernardine Evaristo.

Artsy remembers British Surrealist artist Ithell Colquhoun, who used themes of the occult to explore gender within her artwork.

The New Yorker reviews Rosine Mbakam’s first documentary feature, The Two Faces of a Bamiléké Woman, which “reveal[s] Mbakam to be one of the foremost filmmakers of creative nonfiction.”

Artnet News interviews Turner Prize nominee Tai Shani about the prohibitive costs and inaccessibility of performance art.

Joanna Wells, Study of Fanny Eaton, 1861; On view in Pre-Raphaelite Sisters at the National Portrait Gallery, London; Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund

Joanna Wells, Study of Fanny Eaton, 1861; On view in Pre-Raphaelite Sisters at the National Portrait Gallery, London; Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund

London’s National Portrait Gallery has opened Pre-Raphaelite Sisters, which highlights the contributions of women associated with the movement as artists, models, and family. “I would like to re-write the narrative of the Pre-Raphaelite women being exploited,” said curator Jan Marsh in an Artnet News interview.

The New York Times remembers pioneering animator Lotte Reiniger, who, during her 60-year career, made more than 70 films out of hand-cut paper silhouettes.

Hyperallergic profiles 98-year-old artist Luchita Hurtado and looks closely at her solo exhibition I Live I Die I Will Be Reborn, currently on view at London’s Serpentine Gallery.

The Guardian profiles the Museum of Modern Art’s $450 million renovation and collection reinstallation ahead of its October 21 reopening; the new installation spotlights artworks by women and artists of color.

The New Yorker profiles Joni Mitchell and her new book, Morning Glory on the Vine, a collection of early poems and drawings.

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem honored Judy Chicago at the Hammer Museum’s Gala in the Garden.

ARTnews interviews Seoul-based multimedia artist Minouk Lim about censorship and marginalization in the art world.

Shows We Want to See

Opening today at the Monnaie de Paris, Kiki Smith features more than 100 of the artist’s works. The exhibition reflects major themes, such as the female figure, that have reoccurred in Smith’s practice and the wide variety of mediums she has explored.

Kiki Smith, Rapture, 2011; Photo by Richard Max-Tremblay; © Kiki Smith, courtesy of Pace Gallery

Kiki Smith, Rapture, 2011; Photo by Richard Max-Tremblay; © Kiki Smith, courtesy of Pace Gallery

Pat Steir: Color Wheel opens October 24 at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. The installation of new paintings will create an immersive color wheel around the perimeter of the museum’s second-floor galleries. ARTnews interviewed Steir in July while she prepared for the exhibition.

Adriana Corral: Unearthed/Desenterrado is open at the Boulder Museum of Contemporary Art. Corral’s minimalist sculptural work explores the concept of human rights through work that addresses current and historic rights violations.

—Hannah Southern is the fall 2019 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: October 11, 2019

Clockwise from top: Lorna Simpson, Simone Leigh, and Amy Sherald; Photo by Adrienne Raquel for the New York Times

Simone Leigh, Amy Sherald, and Lorna Simpson discuss the growing institutional visibility of black women artists in a New York Times interview. The three artists talk about experience, audience, and representation in the visual art world.

“In order to think about the artists working today, you also have to think about the work of [those] who came before. Yes, this is an important moment, but it reflects the previous changes that were made within institutions,” Simpson said. “We have to also see this not just as a moment of visibility for black artists but also one of historically white institutions finally dragging themselves into the 21st century.”


Front-Page Femmes

The Washington Post closely examines five artworks from Judy Chicago’s The End: A Meditation on Death and Extinction, currently on view at NMWA.

A sculpture by Elizabeth Catlett recently sold for $389,000, breaking the late artist’s previous auction records; Catlett’s work is currently featured in the acclaimed traveling exhibition Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power.

Slate profiles Lauren Gunderson, “the most popular playwright in America,” before her first New York City premiere, The Half-Life of Marie Curie.

Artsy compiles three lessons on how to be an artist from archived interviews with Lee Krasner.

Jill Freedman in 2015; Photo by Maureen Cavanagh, New York Times

Documentary photographer Jill Freedman died on October 9, at the age of 79. The New York Times remembers the “adventurous photographer who immersed herself for months at a time in the lives of street cops, firefighters, circus performers and other tribes she felt were misunderstood.”

Polish author Olga Tokarczuk has been awarded the 2018 Nobel Prize in literature; the Nobel Committee postponed the ceremony due to a scandal. Tokarczuk is only the 15th woman to win the Nobel for literature, out of 116 laureates.

The Chicago Tribune highlights the Art Institute of Chicago’s feminist moment: this fall, nearly every temporary exhibition space in the Modern Wing will feature work by women artists.

Frieze reviews Carmen Maria Machado’s memoir In the Dream House, which “tries to account for the vast chasm between the fantasy of a queer life, the reality of the one she once lived, and how this might play out in the reality of the normative, heterosexual imagination.”

Artsy investigates the devastating effects of the student debt crisis on young artists.

Simone Biles won her 22nd world championship medal, breaking the world record for women’s gymnastics; Biles is one medal away from tying the men’s record.

Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power, 2018, Installation view, Fowler Museum at UCLA; Courtesy of the artist and Honor Fraser, Los Angeles; Photo © Monica Nouwens


Shows We Want to See

Meleko Mokgosi: Bread, Butter, and Power will open on October 19 at the University of Chicago’s Smart Museum of Art. The 20-panel installation explores the effects of democracy, gender, and labor in the context of southern Africa.

Natalie Ball: Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Snake, now on view at the Seattle Art Museum, challenges the dominant misrepresentations of Native American identity. Art & Object reviews the exhibition that “points out the absurdity of our assumptions [about Native Americans].”

—Hannah Southern is the fall 2019 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: October 4, 2019

Kara Walker, Fons Americanus; Photo by: Charlotte Hadden for the New York Times

Kara Walker has unveiled her new commission for Tate Modern: a towering counterpart to Buckingham Palace’s Victoria Memorial. The classically inspired fountain, Fons Americanus, turns the traditional monument to empire on its head by exploring the interconnected and violent histories of Africa, Europe, and America.

In a New York Times article, Walker discussed how her art responds to imperialism beyond the United States: “I’m talking about power dynamics…universally, and also in the New World, or in the world that was created by the imperial project.”

Front-Page Femmes

Washingtonian Magazine named NMWA director Susan Fisher Sterling one of the city’s most powerful women.

Artist Stephanie Syjuco speaks to Art21 about how textiles can conjure up America’s unsettling past.

The Gallery at Windsor in Florida will host an exhibition of Rose Wylie’s artwork in collaboration with the U.K.’s Royal Academy. This will be the partnership’s first exhibition of work by a woman artist.

Juxtapoz examines the vivid paintings, prints, and ceramics of Anna Valdez before the opening of her new exhibition at New York City’s Hashimoto Contemporary.

The Getty Museum has acquired artwork by photographer Laura Aguilar following her career retrospective.

The New York Times remembers Abstract Expressionist Mary Abbott who died in late August at age 98.

Mary Abbott in her New York studio in about 1950; Photo credit: McCormick Gallery

Hyperallergic reviews Sara VanDerBeek’s new print series, Women & Museums, which examines how women occupy institutional spaces.

The Art Newspaper interviews painter Elizabeth Peyton on her new solo show at London’s National Portrait Gallery; she is the first artist to have the works in her show interspersed throughout the gallery’s historical collections.

ArtNews reviews artist Nicole Eisenman’s sculpture Procession at the 2019 Whitney Biennial.

Jenny Holzer’s upcoming collaboration with Creative Time, a public light projection on Rockefeller Center titled VIGIL, will address the gun violence epidemic.

Hyperallergic profiles Vietnamese-American artist Cindy Trinh, whose documentary photography captures the Asian and Asian-American experience through food, labor, and culture.

Great Women Artists, a new anthology from Phaidon, presents five centuries of female creativity through more than 400 compelling artworks.

Shows We Want to See

Agnes Denes: Absolutes and Intermediates opens October 9 at The Shed in New York City. The exhibition will include three newly commissioned works including an architectural model that aspires to turn a Queens landfill into a forest of trees to address the area’s public health problems. Artforum profiled the conceptual artist in preparation for the retrospective.  

Agnes Denes, The Living Pyramid, 2015; Grasses, flowers, vegetables, earth, wood; Installation view, Kassel, 2017; From Documenta 14; Photo by: Mathias Voelzke

Caitlin McCormack’s Granny opens October 5 at Hashimoto Contemporary in San Francisco. The exhibition explores “the intersection between crochet, gender, and age, viewed through the prism of remembrance.” Juxtapoz interviewed the artist about her distancing from the term “crochet artist.”

The Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth will open Robyn O’Neil: WE, THE MASSES on October 18. The survey spans the past 20 years of O’Neil’s career and includes multi-paneled drawings, graphite on paper, collages, and the animated film WE, THE MASSES (2011).

—Hannah Southern is the fall 2019 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: September 27, 2019

A joint investigation by artnet News and In Other Words found artwork by women artists constitutes only 11 percent of acquisitions and 14 percent of exhibitions at 26 major American museums. While museums outwardly project a narrative of inclusion and diversity, these numbers reflect a troubling status quo and a declining acquisition rate of work by women artists to permanent collections.

The classic Guerrilla Girls poster work which features a reclined nude woman reminiscent of art historical depictions, wearing a Guerrilla Mask with the text "Do Women Have to be Naked to Get into the Met. Museum?"

Guerrilla Girls, Do Women Have to be Naked to Get into the Met. Museum?, ca. 1989; Courtesy of Cooper Hewitt

The growing series of articles explore mechanisms of institutional misogyny and strategies to increase representation. In a response published by artnet, artist Adrian Piper challenged the media outlet to examine its own role, and that of journalists elsewhere, in perpetuating this dynamic.

Front-Page Femmes

Judy Chicago will not slow down: adding environmental activism to her feminist oeuvre, and pursuing what the Washington Post termed “a courageous countercurrent to the mainstream art world,” Chicago has opened three exhibitions since her 80th birthday in July—including The End: A Meditation on Death & Extinction at NMWA.

Kara Walker speaks with the Guardian about her upcoming Turbine Hall commission at Tate Modern.

MoMA PS1 has announced it will host the first major U.S. survey of French feminist artist Niki de Saint Phalle this spring.

Marina Abramović speaks with the New York Times about her first exhibition in her home of Belgrade, Serbia, in almost 50 years.

Hugette Caland, the Lebanese feminist artist known for abstract interpretations of liberated women, has died at age 88.

Ms. Magazine reviews NMWA’s current photography exhibition Live Dangerously, which explores the relationship between women and nature.

A dreamy underwater photo in which a blonde women wrapped in white sinks/floats surrounded by the immersive blue of the ocean.

Janaina Tschäpe, Naiad 2, 2004; Cibachrome print; On loan from Gaspar Muniz; On view at NMWA in Live Dangerously

Hyperallergic reviews Caroline Hancock’s new book about postwar curator Joanna Drew in the male-dominated art world of Great Britain.

The Met Breuer’s new exhibition Home is a Foreign Place features artwork from Latin America, Asia, and North Africa alongside postwar American Art, considering modern art in a global context of decolonization and displacement.

The Dallas Morning News visits Lucia Hierro’s solo show Objectos Específicos, which explores themes of minimalism, identity politics, and consumer culture.

Vahit Tuna memorializes the 440 Turkish women murdered in 2018 in domestic or sexual violence.

Shows We Want to See

A work from Betye Saar's sketchbook that features the four stages of the moon at the top, each with a face, followed by, in the center of the page, a large face in the middle of a seven-point star atop a blue and black imperfect circle and reddish background.

Betye Saar, Sketchbook, 1970–72; Courtesy of the artist and Roberts Projects, Los Angeles, © Betye Saar; Photo © Museum Associates/LACMA

Amy Sherald. the heart of the matter… is open at Hauser & Wirth in New York City. The New Yorker reviews the eight new portraits that all bear Sherald’s signature pops of color juxtaposed with the intense gaze of her subjects. Sherald tackles issues of representation for the Black diaspora in art.

Betye Saar: Call and Response opened this week at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Hyperallergic and the Washington Post praised the juxtaposition of Saar’s never-before-seen sketchbooks with her completed artworks.

Grace Hartigan and Helene Herzbrun: Reframing Abstract Expressionism is on view in Washington, D.C., at the American University Museum at Katzen Arts Center. Curated by Norma Broude, the exhibition explores Hartigan and Herzbrun’s deviations from the New York Abstract Expressionist School. Hyperallergic profiles the artists and examines the addition of personal sentiment to the genre.

—Hannah Southern is the fall 2019 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: August 30, 2019

Wangechi Mutu stands atop a ladder in her Brooklyn studio, next to a 7-foot tall sculpture, part African queen, part cyborg, which will be installed in one of the exterior niches of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Wangechi Mutu in her Brooklyn studio, with (from left) her works Flying Root I, 2017; Untitled, 2019; and Flying Root IV, 2017; Photograph by LaToya Ruby Frazier

On September 9, artist Wangechi Mutu will take over the Metropolitan Museum of Art. Four bronze female figures will be installed in the building’s exterior niches facing Fifth Avenue—space that has stood empty for more than 100 years.

The seven-foot-tall sculptures, part African queens, part cyborgs, are inspired by images of caryatids—women who appear, quite literally, in supporting roles in numerous classical art forms: holding up the roof of the Acropolis, or on African stools. Mutu sought to empower these figures. “They’re forever laboring under the weight of whatever these men have created. So I thought, well, release them from that,” the artist said.


Front-Page Femmes

The Guardian looks at how the graphic novel became an outlet for shame, allowing female illustrators to confront how they see their bodies.

Next month Margaret Atwood will release her anticipated follow-up to The Handmaid’s Tale; the New York Times rounds up everything to read and watch before getting your hands on The Testament.

Hyperallergic reviews Under Cover of Darkness, an exhibition at the Iziko Slave Lodge in Cape Town, South Africa, which gives voice to enslaved women who were largely written out of history.

Mexican artist Minerva Cuevas speaks to Art21 about how her artistic acts of sabotage inspired real activism.

The New York Times reviews Abstract Climates: Helen Frankenthaler in Provincetown, a show that presents Provincetown “as more of a psychic space, one of negotiation and self-discovery” for the artist.

Helen Frankenthaler in her Provincetown studio; the artist wears all white and crouches before a large canvas on the floor as she looks up at the camera with a slight smile.

Helen Frankenthaler in her Provincetown studio, 1968; Photo courtesy of the Frankenthaler Foundation, Inc./Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; J. Paul Getty Trust; via Alexander Liberman Photography Archive; Getty Research Institute

Frieze lists five trailblazing galleries around the world that only show women artists—including NMWA.

Artist Claudia Comte installed permanent underwater sculptures off the coast of Jamaica to help revitalize the area’s coral reef.

Ningali Lawford-Wolf, one of Australia’s most noted Indigenous actors, has died at age 52 from complications of an asthma attack.

The New York Times remembers Clara Schumann, music’s unsung renaissance woman, ahead of her 200th birthday on September 13.

Hyperallergic interviews artist Gwen Shockey about her ongoing Address Project, which documents lesbian nightlife in New York City.

Shows We Want to See

Jenny Holzer: Things Indescribable is on view at Guggenheim Museum Bilbao in Spain. Hyperallergic reviews the retrospective—the largest survey of her work to date—which has been under-recognized. “Having 40 years of Holzer’s work in one place means it’s possible to trace lines of activity that are subtler and more poetic than the broad strokes she’s most known for.”

Installation view of Jenny Holzer's piece "Ram," which is a long digital block featuring all-caps text positioned next to bones and teeth scattered on the floor.

Jenny Holzer, Ram, 2016; Photo courtesy of the artist and Hauser & Wirth, © 2019 Jenny Holzer, member Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / VEGAP; Photo by Collin LaFleche

Mary Frances Whitfield: Why? is on view in Birmingham, Alabama, at the University of Alabama’s Abroms-Engel Institute for the Visual Arts. The show presents the painter’s works about racial violence and includes her sobering paintings of lynchings. The Nation profiles the artist and discusses the role of art in our collective national reckoning.

Emily Mae Smith: Avalon is open at Perrotin Gallery in Tokyo. With a nod to distinct painting movements including Symbolism, Surrealism, and Pop art, Smith creates lively compositions that offer sly social and political commentary. Can’t make it to Tokyo? See her paintings on artnet.

—Alicia Gregory is the assistant editor at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. 

Art Fix Friday: August 23, 2019

Artsy reports on the female art patrons who influenced art history. NMWA Associate Curator Virginia Treanor, who was interviewed for the piece, says that by developing world-class collections and creating major art museums, “women have shaped the course of art history.”

Edith Halpert at her Downtown Gallery, in a photograph for Life magazine in 1952; She is joined by some of the new artists she was promoting that year: Charles Oscar, Robert Knipschild, Jonah Kinigstein, Wallace Reiss, Carroll Cloar, and Herbert Katzman

Edith Halpert at her Downtown Gallery, in a photograph for Life magazine in 1952; She is joined by some of the new artists she was promoting that year: Charles Oscar, Robert Knipschild, Jonah Kinigstein, Wallace Reiss, Carroll Cloar, and Herbert Katzman; Photo © Estate of Louis Faurer, courtesy of the Jewish Museum

The piece includes profiles of Livia Drusilla, Empress of Rome circa 58 B.C.E., Isabella Stewart Gardner, Gertrude Stein, A’Lelia Walker, and Peggy Cooper Cafritz, among many others.

Front-Page Femmes

Starting September 13, Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts will dedicate the Art of the Americas wing to women artists in the installation Women Take the Floor.

artnet interviews Jessica Yu, head of the Google Doodle team, about the collaborative, creative process that brings the famous digital artworks to our screens.

Spanish feminist writer and cartoonist Anastasia Bengoechea was photographed holding up signs to protest sexual stereotyping at the Prado Museum in Madrid—and her images have gone viral.

A cartoon sketch by Malaka Gharib of her father drinking Nescafe at a small table on a balcony full of plants in Egypt; he reads the paper while Gharib herself looks on at him from a window behind him

Malaka Gharib draws to remember—she sketched this image of her father drinking Nescafe in Egypt; Sketching from memory is a way the artist gets out of creative ruts; Image courtesy of Malaka Gharib’s Instagram account

The New York Times interviews Malaka Gharib, graphic-memoirist, about her art ethos, do-it-yourself sensibility, and how to make your way out of a creative rut.

Historians raise concerns over the proposed addition of Sojourner Truth to Central Park’s forthcoming suffragist monument, stating that “it could obscure the substantial differences between white and black suffrage activists.”

Alice Guy-Blaché, history’s first female filmmaker, has been rescued from obscurity thanks to a new Jodie Foster-narrated documentary.

From their archives, Artforum features a 1984 conversation between John Bernard Myers and Lee Krasner.

The New York Times profiles writer Petina Gappah, whose forthcoming novel, Out of Darkness, Shining Light, will be released in September—twenty-one years in the making.

In Australia, the country’s first gallery dedicated to female artists will open in Melbourne next week; founder Lisa Fehily cites the low representation of women in the Australian art world as her motivation.

The San Jose Museum of Art has been celebrating the centennial of women’s suffrage with a “year of visionary women artists” in 2019.

The New York Times reports on the female producers who are migrating from nonprofit theater and the entertainment industry to bring new skills and values to Broadway.

Shows We Want to See

In Shana Hoehn: Hauntings, on view at Women & Their Work in Austin, the artist re-imagines vintage hood ornaments, ship figureheads, carnival portraiture, and more, as sculptures that expose the historically distorted treatment of women’s bodies.

Two haunting sculptures by Shana Hoehn feature in a sparse, darkly lit gallery

Installation view of Shana Hoehn: Hauntings

In Los Angeles, Susan Mogul presents a love letter to her mother in 72 photos at As Is L.A gallery. Less is Never More frames the artists relationship to her mother as a showroom, turning memory into product as she explores objects and the sentimentality we place on them.

At Brandeis University’s Kniznick Gallery, Root Shock presents work by Hannah Shalew, Daniela Rivera, and Corinne Spencer—three artists exploring social, economic, and environmental justice.

—Alicia Gregory is the assistant editor at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. 

Art Fix Friday: August 16, 2019

The New York Times interviews artist Maria Qamar, whose bold Pop art speaks to the challenges of being a South Asian millennial.

A Pop Art painting by Maria Qamar featuring two Indian woman with their faces touching, and the comic text bubbles--one says "That's My Didi!" and the other says "From another Bibi!"

Maria Qamar, Didi from Another Bibi, 2019; Photo courtesy of Richard Taittinger Gallery

The artist’s new exhibition Fraaaandship!, at New York City’s Richard Taittinger Gallery, is colorful, politically engaged, and contemplates immigration, misogyny, gender stereotypes, and more. When asked about what she is trying to explore in her works, Qamar mused, “What part of our [South Asian] tradition is tradition and what part…is just patriarchy disguised as tradition? Why can’t we…ditch some of these traditions that are used to police women and convince women to police each other?”

Front-Page Femmes

Ms. magazine interviews former Handmaid’s Tale costume designer Ane Crabtree about her designs and the red dress and winged bonnet that has become an “instantly recognizable symbol of resistance.”

A new mural in Santa Fe calls attention to the disproportionately high rates of violence against Indigenous women in the United States.

Jacqueline Audry’s 1951 lesbian classic, Olivia, has been restored and re-released; Audrey directed a total of 13 features throughout her career—most had female protagonists and many were censored.

Meet the woman-led photography collective that is challenging the sexist and colonial portrayals of Latin America.

Anne Snitow, feminist teacher and activist, has died at age 76.

More than 100 miniature dolls, phallic amulets, necklace beads, and a tiny skull among other objects made of bone, bronze, glass, and amber were uncovered at Pompeii.

More than 100 miniature dolls, phallic amulets, necklace beads, and a tiny skull, among other objects made of bone, bronze, glass, and amber, were uncovered at Pompeii; the researchers determined that the amulets were likely used for adornment or protection in the years before Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD 79; Photo courtesy Cesare Abbate (ANSA)

Archaeologists in Pompeii have discovered a female sorcerer’s trove of amulets, gems, and charms that may have been used for good fortune, fertility, and to protect against bad luck.

Hyperallergic goes inside the years-long effort to bring the Hearts of Our People: Native Women Artists exhibition to fruition.

Nancy Reddin Kienholz, best known for elaborate and explosive installations she created with her husband Edward Kienholz, has died at age 75.

After public outcry, a forthcoming Central Park statue of white suffragettes Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony has been redesigned to include Sojourner Truth. The statue will be unveiled in 2020.

Hyperallergic reviews Lee Krasner: In Living Colour, currently on view at London’s Barbican Centre.

Shows We Want to See

At Jackson Fine Art in Atlanta, two exhibitions suggest that there can be a gendered way of visualizing the natural world. A contemporary series of technicolor Psychscapes by Terri Loewenthal is curated alongside the black-and-white landscapes of 20th-century photographer Ansel Adams, promoting the notion that the male versus female gaze has shaped their approaches, a century apart.

Two landscape photos by Terri Loewenthal,and Ansel Adams are placed side by side; Lowenthal's photo is of a mountain and edited in warm technicolor hues, Adams's photo is in black and white and includes a mountain in the bottom of the frame, but primarily focuses on the vast sky.

Left: Terri Loewenthal, Psychscape 87 (Coffee Pot Rock, AZ), 2018; Right: Ansel Adams, Sierra Nevada, Winter Evening, from the Owens Valley, 1962; Photos courtesy of Jackson Fine Art

At the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts in Norwich, England, Magdalene Odundo: The Journey of Things presents more than fifty of Odundo’s works with a large selection of objects chosen by the artist from across the globe, spanning 3,000 years.

Chaumet in Majesty: Jewels of Sovereigns Since 1780 is on view at Monaco’s Grimaldi Forum until August 28. The show examines jewelry’s role in the power games of the past through 250 pieces created by the longstanding, luxury French design house. “The principal focus of the show is women of power and the tiaras they wore as witnesses of their destinies,” said Jean-Marc Mansvelt, chief executive of Chaumet.

—Alicia Gregory is the assistant editor at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.