Art Fix Friday: March 25, 2016

Women in Cartography: Five Centuries of Accomplishments at the Boston Public Library features 40 maps, globes, atlases, and artworks from the 17th century to the present.

As a marketing technique, women mapmakers often used their initials instead of their names. The Atlantic writes, “It hid their gender from the buying public. But it also hid many of them from history.”

Front-Page Femmes

Multi-media artist Shahzia Sikander writes for the Los Angeles Times about her multicultural past and the importance of “cultivating imagination and fostering empathy.”

The Art Newspaper interviews Tracey Emin about love, marriage, soul mates, and a rock.

Feminist artist Betty Tompkins joins PPOW gallery for two major exhibitions. Over the years, the artist’s explicit paintings have been censored and labeled as pornography.

In 1843, Anna Atkins created the world’s first photography book, Photographs of British Algae, using cyanotype processes.

Beijing-based artist Cao Fei’s works delve into her generation’s fantasies, entertainment, cosplayers, and virtual realities.

Colossal shares images of ceramic busts with “a vegetative twist” by Jess Riva Cooper.

The Guardian describes the problematic history of women as “muses” for male artists and writes that the term “implies a creative hierarchy of gender. Men create, and women inspire them.”

Curator Katharine Baetjer and author Nancy Princenthal discuss Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun and Agnes Martin, respectively, in Episode No. 228 of the Modern Art Notes Podcast.

Celebrate Women’s History Month with ten women artists of color who dispel stereotypes.

Frances Borzello’s revised edition of Seeing Ourselves argues for the importance of female self-portraiture.

She Said is a program consisting of one-act ballets choreographed by women—one of which is inspired by Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

Four female performing artists—Marie Al Fajr, Mona Gamil, Leyya Mona Tawil, and Amira Chebli—have their U.S. solo premieres at New York Live Arts.

BBC’s Being the Brontës reveals how the youngest Brontë, Anne, was a forward-thinking feminist.

A new HBO documentary explores how Nora Ephron’s novel Heartburn affected her familial relationships and public reputation.

Oscar-winning actress Patricia Arquette says, “A lot of people are smacking into this glass ceiling.”

Kristina Sorge’s documentary chronicles gallerist Bernice Steinbaum’s efforts to champion the work of women artists and artists of color.

Shows We Want to See


Left to right: Hyperallergic raves about Sylvia Plimack Mangold’s paintings and Lara Baladi’s Oum el Dounia

In a review of Sylvia Plimack Mangold’s paintings of floors, Hyperallergic writes that “an unwavering devotion to the interaction of light, atmosphere, and form continues to run through everything she does.”

Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi’s web-based installation Oum el Dounia—on view at the Arthur M. Sackler Gallery—integrates archival photographs and personal pictures to confront myths about Egypt.

In her latest exhibition at David Zwirner Gallery, Karla Black “asks her audience to engage with her work in the way that she has engaged the galleries, transforming them into dreamlike spaces.”

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: March 18, 2016

Hauser Wirth & Schimmel Gallery made headlines after opening in Los Angeles with Revolution in the Making: Abstract Sculpture by Women, 1947–2016. The exhibition includes works by 34 artists including Ruth Asawa, Louise Bourgeois, Louise Nevelson, and Claire Falkenstein.

The Los Angeles Times writes that “the contributions of sculptors working in a studio-based practice here get renewed focus.” The New York Times writes, “Artwise, Los Angeles is having a moment” but that the exhibition does not “introduce new names, unseen work, understudied lives.”

Front-Page Femmes

Afghan artist Shamsia Hassani’s graffiti shows women subtly defying gender roles.

Colossal shares animated storybook GIFs by an illustrator called “Sparrows.”

Anna Collette Hunt’s traveling exhibition contains 10,000 ceramic insects.

Sand sculptor Zara Gaze transforms 40 tons of sand into an anti-gentrification protest artwork of a fat cat.

Artist and activist Andrea Bowers highlights trans women’s fight for equal rights in her latest exhibition.

ArtSlant and The Art Newspaper discuss that the representation of women artists in Art Dubai is up to 45% this year.

Half of the 84 artists represented at the 2016 Sydney Biennale are women.

The Art Newspaper explores how women artists, collectors, and curators are shaping the arts in South Asia.

Los Angeles-based Amanda Charchian photographs working artists—unclothed and in remote landscapes.

Dancers in “Plastic”—choreographed by Cyprus-born artist Maria Hassabi—discuss their experiences performing at MoMA.

The Guardian shares Arlene Gottfried’s intimate photographs of New York’s Puerto Rican community in the 1970s and ’80s.

Celebrated novelist, art historian, and 1984 Booker prize recipient Anita Brookner died at the age of 97.

In a review of Margaret the First by Danielle Dutton, Broadly dubs 17th-century writer Margaret Cavendish as the “first unappreciated woman writer.”

“It took 13 years for this to be seen,” says lesbian writer and activist Sarah Schulman about her novel The Cosmopolitans.

Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD) president and founder Paula Wallace released her memoir.

NPR reviews The Complete Wimmen’s Comix, a 704-page all-women comics anthology.

Artinfo interviews Waitress writer Jessie Nelson about the new stage adaptation of the 2007 film.

This Is For My Girls” brings together nine female musicians in the service of girls’ education.

Filmmaker Jessica Rodriguez says, “Cuban cinema still doesn’t have a place for female directors.”

McSweeney’s rewrites scenes from iconic films so that they pass the Bechdel test.

Shows We Want to See

As One at the Benaki Museum in Athens includes 29 participating artists who have been schooled in the Abramović Method.

Sus Voces at features the work of nine female Mexican printmakers working in traditional techniques. Hyperallergic writes that the exhibition “flirts with female and Mexican stereotypes and tosses them upside down.”

In the exhibition And I, Will I Forget? Saudi Arabian artist Manal Al Dowayan reconstructs her father’s memories and asks, “What happens to memories that have no stories?

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: August 7, 2015

“To me, they are art world royalty,” said a Whitney Museum curator about the famous feminist art collective.

The Guerrilla Girls posted a video of themselves celebrating their 30th year. Several members, including those with the pseudonyms “Frida Kahlo” and “Käthe Kollwitz,” talk to The New York Times about the continuing gender inequities in the art world.

The New York Times charts the Guerrilla Girls’ evolution. After three decades, their mission for equality is far from over. The group first collaborated in 1985 in response to a MoMA exhibition featuring 165 artists—less than ten percent of whom were women.

Joyce Kozloff recaps her meeting with Georgia O’Keeffe in the artist’s home in 1972.

Artnews visits sculptor Ursula von Rydingsvard in her Brooklyn studio.

Hyperallergic finds only five public statues of historical women in New York City.

In honor of the Tate Modern retrospective of Agnes Martin, Artnews posts a throwback article about the artist’s minimalist grid paintings.

A new anti-street harassment mural is unveiled outside a Brooklyn grocery store.

The New Yorker article “A Ghost in the Family” shares how artists Clare Rojas and Barry McGee formed a family around McGee’s daughter by his first wife, artist Margaret Kilgallen, after Kilgallen’s tragic death.

Artist Maxine Helfman’s “Historical Correction” series re-creates old Flemish portraits by replacing the posed subjects with men and women of color.

A new study says women make up 60% of museum staffs, but minorities only account for 28% of positions.

“Word to The Woman”—Solange Knowles’s newest collaboration with Puma—features 14 innovative women from different backgrounds.

Artnet celebrates artist Hedda Sterne’s birthday with six of her most famous quotes.

The Independent analyzes the role and prevalence of female comics in Hollywood.

Here She Comes Now: Women in Music Who Have Changed Our Lives features essays by 22 writers, most of them women.

The Guardian reviews five female-friendly comic book film adaptations.

Covered in Ink surveys numerous ways women in [tattoo] culture are marginalized.”

The Guardian posts an obituary for film noir star Coleen Gray.

Shows We Want to See

Curators Day + Gluckman features 24 women artists that provide “a snapshot of the evolving conversations that continue to contribute to the mapping of a women’s place in British society.”

One of the newest contemporary art galleries in Los Angeles exhibits works by eight women artists.

Swedish artist Hannah Liden’s bagel sculptures are installed at three New York locations.

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: July 25, 2015

A new project hopes to add sculptures of suffragists Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony to the public art of Central Park. Out of the park’s 22 sculptures, none depict women. Of the 5,193 public outdoor sculptures in the U.S., only 394 are of women.

Chicagoist also discusses the need for more statues of women of historical significance in Chicago parks—rather than depictions of fictional female characters like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

Front-Page Femmes

Los Angeles Times comments on the glaring lack of major solo exhibitions in the city featuring black women artists.

Ti-Rock Moore, the artist behind the controversial Michael Brown sculpture, explains her motivations in this Huffington Post article.

A Brooklyn-based artist and textile designer, Lauren Garfinkel creates food art featuring political commentary.

A behind-the-scenes tour of rarely seen WWII artwork in Reality in Flames examines Australian female war artists. The Australian War Memorial’s assistant curator says, “I think the women artists do offer us a much more intimate, a much more personal view of the war.”

The Telegraph’s Claire Cohen explains why author Beatrix Potter should be the next woman on Britain’s £20 note.

Marvel’s publishing line relaunch includes books by 116 creators—but only 10 are women.

Celebrated dancer Jennie Somogyi will retire from the New York City Ballet this fall.

Reel Girl says Minions is the most sexist kids’ movie of the year. “The fact that the lack of females in children’s movies—from protagonists to crowd scenes, from heroes to villains—isn’t glaringly obvious to us and our children shows how sexist the world is.”

Female rapper MC Lyte is one of the women featured in’s “Who Am I” web series.

Shows We Want to See

Spanning her 35-year oeuvre, a major survey of Dame Elisabeth Frink’s public sculpture commissions will open in Nottingham.

The new Joan Mitchell retrospective reminds ARTnews of this throwback review of a 1965 exhibition of Mitchell’s work.

Carnegie Museum of Art’s She Who Tells a Story features women artists whose work comments on and subverts stereotypes about Middle Eastern identity.

Sotheby’s Cherchez la Femme: Women and Surrealism features women Surrealists, including Kay Sage, Frida Kahlo, Leonora Carrington, and Remedios Varo. Sotheby’s Vice President Julian Dawes says, “Male Surrealists look at women as objects of desire. The female Surrealists sort of treat women as looking inward.”

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: July 10, 2015

Films featuring female protagonists have made strides at the box office. The New York Times film critics ask, “Has feminism conquered Hollywood? Has Hollywood co-opted feminism?”

Movies featuring women are becoming popular and sexist films are called out. Critic A.O. Scott wonders if this represents a “shift in consciousness, or at least a moment of awareness.” Critic Manohla Dargis agrees there is a “rising activism or maybe newfound gutsiness in the industry.” Vulture discusses four forms of discrimination women filmmakers often face.

Front-Page Femmes

The women-only Murray Edwards College has a new 450-work collection of art by women—making it the second largest collection of art by women in the world.

The Independent explores how a new generation of women artists tackle painting. “It has never been that brilliant female painters didn’t exist, it’s just that they were blocked or hidden from public view.”

In celebration of Frida Kahlo’s (1907–1954) birthday on Monday, The Detroit Institute of Art offered discounted tickets to the Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo in Detroit exhibition. The Huffington Post gives advice on how to become like the Mexican painter. Latin Times shares the artist’s most memorable quotes, and CNN explores pictures of Kahlo’s private life.

“Stop Telling Women to Smile” artist Tatyana Fazlalizadeh teamed up with King Texas to design t-shirts in remembrance of women lost to violence.

The Huffington Post has a list of ten more 19th-century American woman artists people should know. The list includes NMWA artists Lilly Martin Spencer, Bessie Potter Vonnoh, and Elizabeth Jane Gardner.

The first chapter of Harper Lee’s long-awaited but controversial Go Set A Watchman is available online.

Two new books about Agnes Martin explore the enigmatic artist’s life and work.

Beyoncé-inspired skyscraper will be built in Melbourne.

critique of the Amy Winehouse biopic says the film supports “clichés that plague women in art: that women can’t write their own music, or that they’re only famous because powerful male figures lifted them into the spotlight.”

NPR Music critic Ann Powers discusses the rise of the female pop stars.

The Guardian calls out a former Disney CEO for saying, “The hardest artist to find is a beautiful, funny woman.” The Washington Post goes on to ask “How widespread is this prejudice against the pretty?”

Feminist performers in “Tall Women in Clogs” comment on how height can shape a woman’s identity.

Following Misty Copeland’s history-making appointment as the American Ballet Theater’s first African American principal dancer, The Huffington Post compiled a list of 26 talented African American choreographers and dancers.

Shows We Want to See

The National Portrait Gallery highlights rarely-seen portraits by Elaine de Kooning.

Tate Modern holds a retrospective of painter Sonia Delaunay.

Jenny Holzer: Softer Targets opens this Sunday at Hauser & Wirth Somerset.

The Institute of Contemporary Art Boston features over 150 polymorphic sculptures by Arlene Shechet.

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: July 3, 2015

“The art world is screwed: systematically, historically,” says Arabelle Sicardi in this Jezebel article. Artists Sicardi and Tayler Smith describe the experience of seeing an uncredited reappropriation of their artwork by a Yale MFA student.

Sicardi writes, “How many women artists have been erased from museums through pre-Instagram modes of re-appropriation: their works attributed to male colleagues in their studios, their mentors or their lovers or more visible friends. How many women only get into museums by being muses, and never the artist themselves?”

Front-Page Femmes

Misty Copeland made history this week as the first African-American principal ballerina in the American Ballet Theater’s 75-year history. BBCThe New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal explore Copeland’s successes. Copeland has graced the cover of Time, been in an Under Armour ad, and published a memoir. A mentor of Copeland, Raven Wilkinson, describes her own tumultuous history as a ballerina in the Jim Crow South in this article.

The performance artist Marina Abramović announced her funeral will be her last piece. Abramović wants three bodies buried in the cities she has lived in the longest.

Fashion designer Donna Karan steps down from her chief designer position. The Washington Post calls her “Seventh Avenue’s greatest advocate for professional women.”

Niki Johnson’s Eggs Benedict causes major controversy at the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Commissioned graffiti in a tunnel in Mongolia raises awareness about violence against women.

Swedish artist Susanna Hesselberg’s installation at Sculpture by the Sea looks like a library lining a mining shaft.

Only 24% of all plays produced in the U.S. in the 2014-2015 season were written by a woman. In an effort to increase visibility of female and transgender authors, a Los Angeles-based group of producers and playwrights compiled a list of 53 most recommended plays.

Author Helen Castor’s new book puts Joan of Arc in context.

SheKnows media company launches an audience-driven video series featuring emerging female entrepreneurs hoping to launch their businesses.

Shows We Want to See

The first art show for The Kills singer Alison Mosshart contains 127 works—many of which were created while the artist was on tour.

Hyperallergic explores “social justice advocacy as art” in Zanele Muholi: Isibonelo/Evidence at the Brooklyn Museum.

Spaces of Mourning: Doris Salcedo brings a reviewer to tears. In this first comprehensive exhibition of the artist, “Salcedo focuses on the dirtied, repressed memories of society.”

Post cereal heiress Marjorie Merriweather Post’s wardrobe is on view. Ingenue to Icon presents an autobiography of the philanthropist and collector through her clothes.

Throckmorton Fine Art holds a show of Mexican women photographers.

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: June 26, 2015

ARTnews writer Ben Davis follows up Maura Reilly’s recent article by asking, “What will it take to finally put an end to sexism in art?” The limits of counting, conditions for success, the pay gap, and the representation gap are cited as contributing issues. Some of the article’s sobering stats and opinions are:

  • In the U.S. only 30% of all artists represented by galleries are women.
  • Today, female college graduates make about 22% less than men.
  • Interest in feminism ebbs and flows over the years.
  • Art sales constitute a fraction of how many contemporary artists make a living.

Front-Page Femmes

A pioneer in feminist art, Miriam Schapiro, passed away at the age of 91. Hyperallergic, Artnet, and The New York Times discuss her teachings, her work with Judy Chicago, and her pivotal role in the development and definition of feminist art.

Greta Gerwig talks to The Huffington Post about the problematic expectations of female characters in movies. Gerwig says, “I think likability is not just an issue for characters, it’s an issue for women in general. It can be a real straightjacket limiting life. It can feel like you’re operating outside of social norms when that’s your highest value: to be liked. I think it’s really tricky.”

Nina Simone is the inspiration behind three upcoming films and a tribute album. The New York Times says, “Fifty years after her prominence, Nina Simone is now reaching her peak.” NPR explores the songstress’s life and career through five songs.

ARTnews gets a glimpse into Barbara Kasten: Stages at ICA in Philadelphia.

Hyperallergic covers Natalie Frank: The Brothers Grimm at the Drawing Center. Frank focuses on the grisly and grotesque aspects of fairy tales in an attempt to recontextualize favorite stories from a feminist perspective.

Speaking Back at Goodman Gallery highlights various female perspectives on issues of race, culture, and gender. The show’s curator Natasha Becker says the exhibition focuses on “imagination and the right of black women artists to imagine, and the power in that.”

Conceptualist photographer Sarah Charlesworth’s works are on view at the New Museum.

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: June 19, 2015

ARTnews reports on painting and feminism during a panel featuring artists Rosy Keyser, Cecily Brown, and Joan Semmel.

In discussing Linda Nochlin’s famous essay, Semmel said, “There are many great women artists. And we shouldn’t still be talking about why there are no great women artists. If there aren’t great celebrated women artists, that’s because we have not been celebrating them, but not because they are not there.”

At the beginning of the discussion Semmel stated, “I was told that feminism was over a long time ago, and painting was dead. But here we are.”

Keyser added, “There needs to be a revolution every day.”

Front-Page Femmes

Arts patron and collector Valeria Napoleone launches new initiatives to increase the visibility of women artists in public collections. A work from a woman artist will be donated to a museum each year. The museum will, in turn, host a solo show for the artist.

Photographer Deborah Willis describes the current environment for black female photographers. “It seems we see a few of their names often, and I wonder if that is not just a function of social media. When you look closely though at collections and museum shows, then these artists tend to disappear.”

Harper Lee’s letters failed to sell at Christie’s auction on Friday.

Working with the Female Artists’ Foundation, these four African women artists explore societal challenges and preconceptions in their works.

Following author Kamila Shamsie’s call to action in a recent article in The Guardian, the publishing house And Other Stories will only release titles written by women in 2018.

Drawn & Quarterly has a history of championing female cartoonists and its current best-selling cartoonists are women. The New York Times examines Drawn & Quarterly’s advance of women in comics for their 25th anniversary.

The College Art Association (CAA) compiles a list of their top-picks for women-centered exhibitions and events. Check out what they are most excited for in June.

Shows We Want to See

A mind-bending retrospective of British artist Bridget Riley is open at the De La Warr Pavilion this summer. One review declares, “Bridget Riley is the most important British painter of the modern age.”

The Hammer Museum’s latest exhibition features a collaborative initiative of Los Angeles-based women artists and Afghan weavers.

She Came to Stay opens soon. This cross-generational exhibition of five women artists describes obstacles and displays women’s stories.

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: June 12, 2015

Women in the performing arts make waves in this week’s Art Fix Friday. NPR reports that six out of the top ten box-office movies this year featured female protagonists—more than in the last three decades. However, only two films were directed by women. A new study also found that while women direct only 7% of the top-grossing films in Hollywood, they direct 29% of documentaries and 18% of domestic features screened at film festivals.

Although women were outnumbered in headliner spots at this year’s Governors Ball, The New York Times raves that women artists had the strongest and most ambitious performances. Women DJs are still few and far between at music festivals and representation isn’t increasing fast enough.

At this year’s Tony Awards, women brought home trophies in every major category—including big wins for the musical adaptation of Alison Bechdel’s graphic-novel memoir, Fun Home.

Front-Page Femmes

Artist and activist Atena Farghadani was sentenced to over 12 years in an Iranian prison for drawing leaders of parliament as animals.

Famous for her polka-dot artworks and for her psychiatric clinic residence, Yayoi Kusama continues to be a favorite among wealthy art buyers, as well as the public. Last year, she was the most popular artist in terms of exhibition attendance, according to The Art Newspaper.

The Huffington Post covers the feminist music video experiment, “The Weird Girls Project.”

J.K. Rowling’s new novel is already the biggest gainer in sales rank on, shooting up its pre-sales charts only hours after the announcement.

Shows We Want to See

Painter Susan Swartz, whose work NMWA featured in an exhibition in 2011, is featured in a solo exhibition at the Ludwig Museum in Germany.

Exhibitions in New York, London, and Mexico City focus on the life and art of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

The Tate Britain has a retrospective of modern sculptor Barbara Hepworth. The Guardian examines key pieces from her 40-year oeuvre.

After years of obscurity, the centenarian artist Carmen Herrera’s paintings are on view at the new Whitney Museum of American Art. Herrera was also included in last month’s New York Times feature on women artists who are finally getting their due.

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: June 5, 2015

In celebration of the 500th post on the Broad Strokes blog, the museum is launching a new weekly blog series that pulls together recent art news highlights and takes the pulse of women in the arts.

The June 2015 issue of ARTnews is dedicated to women in the art world.

In the central article, Maura Reilly measures the progress and inequities of women’s representation in museums, exhibitions, press, and the art market:

  • In the last ten years, there has been a 10.6% increase in women-led museums, although mostly in museums with smaller budgets.
  • The highest price paid for a work by a living woman artist is $7.1 million for a Yayoi Kusama painting, whereas the highest result for a living man is an editioned sculpture by Jeff Koons for $58.4 million.

Front-Page Femmes

In their annual list of the 100 most powerful women in the world, Forbes did not include any artists or art world professionals.

An analysis of six major literary awards shows that novels about women are less likely to win. Research found that zero women writing female-centric works have won the Pulitzer Prize in the last 15 years.

The Financial Times reports that only 22% of people working in the games industry are women, although women make up almost half of players. Recent mentoring initiatives are intended to help close this gap.

In the New Yorker, Anwen Crawford explores the need for female rock critics. Not placed on the same pedestal as male rock critics, women writers are more often viewed as groupies. Crawford describes, “Groupies have proved an enduring stereotype of women’s participation in rock: worshipful, gorgeous, and despised.”

Shows We Want to See

Lynda Benglis’s gargantuan Water Sources sculptures take over Storm King Art Center. Visit the Huffington Post for some amazing photography.

A solo exhibition of Iranian-born artist Shirin Neshat prompts discussions of Islam and gender issues at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden.

Japan Times writer Alice Gordenker covers two exhibitions in Japan featuring historical works by lesser-known Japanese women artists.

For more facts and figures about women in the art world, visit the Advocate section of the museum’s website. Check back for future installments of Art Fix Friday!

—Emily Haight is the digital editorial assistant at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.