Art Fix Friday: April 3, 2020

In response to the COVID-19 crisis, Anonymous Was a Woman, in partnership with the New York Foundation for the Arts (NYFA), will distribute emergency grants totaling $250,000 to at least 100 woman-identifying artists over 40 years old. The application will go live on Monday, April 6, and close on Wednesday, April 8.

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The grants—up to $2,500 apiece—aim to assist artists who are experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 and the subsequent economic shock. “This fund will not only provide much needed financial support for artists, but…it will be an incredible source of hope,” said NYFA Executive Director Michael Royce.

Front-Page Femmes

The Helen Frankenthaler Foundation will offer $5 million in COVID-19 relief funding for artists over the next three years.

Artforum publishes artist Whitney Claflin’s first-person account of surviving an economic shock.

The Chicago Tribune interviews Ling Ma, author of the critically acclaimed zombie pandemic novel Severance, who has won the 2020 Whiting Award for fiction.

As she prepares to close her 32-year-old gallery dedicated to women artists, veteran art dealer Barbara Gross reflects on how the market has, and hasn’t, changed.

Frieze profiles artist Pati Hill, whose unique artistic practice employs the use of a photocopier.

The New Yorker profiles the late cartoonist Tove Jansson, who produced ­paintings, novels, children’s books, and more—best known as the creator of Moomins.

Hyperallergic profiles Akiko Stehrenberger, known for her film posters, including Portrait of a Lady on Fire, The Last Black Man in San Francisco, and Her.

Akiko Stehrenberger’s posters for Portrait of a Lady on Fire (2019) and Colossal (2017)

Suellen Rocca, a leading Chicago Imagist whose hieroglyphic paintings and drawings addressed themes of domesticity, sexuality, and consumer and popular culture, has died at age 76.

Artnet’s podcast, The Art Angle, delves into the unbelievable true story of mystical painter Agnes Pelton.

Amarie Gibson of Arts.Black meditates on themes of resistance and care in Ja’tovia Gary’s work.

The New Yorker profiles poet Carolyn Forché and revisits her politically and emotionally charged prose.

Artnet profiles Heather Phillipson, whose whipped cream sculpture was scheduled to be unveiled this week in London on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth.­­­

Shows We Want To See—Online Edition

The Broad Museum is bringing Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room—The Souls of Millions of Light Years Away to devices everywhere via Instagram TV. The “Infinite Drone” series pairs footage of Kusama’s starry universe with musical selections by Los Angeles-based sound artists and musicians. The first video features the sounds of artist and composer Geneva Skeen.

Anna Breit, Untitled, from the series »Girls«, 2018; OstLicht Gallery for Photography

Artsy features a virtual look at five gallery exhibitions featuring emerging artists. This week includes a selection of works by artists from Miami to Vienna, including Sara Bichao, Anna Breit and Luisa Hübner, Lucia Hierro, and Petra Cortright.

—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: March 27, 2020

Artsy profiles Williabell Clayton and Dr. Constance Clayton, a mother-daughter duo who has collected a trove of African American art; the pair spent 50 years buying works by Black artists from auctions, galleries, and thrift shops.

A black and white photograph of an older woman sitting down and staring up at, seemingly, her daughter. They lock hands and the daughter has her other hand on the mother's shoulder.

Portrait of Dr. Constance Clayton and her mother Williabell Clayton; Courtesy of Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia

Williabell passed away in 2004, and Constance has continued their legacy, establishing committees and curatorial fellowships aimed at promoting African American artists and young professionals of color pursuing museum roles—in addition to gifting artworks to public institutions. “[She’s] filling gaps in mainstream museum collections that are now looking to add diversity,” said Tammi Lawson, a curator at the New York Public Library’s Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture.

Front-Page Femmes

Artforum reports on the permanent closure of Munich’s Barbara Gross Galerie in May; over the past three decades, Gross championed female artists including Silvia Bächli, Miriam Cahn, and VALIE EXPORT.

Artnet interviews doctor and artist Sharon Madanes about how her experiences with art and medicine inform one another.

The New Yorker reviews Emily St. John Mandel’s new novel The Glass Motel, declaring it “a profound study on responsibility in the times of crisis.”

Paper interviews Mimi Zhu, a Chinese Australian writer and artist whose Instagram text was reposted by Britney Spears. Zhu describes her writing as a way to heal from trauma, and says her goal is “centering in on the ethic of love, and the practice of love, and in creating better worlds for all of us.”

An Instagram post featuring a bright orange background and black text that says: "During this time of isolation, we need connection now more than ever. Call your loved ones, write virtual love letters. Technologies like virtual communication, streaming and broadcasting are part of our community collaboration. We will learn to kiss and hold each other through the waves of the web. We wil feed each other, re-distribute wealth, strike. We will understand our own importance from the places we must stay. Communion moves beyond walls. We can still be together." It is signed "Mimi Zhu."

Artist Mimi Zhu’s Instagram post advocating for connection and compassion

Juxtapoz interviews artist Erin M. Riley about her self-care practices during quarantine.

Frieze profiles painter Jutta Koether, the German artist who turned her name into a transitive verb for her latest exhibition.

Artsy profiles seven female photographers redefining Surrealism in contemporary art.

Maria Fernanda Cardoso has been named the recipient of the 2019–20 New Dimensions Fellowship for established visual artists.

Artsy explores Frida Kahlo and Georgia O’Keeffe’s formative friendship.

Colossal reviews Samantha Moore’s animated short film Bloomers, which recounts the history behind an undergarment business.

Shows We Want To See—Online Edition

Artnet offers a virtual look at two shows by women artists:

Per(Sister): Incarcerated Women of Louisiana, which was on view at the Ford Foundation Gallery in New York City, highlights the stories of 30 incarcerated women to “explore the root causes of female incarceration, the impact of incarcerating mothers, the physical and behavior toll of incarceration, and the challenges of and opportunities for reentry for formerly incarcerated women.”

A black and white photo of a naked woman holding what looks to be the bones of a broken umbrella and staring surprised at the camera.

Carolee Schneemann, from the series “Eye Body: 36 Transformative Actions for Camera,” 1963; Courtesy of the estate of Carolee Schneemann, Galerie Lelong & Co., Hales Gallery, PPOW New York

Up to and Including Limits: After Carolee Schneemann, which was on view at Museum Susch in Switzerland, features the work of the pioneering artist situated in conversation and contention with works by other body-based performance and visual artists. “This exhibition is driven by limits, both in media and society: how they can be overcome, transformed, and transgressed through time” says curator Sabine Breitweiser.

Google Arts & Culture has teamed up with 33 museums to host an epic digital exhibition of Frida Kahlo’s work—including Self-Portrait Dedicated to Leon Trotsky, part of NMWA’s collection. Faces of Frida features more than 200 works in addition to editorial features that discuss aspects of the artist’s work and life and archival materials.

—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts; Alicia Gregory is the assistant editor at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: March 20, 2020

A hand sanitizer wall contraption on a white background.

Zoë Sheehan Saldaña, Hand Sanitizer, 2010; Courtesy of Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Observer profiles artist Zoë Sheehan Saldaña, whose conceptual work has taken on new meaning during the Coronavirus pandemic. For years, Saldaña has made hand sanitizer and other commonplace objects as an “investigation into the everyday craftsmanship we take for granted.” The artist’s most recent batch was created for her exhibition There Must Be Some Way Out of Here at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, which recently closed due to the virus.   

“The work has changed meaning from experimentation to urgency—people were initially disinfecting out of curiosity, but lately it was a result of need,” said Cybele Maylone, executive director of the Aldrich.  

Front-Page Femmes 

London’s National Gallery has postponed its Artemisia Gentileschi exhibition, scheduled to open April 4, because of the coronavirus pandemic. 

Artsy profiles Ilana Harris-Babou, who turns cultural preoccupations with cooking shows, self-improvement, design, and the beauty industry into surreal videos and sculptures. 

The New Yorker profiles Fiona Apple on the cusp of releasing a new album. “It felt more like a sculpture being built than an album being made,” said Apple’s bandmate.  

Tate Modern announced that Anicka Yi, whose works address migration, gender, and class, has been selected for the next Hyundai Commission for Turbine Hall.  

Juxtapoz interviews sculptor Rose Neslter about the ways people communicate their identities through fashion.   

A fabric sculpture of a fitted suit jacket hung on a wall, with elongated arm/gloves reaching the floor.

Rose Nestler, Another Set of Hands, 2019; Courtesy of the artist

Colossal profiles baker Hannah P., who works at the intersection of art and food transforming loaves into edible canvases. 

British performance artist Genesis Breyer P-Orridge has died at age seventy; Artnews celebrates the artist’s legacy by examining six of their works.

Artsy profiles Lygia Clark in the 100th anniversary year of her birth; three international solo exhibitions are planned in celebration of her legacy this year.   

Artnet interviews artist-couple Carrie Moyer and Sheila Pepe about their joint show at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine.   

French-American actress and director Tonie Marshall has died at age 68; she was only female director to win a César award, France’s equivalent of an Oscar  

Shows We Want To See—Online Edition 

As galleries and museums around the world close over the spread of the Coronavirus, writer-curators Barbara Pollack and Anne Verhallen have organized an online group show  responding to the crisis. How Can We Think of Art in a Time Like This features work by Lynn Hershman Leeson, Judith Bernstein, Janet Biggs, Miao Ying, and more. “There is always something going on in the world that seems to overshadow creative effort, and yet it’s so important for creative effort to continue, said Pollack. New artists will be added weekly.  

Artist Ebony Patterson stands in front of her garden installation, a lush arrangement of white red and yellow flowers, speaking at the opening of the exhibition.

Ebony G. Patterson speaks at the opening of . . . while the dew is still on the roses . . . at the Nasher Museum of Art; Photo by J Caldwell

Artnet offers a virtual look at Ebony G. Patterson…while the dew is still on the roses…, which was on view at the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University in North Carolina. Patterson’s neo-baroque works “address violence, masculinity, ‘bling,’ visibility, and invisibility within the post-colonial context of her native Kingston and within black youth culture globally.” The lush installation explores the role gardens have played in Patterson’s practice as sites of growth and burial, beauty and decay.  

—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. 

Art Fix Friday: March 13, 2020

Artsy profiles seven women collectors who are making the art world more diverse. These women share a resolve to bring their private passion for art to a wider audience, taking art out of their living rooms and into the realm of public discourse.

A photo of three stylish black women posing together and smiling at the camera inside a large exhibition hall.

Makgati Molebatsi (center) with International Jazz Day Director Brenda Sisane (left) and visual artist Adejoke Tugbiyele (right); Molebatsi is a South African art collector and advisor who regularly gives presentations to educate and cultivate collectors at auction houses, fairs, and private events like those organized by the Black Collectors Forum; Image courtesy of LATITUDES Art Fair

San Francisco–based gallerist Wendi Norris says, “Their commitment goes beyond acquisition and display of the artworks…there’s a devotion and a financial commitment to education and accessibility to a greater group of people who couldn’t otherwise have access to it.”

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Slate interviews Emma director Autumn de Wilde about how working with rock stars like Jenny Lewis and Florence and the Machine prepared her for her feature debut.

The New York Times profiles architect Deanna Van Buren, who designs civic spaces that are healing alternatives to correctional facilities.

Emma Talbot has won the eighth Max Mara Art Prize for Women, a biennial award that supports U.K.-based female artists who have not previously had a major solo exhibition.

Art Daily profiles Roya Sadat, an Afghan filmmaker who explores themes surrounding Afghan womanhood in her films.

Hyperallergic interviews Rose B. Simpson about her relationship to the American Southwest and how it manifests in her artistic practice.

A photo of an artist working in her studio on two knee-high sculptures of what look to be human figures.

Rose B. Simpson at work in her studio; Image courtesy of the artist and Jessica Silverman Gallery

The New Yorker explores one writer’s culinary experience using Georgia O’Keeffe’s “California hippie cuisine” recipes.

Frieze profiles Lily van der Stokke’s recent exhibition at Migros Museum, Zurich, which reflected on the political uses of platitudes and truisms.

The New Yorker reviews Rebecca Solnit’s memoir, Recollections of My Existence.

The Public Art Fund will commission Sabine Hornig, Laura Owens, and Sarah Sze to create large-scale works for New York’s LaGuardia Airport, to be unveiled later this year.

Juxtapoz interviews Amsterdam-based painter Esiri Erheriene-Essi on her latest exhibition, maternity, hoarding, and time traveling.

Hyperallergic interviews Ariella Azoulay, professor of modern culture & media and comparative literature at Brown University, on the role of artists, collectors, critics, and arts professionals in the continuing dispossession of colonial subjects, most often people of color, around the world.

Shows We Want To See

We do want to see these shows and hope to get the opportunity! However, the ongoing situation with COVID-19 (coronavirus) means that many museums and galleries, including NMWA, are temporarily closing their doors. We wish everyone safety and good health. And in the meantime, we’ll check out inspirational art online.

Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist is on the schedule at New York City’s Whitney Museum of American Art, which is reporting a temporary closure due to coronavirus. The show features forty-five works that introduce the public to Pelton’s luminous, abstract images of transcendence. In conjunction with the exhibition, Hyperallergic profiled the artist for their comic series and Artforum published a profile on the artist.

An abstract painting in blues and greens featuring soft curves and oblong shapes.

Agnes Pelton, Sea Change, 1931; Whitney Museum of American Art, Gift of Lois and Irvin Cohen; © Agnes Pelton Estate

Candida Alvarez’s latest exhibition, Estoy Bien, is on the schedule at the Monique Meloche Gallery in Chicago. Featuring seven dual-sided, large abstract paintings, the exhibition’s title refers to the phrase I’m fine, which Alvarez heard frequently while searching for her mother and sister in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. In an interview with Art News, Alvarez said of the exhibition’s title painting, “I was able to dump everything, all the emotion, into this piece. It gave me back my studio.”

—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: March 6, 2020

Hyperallergic profiles Iraqi-born artist Sama Alshaibi, who addresses migration, war, and gender in her works. Alshaibi has designed an installation, The Cessation, for the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art’s State of the Art 2020 exhibition. It revives elements from the famous tale A Thousand and One Nights to comment on current socio-political realities.

Sama Alshaibi, The Cessation, 2019; Photo courtesy of Seale Photography Studios
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Originally created in a residency program in San Antonio, Texas, where the piece commented on women in public space, the installation takes advantage of its new museum location to respond to the representation of women in art institutions, another manifestation of gender inequality.

Front-page Femmes

Dublin-based architects Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara of Grafton have won the 2020 Pritzker Prize; they are only the fourth and fifth women to win the prize in its 41-year history.

Artsy asked leading women artists, including Shirin Neshat, Anicka Yi, and Senga Nengudi, to share the emerging and underrepresented talents who inspire them.

Geometric artist Carmen Herrera will design a new mural in New York City’s East Harlem neighborhood; students from Publicolor, an arts and education program, and Manhattan East School will execute the design.

Artsy profiles photographer Liz Johnson Artur, whose photographs capture the vibrancy of black youth culture.

Liz Johnson Artur, Black Balloon Archive, 1992–ongoing; © Liz Johnson Artur; Courtesy of the artist

The New Yorker interviews actress Pam Grier about country living, blaxploitation, and the needs of Hollywood.

Artsy reports on the record number of female solo presentations at the 2020 Art Dealers Association of America fair.

The Washington Post shares Marissa Roth’s ocean photography series “The Crossing.”

June Edmonds has won the inaugural $10,000 Aware Prize, presented by Archives of Women Artists, Research and Exhibitions, at the Armory Show.

Juxtapoz interviews Ana Benaroya about pop culture, her interest in bodies and musculature, Celine Dion, and the balance between highbrow and lowbrow.

The New York Times profiles Nadia Boulanger, pioneering composer, conductor, and teacher, who will be first woman whose work is explored by the three-decade-old Bard Music Festival.

Slate interviews Cassie Chambers about Hill Women, her new memoir of family and Appalachian history.

Shows We Want to See

Jodie Herrera, Danielle, ca. 2018; Included in The Unseen group show

The Unseen, an all-female group show, opens today at Stone Sparrow in New York City. Participating artists including Rose Freymuth-Frazier, Ximena Rendon, Gigi Chen, and Jodi Herrera are from around the globe and work in paint, ceramic, textiles, fine metal, and wearable art jewelry. On view through March 31.

At Auto Italia in London, Hot Moment presents the work of Tessa Boffin, Ingrid Pollard, and Jill Posener—three photographers who explore the complexity of lesbian identity. The exhibition’s images emerge from the context of political struggles around reproductive rights, the onset of HIV/AIDS in the U.K., police stop-and-search laws, and uprisings in urban areas. Frieze notes the care, humor, and style with which these artists pushed back against poisonous cultural narratives. On view through March 14.

At New York City’s Bard Graduate Center Gallery, Eileen Gray features more than 200 architectural drawings and models, pieces of furniture, and textiles from the pioneer of modern design and architecture. Artnet calls the exhibition “a long-overdue look at one of Modernism’s great talents.” On view through July 12.

—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: February 28, 2019

In an op-ed for Artnet, Susan Unterberg writes about her experiences as an artist—and as the founder of Anonymous Was A Woman, an organization that has awarded more than $6 million in grants to 240 women artists over the age of 40 since it began in 1996.

Susan Unterberg, stands smiling at a podium during the Skowhegan Awards Dinner 2019 in New York City, in the background previous award winners clap and smile for her, against a purple velvet curtain.

Susan Unterberg, during the Skowhegan Awards Dinner 2019 in New York City, in front of previous award winners; Photo by Gonzalo Marroquin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Unterberg’s feminist philanthropy comes with no strings attached, allowing artists freedom regarding how their funds are used. “This kind of philanthropy brings with it the non-judgmental understanding that paying for childcare may be as valuable as investing in new materials or traveling for a project,” she writes.

Front-Page Femmes

Brightest Young Things reviews NMWA’s latest exhibition, Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico, opening today, noting the exhibition’s celebration of rituals “big and small, arcane and common.”

Zadie Smith examines Kara Walker’s drawing what I want history to do to me (1994), exploring the complexities of black womanhood and desire in Walker’s oeuvre.

Shirin Neshat talks to Frieze about her exhibition at The Broad and to The Art Newspaper about why Frida Kahlo is one of her favorite artists.

Bonnie MacLean, the celebrated psychedelic artist who designed posters for rock music legends such as the Grateful Dead and Jimi Hendrix, has died at age 80.

The New York Times Style Magazine reviews Haegue Yang’s In the Cone of Uncertainty, on view at The Bass in Miami.

Artist Haegue Yang stands in a spotlight in the middle of her immersive exhibition, in a room with red lighting, and big banner-like structures hung from the ceiling. She looks up at one of the structures that has a red circle of light projected on it.

Haegue Yang with Red Broken Mountainous Labyrinth (2008), on view at The Bass Museum of Art; Photo by Shane Lavalette

The Palestine Museum US in Woodbridge, Connecticut, will celebrate International Women’s Day with an exhibition of more than 200 works by 50 Palestinian female artists.

The National Gallery of Australia’s Know My Name public art event will activate 1,500 locations across the country with works by 45 female-identifying Australian artists from the gallery’s collection.

The New York Times interviews Claudia Rankine about Help, her latest play, which was partly inspired by her 2019 article about air travel and race.

Hyperallergic interviews director Jennie Livingston on the lasting legacy of her documentary Paris is Burning, which has entered the Criterion Collection.

Novels by Virginia Woolf, Angela Carter, and Emily Brontë are headed to the theater this year; the shows’ creative teams reflect on bringing well-loved stories to the stage.

Shows We Want to See

Multimedia Brazilian artist Solange Pessoa’s  first European solo show, In the Sun and the Shade, is on view at Mendes Wood DM in Brussels through April 11; this coincides with her first solo show in the U.S., Longilonge, on view at Ballroom Marfa in Texas through April 19. Pessoa’s work is inspired by the archaeology, ancestry, and history of her home, Minas Gerais. It explores the harmonies that exist between religion, modernity, and the natural world.

A small quilt-like textile features an image of former Chilean President Salvador Allende, whose government was overthrown by dictator Pinochet, over mountains with his hand in an upward motion. Eleven figures put their hands up in response as they stand among trees.

Arpillera from Arte, Mujer y Memoria: Arpilleras from Chile at the Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach, California

At the Museum of Latin American Art in California Arte, Mujer y Memoria: Arpilleras from Chile is on view through March 29. The exhibition features over 30 arpilleras, colorful textile works that document the experiences of Chilean citizens under the Pinochet regime, created by women affected. The works were created anonymously and sold internationally through women-centered networks established by exiles and their allies. Hyperallergic reviews the show.

—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: February 21, 2020

This famous photograph depicts Zobeida Díaz on her way to the market, carrying the iguanas she will sell on her head. Iturbide photographs Díaz from below to create a sense of authority; at this angle, Díaz becomes larger than life. Iturbide frames her in a dignified pose within an archway. The iguanas, an important cultural symbol of the Zapotec, encircle her head like a halo. It is an image of reverence for Zapotec women.

Graciela Iturbide, Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas (Our Lady of the Iguanas), Juchitán, 1979; Gelatin silver print, 10 x 8 in.; Collection of Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser; © Graciela Iturbide; Courtesy Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Artsy re-examines Graciela Iturbide’s iconic photograph Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas (Our Lady of the Iguanas) (1979). The author, Eva Recinos, a first generation Guatemalan American, discusses her personal ties to the work as well as its lasting impact on the representation of indigenous people in the history of photography. She writes, “[the photo] became a motivation for me—to keep mining my own personal history; to see the validity in my narratives, as both a writer and an art lover.”

Nuestra Señora de las Iguanas, along with 140 other photographs by Iturbide, will be on view in Graciela Iturbide’s Mexico at NMWA from February 28 to May 25.

Front-Page Femmes

Patrisse Cullors, artist and co-founder of Black Lives Matter, talks to Frieze about her collective dance performance for Frieze Projects Los Angeles.

For the New York Times, Director Cathy Yan breaks down a key sequence from her film Birds of Prey.

Frieze reviews Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Director Céline Sciamma’s lesbian period drama that employs the myth of Orpheus to re-center the female gaze.

Artsy profiles Mariane Ibrahim, the young art dealer championing art from the African Diaspora.

T Magazine examines the tales of female trios in literature in pop culture; the magazine also commissioned original works by artists Chantal Joffe and Chioma Ebinama to accompany the essay.

NMWA’s current exhibition Delita Martin: Calling Down the Spirits was reviewed by and BmoreArt and Hyperallergic, which described the works as “courageous explorations about the power and vulnerability of our relationships with seen and unseen worlds.”

An abstract painting of two woman, one older, one younger, sitting across from one another in chairs. Their figures are overlaid with patterns and the background features two prominent orange circles. The major hues of the painting are different shades of blue.

Delita Martin, The Moon and the Little Bird, 2018; Acrylic, charcoal, gelatin printing, collagraph printing, relief printing, decorative papers, hand-stitching, and liquid gold leaf on paper, 79 x 102 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Myrtis; Photo by Joshua Asante

Artist Felicty Hammond’s open letter to the now-bankrupt Dutch art fair Unseen has ignited important conversations about the routine exploitation of artists.

Conceptual artist Barbara Kruger has installed politically charged banners, billboards, and stickers across Los Angeles for the city’s Frieze art fair.

Frieze profiles Ja’Tovia Gary and her inaugural show, flesh that needs to be loved, which features her compelling audio-visual portraits.

Hyperallergic interviews artist Pilar Castillo, who investigates the role of “tropical romanticism” in Caribbean identity and representation.

Afghan artist Robaba Mohammadi has opened an art center dedicated to training other disabled artists.

Shows We Want to See

The Soul (Un)Gendered: Anupam Sud, A Retrospective at New York City’s DAG Modern is the first retrospective of the 76-year-old Indian artist’s work in the U.S. The series features drawings, sketches, etchings, linocuts, and watercolors. Hyperallergic observes how the works “expand beyond the trappings of gender, sex, and societal norms—a detention not many women artists in India have dared to attempt to dismantle.” On view through March 7.

An etching of a topless woman who holds her arms out to the right and left as they hover over mask-like images of male faces. Behind the figure is the top half of the globe.

Anupam Sud, Rhapsody of Time, 1992–2008; Photo courtesy of the artist and DAG Modern

Jordan Casteel: Within Reach is now open at New York City’s New Museum. Featuring more than 40 large-scale oil paintings that portray the people from the communities in which Casteel lives and works—former classmates at Yale, street vendors and neighbors in Harlem, and her own students. In an interview with Artnet, Casteel talks about how she brings her own femininity to her paintings of men. On view through May 24.

—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: February 14, 2020

Artist Sonya Boyce will represent Britain at the 2021 Venice Biennale; she is the first black woman in the event’s history to do so. In an interview, the artist said that the fallout from Brexit would influence her work, as would the idea of nationhood.

A portrait of artist Sonya Boyce, who wears a colorful scarf, black knit hat, and black jacket; she smiles while looking into the distance.

Sonya Boyce; Photo by David Levene for The Guardian

Boyce came to prominence in the black British art scene in the early 1980s. In 1987, her work became the first by a black woman to enter the Tate’s collection. Boyce’s art combines photography, drawing, performance, and film; she works with a range of collaborators to explore her experience as a black woman in the art world.

Front-Page Femmes

Artsy profiles Howardena Pindell, who at the age of 76 is finally receiving acclaim.

An all-female team from the South African architectural firm Counterspace has been selected to design the 2020 Serpentine Pavilion; they are also the youngest architects ever to be commissioned for the project.

Emily Mason, abstract artist and teacher, has died at age 87.

Frieze publishes a conversation between Judy Chicago, Jane Fonda, and Hans Ulrich Obrist about art and environmental activism.

A black and white photo of Judy Chicago and Jane Fonda who pose with their arms around each other, smiling, in front of one of Chicago's paintings.

Judy Chicago and Jane Fonda at Jeffrey Deitch Gallery, Los Angeles, 2019; Photo by Sarah Thornton

The Royal Academy of Art has elected visual artist Rana Begum as a royal academician in the category of painting. Begum’s work was featured at NMWA in Heavy Metal—Women to Watch 2018.   

Colossal profiles artist Liz Sexton, who brings animals to human scale with her papier-mâché masks.

Juxtapoz reports on a new book of photographs by artist and curator Maude Arsenault, who represents women in the context of domesticity and intimacy.

Artland magazine’s “Female Iconoclasts” series features Leonora Carrington, Tamara de Lempicka, Hedda Stern, and Louise Bourgeois.

Creative Review profiles illustrator and book designer Jinhee Han.

Frieze reviews Jenny Offill’s new novel, Weather, which offers a sardonic take on contemporary environmental anxieties.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill approving the establishment of a Smithsonian Women’s History Museum. “Our country should know the names of its history-making women,” said D.C. Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Shows We Want to See

A hyper-realist painting of a young African American girl, in a white summer dress, floating on her back in a pool with her arms in a dancer pose and her eyes closed.

Calida Rawles, painting from the exhibition A Dream for My Lilith

Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures is open at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York City. It is the museum’s first major exhibition of Lange’s work in 50 years, bringing together iconic works from the collection with less familiar photographs—from early street photography to projects on criminal justice reform. The New York Times calls it “revelatory.” On view through May 9, 2020.

Calida Rawles’s latest exhibition, A Dream for My Lilith, is open at Various Small Fires in Los Angeles. The show features whimsical and political hyperrealist paintings that show African American youth playing in swimming pools. On view through March 14, 2020.

Ana Benaroya’s solo show Teach Me Tonight opens on February 15 at Richard Heller Gallery in Santa Monica. Juxtapoz published an excerpt from Benaroya’s essay about her works: “In this show, lesbian desire is both explicit and hidden. Cue the music! It’s about listening to a woman singing a song and pretending she’s singing to another woman.” On view through March 28, 2020.

—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: February 7, 2020

Farah Al Qasimi, Woman in Leopard Print, 2019; Courtesy of the artist, Helena Anrather, and the Third Line

As part of her commission for New York City’s Public Art Fund, photographer Farah Al Qasimi showcases the beauty and jubilation of the city’s immigrant neighborhoods in Farah Al Qasimi: Back and Forth Disco.

Life-size renderings of her images adorn commercial light boxes on the sides of bus shelters in 100 locations across the five boroughs through May 17. The New Yorker observes that “Qasimi’s photographs arrive in New York as a gorgeous, if inadvertent, retort to the threat of increased restrictions on U.S. immigration.”

Front-Page Femmes

The New Yorker interviews illustrator Malika Favre about her latest cover for the magazine—a nod to the fact that no women directors were nominated at the 2020 Academy Awards—and her cinematic approach to illustration.

The New York Times profiles director Dee Rees, looking at how the Oscar-nominated director is “trying to create a new kind of Hollywood empire.”

The Guardian reviews Susanne Regina Meures’s new film Saudi Runaway, in which a young woman secretly documents her preparations for escape from an arranged marriage on her smartphone.

Two new reports published by the University of Southern California and U.C.L.A found that women and people of color featured more prominently in popular films in 2019 than in any other year measured.

Acclaimed sculptor Beverly Pepper, known for her majestic, abstract steel works, has died at age 97.

Del Pitt Feldman, the celebrated crochet designer whose clientele included Janis Joplin and Cher, has died at age 90.

Colossal interviews photographer Brooke DiDonato on her process and the inspiration behind her surreal imagery.

Photograph by Brooke DiDonato

Hyperallergic profiles Corita Kent, a nun-turned-artist, whose politically charged series “Heroes and Sheroes” features bold silkscreens of Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King, and Cesar Chavez.

Artsy looks at Cindy Sherman’s breakout photo series “Untitled Film Stills” through a personal story of a life-changing encounter with art.

The New York Times reviews Zilia Sánchez: Soy Isla (I Am an Island), now on view at El Museo del Barrio in New York City.

Three female arts leaders came together at the Brooklyn Museum for a frank discussion about the state of museums in 2020.

Shows We Want to See

Amy Sherald, When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be (Self-imagined atlas), 2018; © Amy Sherald; Courtesy of the artist, Hauser & Wirth, and the Eileen Harris Norton Collection; Photo by Charles White

At the Grimm Gallery in New York City, Dana Lixenberg’s solo show, American Images, features a selection of portraits of American icons who have shaped today’s cultural landscape. Notable figures include Jenny Holzer, Tupac, Mary J. Blige, Kate Moss, Jay-Z, Toni Morrison, and others. On view through February 29, 2020.

Collective Constellation: Selections from the Eileen Harris Norton Collection will open on Saturday, February 8, at Art + Practice in Los Angeles. The exhibition features artworks by women of color—including Amy Sherald, Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Lorna Simpson, Betye Saar, Carrie Mae Weems, Shirin Neshat, Doris Salcedo, and more—from the personal art collection of the philanthropist, art collector and Art + Practice co-founder. Frieze interviewed Norton about her pioneering life in art. On view through August 1, 2020.

—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: January 31, 2019

In 2019, the Museu de Arte de São Paulo (MASP) in Brazil added 296 works by 21 female artists to its collection. This acquisition follows a yearlong effort to put women artists at the forefront of all museum exhibitions, publications, workshops, and events.

A neon sign against a pink wall that says "Are you Brazilian? Oh, I Love Brazilian Women"

Santarosa Barreto, Brazilv, 2018; Courtesy of Museu de Arte de São Paulo

Adriano Pedrosa, MASP’s artistic director, said that the acquisitions help the institution live up to its mission to become a more “diverse, inclusive, and plural museum.”

Front-Page Femmes

Artnet interviews Christine Sun Kim, the transgressive deaf artist who will sign the National Anthem alongside Demi Lovato at the 2020 Super Bowl.

The New Yorker revisits Toni Morrison’s debut novel, The Bluest Eye, on its 50th anniversary; the book “cut a new path through the American literary landscape by placing black girls at the center of the story.”

In “Harvest,” a seated woman holds three children, while two others gather at her bare feet. A small stack of nondescript books, a brown skull, a broken string of pearls, and a writhing snake line the steps, providing contrast between the natural and human-made elements.

Harmonia Rosales, The Harvest, 2018; © Harmonia Rosales

Juxtapoz interviews Dominique Fung, who uses her paintings to reconfigure art history through a non-Western and non-imperialist gaze.

At the 2020 Grammy Awards, Billie Eilish became the first woman, and second artist ever, to take home “The Big Four” awards (album, record, and song of the year; and best new artist) in one night.

Colossal profiles Christy Lee Rogers, whose photographs explore human movement in a weightless environment; Rogers’s most recent series was commissioned by Apple.

Zineb Sedira is expected to become the first artist of Algerian descent to represent France at the Venice Biennale in 2021. Sedira explores themes of identity, geography, and colonialism in her works.

Colossal profiles Harmonia Rosales, whose paintings focus on black female empowerment in Western culture.

Hyperallergic reviews the Getty’s podcast Recording Artists: Radical Women, noting the “common thread of struggle” for all six featured artists.

A collection of Virginia Woolf’s letters, manuscripts, photographs, postcards, and rare editions has been added to the holdings of the New York Public Library.

Artist and Holocaust survivor Ceija Stojka’s striking paintings revisit the trauma and horrors she experienced at Auschwitz.

The Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas has acquired new works by Magdalena Abakanowicz, Judy Chicago, and Beverly Semmes.

Author Roxane Gay has entered the world of graphic novels with The Sacrifice of Darkness, adapted from a short story in her 2017 collection Difficult Women.

Soma Han’s retrospective, East and West, will open at the Hilltop Gallery in Nogales, California, on February 2.

Shows We Want to See

Elizabeth Catlett’s Sharecropper, possibly her most famous work, was made in Mexico, where she moved in 1946 to work at the Taller de Gráfica Popular (People’s Graphic Arts Workshop). She was influenced by the spirit of activism at the workshop, which inspired her to produce images of the hardships endured by African American women, as well as the accomplishments of figures such as Sojourner Truth and Harriet Tubman. Sharecropper, like many of her other works, shows Catlett’s activism on behalf of African American women in the South, who she believed maintained their dignity in the face of great adversity.

Elizabeth Catlett, Sharecropper, 1968; © Catlett Mora Family Trust / VAGA at Artists Rights Society (ARS), NY / The Art Institute of Chicago / Art Resource, NY

Elizabeth Catlett: Artist as Activist is on view at Baltimore’s Reginald F. Lewis Museum through March 1. The exhibition spans 60 years of the artist’s career and highlights her recurrent themes of valorized workers and industrious women. BmoreArt profiles the artist and show.

Kim Gordon, former bassist of Sonic Youth, has debuted a new exhibition, The Bonfire, at 303 Gallery in New York. Gordon presents a world of safety and familial intimacy surreptitiously undermined by insidious, unseen forces. Artnet interviews the artist about the new work, her foray back into visual arts, and the uneasiness of being a private person in the public eye. On view through February 22.


—Alexa Kasner is the spring 2020 publications and communications/marketing intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.