Art Fix Friday: April 15, 2016

The New Yorker traces French sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle’s unconventional life and art through her Tarot Garden—a project she had “envisioned in a dream . . . when she was locked in an asylum.”

For the two decades that Saint Phalle worked on the sculpture park in Tuscany she lived inside a house-sized sculpture of a sphinx. The artist wanted to create “a sort of joyland” where visitors could have “a new kind of life that would just be free.”

Front-Page Femmes

French street artist Mademoiselle Maurice arranges candy-colored origami works in unexpected places.

Kit King’s hyper-realistic and abstract work conveys the artist’s struggle with agoraphobia.

Italian artist Chiara Fumai “channels the ghosts of marginalized women” in an exhibition that “scandalizes and unsettles the viewer.”

Conceptual artist Maria Eichhorn’s next show gives gallery staff five weeks off from work.

Carrie Mae Weems reflects on her kitchen table series and says, “I knew what it meant for me, but I didn’t know what it would mean historically, within the terms of a graphic history.”

Marilyn Minter will sell 50 editions of her portrait of Miley Cyrus to support Planned Parenthood.

The New York Times asked female architects to talk about their experiences in the field and the professional challenges they face.

Work by female artists will make up 36% of all the work displayed in the redesigned Tate Modern.

Designated as a national monument this week, the formerly-named Sewall-Belmont House & Museum commemorates women’s history.

Salima Koroma creates Bad Rap, a documentary about four Asian-American rappers.

Complexions Contemporary Ballet celebrates Maya Angelou during National Poetry Month.

Mezzo-soprano Hai-Ting Chinn performs an experimental 75-minute opera about science—complete with lyrics drawn from famous scientists.

The Guardian asks, “Why, in 2016, are women still (mostly) silent film stars?”

Cartoonist Julie Doucet’s Carpet Sweeper Tales combines images from Italian novels and magazines to create “a narrative of male-female power relations.”

Wikipedia edit-a-thons help improve the visibility of women artists. Only 13–23% of Wikipedia’s contributors are women and only 15% of its biographies are about women.

The Argonauts author Maggie Nelson says, “The important thing is that whatever baggage you have from your life that you bring to intellectual scenarios is not going to keep you from being able to focus on the intellectual work being done.”

Slate celebrates the 100th anniversary of Beverly Cleary’s birth by highlighting the author’s four mostly-forgotten novels.

Shows We Want to See


Hyperallergic examines works by Elise Ansel (left) and Sarah Braman (right)

An exhibition at Bowdoin College Museum of Art, showcases how Maine-based painter Elise Ansel re-creates, re-visions, and re-presents paintings from the past.

You Are Everything features Sarah Braman’s sculptures combining salvaged objects—like bunk beds and campers—with colorful prisms.

Paula Modersohn-Becker (1876–1907), a lesser-known German painter who “exalted women in her paintings,” receives a retrospective in Paris of her brief ten-year career.

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

Art Fix Friday: September 18, 2015

Women, Arts, and Social Change is NMWA’s new initiative to address gender parity in the art world. NMWA Director Susan Fisher Sterling spoke with artnet about the inspiration behind the program and its cross-disciplinary series Fresh Talk. Conversations will feature figures like Carrie Mae Weems and Guerrilla Girl Alma Thomas.

Sterling says, “Current discourse focused on women and social change typically do not include any depth on the arts and programs focused on arts and social change tend to underrepresent women’s contributions. With our mission to champion women through the arts, no organization is more uniquely poised to take up this conversation.”

Front-Page Femmes

ARTnews shares that the The Protector of Home and Family is the “first known visual art work by Dr. Maya Angelou to be publicly exhibited or offered for sale.” Angelou’s art collection also sold for nearly $1.3 million on Tuesday.

The Huffington Post lists 10 historic women photographers, including Nan Goldin, Shirin Neshat, and Diane Arbus.

“I am strong. I am a woman. And I bite like a Mamba!” says a member of the Black Mamba Anti-Poaching Unit to photographer Julia Gunther. Gunther chronicled the work of the majority-female patrol in South Africa.

ARTnews visits artist Natalie Frank in her Brooklyn studio.

ARTINFO includes Joyce Kozloff among the list of 25 most collectible midcareer artists.

Marilyn Minter discusses Photoshop, feminism, fashion, and fine art. A supporter of other women artists, Minter says, “When a show is curated, it has to have other women in, too, or I won’t do the show.”

The New Yorker compares the divergent paths of two Iranian artists, Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian and Shirin Neshat.

In honor of the author’s 125th birthday, BBC archivists released lost Agatha Christie radio plays.

Rachel Cassandra’s upcoming book incorporates the work of 20 women street artists in South and Central America.

Women’s Voices Theater Festival is an initiative by 50 of the D.C. region’s professional theaters to present at least one world-premiere play by a female playwright during a six-week period.

Television is as male-dominated as the film industry. This year, women make up 42% of all speaking characters and 27% of behind-the-scenes roles like creators, writers, and producers.

Shows We Want to See

Jewelry and related drawings by French artist Niki de Saint Phalle will be featured at Louisa Guinness Gallery.

A survey of American installation artist Ree Morton is on view at Madrid’s Reina Sofia. Hyperallergic says Morton’s late works “have waded into the contested feminist debate about “women’s art”…by deliberately overstating a girlish, kitschy aesthetic in order to lay bare its gendered stereotypes.”

The Silversmith’s Art: Made in Britain Today at the National Museum of Scotland showcases 150 silverworks and half of the artists are women, “showing the increasingly pivotal role women represent in contemporary British silversmithing.”

(Em)Power Dynamics: Exploring the Modes of Female Empowerment and Representation in Americaan all-woman show—is on view at The Gateway Project Space in New Jersey.

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

Art Fix Friday: August 14, 2015

Inmates at a women’s prison make art dedicated to female heroes. In a collective installation titled Shared Dining, a group of ten inmates created elaborate place settings dedicated to famous women who inspired the artists.

Wall Street Journal article calls the work, “a small refuge from the grim reality of incarceration.” Inspired by The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago, Shared Dining is on view at the Brooklyn Museum.

Front-Page Femmes

Western Australian artist Jukuja Dolly Snell wins the country’s most prestigious Indigenous art prize.

Mary Cassatt’s great-grandniece gives a Cassatt portrait of Col. Edward Buchanan—nicknamed “Grandpa”—to the National Gallery of Art.

ARTnews visits Nigerian artist Ruby Onyinyechi Amanze’s SoHo studio.

A sculpture by Phyllida Barlow is the first work in the new $750,000 fund for female artist acquisitions at the Nasher Sculpture Center.

The Huffington Post highlights 11 exceptional women artists—including Eva Hesse, Judy Chicago, Agnes Martin, and Kiki Smith.

Canadian artist Meryl McMaster uses blind contour drawings to sculpt wire masks.

The Huffington Post lists 8 female Dada artists who “shaped the trajectory of radical artmaking and radical feminism.”

Around 50 works from poet and author Maya Angelou’s collection will go to auction. The sale includes artwork by Faith Ringgold, Elizabeth Catlett, and Jeanne Moutoussamy-Ashe.

Hyperallergic explores Nicole Eisenman’s Seder at the Jewish Museum.

Sylvia Plath’s first job as a farm worker may have influenced her writing.

The Atlantic reviews the first full-length biography of famed author Joan Didion.

Stone Soup author Ann McGovern dies at the age of 85.

Cindy Sherman plays a character based on the opera singer Maria Callas in a new film.

Showtime adapts Patti Smith’s memoir Just Kids for a TV series.

Less than a third of speaking roles in movies go to women.

Shows We Want to See

The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis will feature hand-woven, abstract fiber-based installation and sculptures from Sheila Hicks’s 60-year oeuvre.

Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty explores the artist’s hyper-real work as an “astute interpretation of our deepest impulses, compulsions, and fantasies.”

The first large-scale exhibition of Israeli artist Keren Cytter is on view at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago.

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