Art Fix Friday: August 19, 2016

Nan Goldin asks, “I’m not responsible for anything like social media, am I? Tell me I’m not.”

The New York Times draws parallels between Goldin’s signature work, The Ballad of Sexual Dependency, and the current culture of image sharing.

Front-Page Femmes

Hyperallergic writes, “We should all be inspired by Alma Thomas’s optimism.”

Niki de Saint Phalle’s sculpture garden in Tuscany contains 22 “massive, globular forms of divine goddesses and strange beasts.”

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, organized by the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, will travel to four additional museums in North America. The Art Newspaper and artnet share the excitement.

Colombian sculptor Doris Salcedo tours Bogotá and her studio for the Guardian.

Polixeni Papapetrou uses flowers from a cemetery to explore themes of mourning and remembrance.

The Brooklyn Museum will celebrate the tenth anniversary of its Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

The Art Newspaper explores Shirin Neshat’s two new video works.

Artsy profiles the Neo Naturists, a “body-painting trio of female flashers” that started an underground art movement in the 1980s.

The Huffington Post shares a list of ten exceptional women photographers.

In LACMA’s new video series, Catherine Opie discusses a painting by Thomas Eakins in the museum’s collection.

Alexandra Berg’s pencil drawings “would fool anyone into thinking they were black and white photographs.”

A new solo exhibition presents three recent bodies of work by Barbara Kasten.

Photographer Lisa Minogue creates stylized portraits of Australian women of color by using vibrant face paint.

In her “Reading Women” series, Carrie Schneider photographs and films women artists reading works by their favorite women authors.

artnet shares five interesting facts about Italian artist and activist Tina Modotti (1896–1942) on the anniversary of her birth.

A rare letter by pioneering travel writer Mary Wortley Montagu goes up for sale.

Lisa Hannigan’s latest album “sneaks up and envelops listeners in cocoons of sound.”

The Guardian discusses revolutionary Australian feminist films of the ’90s.

After her directorial debut, Natalie Portman discusses the status of female directors in Hollywood.

Hyperallergic delves into Chantal Akerman’s 1975 film, Je tu il elle.

Shows We Want to See

Paola Pivi: Ma’am at Dallas Contemporary features Italian artist Paula Pivi’s “multicolored polar bears, an upside down plane, a giant inflatable ladder, and a film of live goldfish on an airplane.”

NPR finds “a brave sense of modernity and freedom” in The Art of Romaine Brooks at Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Eau de Cologne at Sprüth Magers gallery presents works by Jenny Holzer, Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman, Rosemarie Trockel, and Louise Lawler. The exhibition is “rooted in an appreciation for these women who are rare in the field of contemporary art: strident and singular and commercially successful.”

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

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

bcma-ansel-Revelations-II-768x1028

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.

Feminism and Daring: Cataloguing Niki de Saint Phalle

“Very early on I decided to become a heroine . . .” said Niki de Saint Phalle (1930–2002). “What did it matter who I would be? The main thing was that it had to be difficult, grandiose, exciting.”

That quote, which adorns the back cover of Niki de Saint Phalle (La Fábrica / Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, 2015), captures the ambition and bravado of the French-American artist. The lush catalogue was published for a recent retrospective of Saint Phalle’s work that was shown at the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao and the RMN-Grand Palais in Paris.

Saint Phalle may be best known for exuberant mosaic sculptures known as her “Nanas,” several of which were showcased as the inaugural works in NMWA’s New York Avenue Sculpture Project. This retrospective celebrates and contextualizes her Nanas while shedding light on her other work—from paintings to sculptures to experimental films—as well as her boldly cultivated persona and the political and feminist subjects that her art addressed.

In this catalogue, Saint Phalle’s work is presented in four sections—“The Beginnings,” on her formative work; “Shooting, Performances, and Commitment,” which traces her public persona and action-based Shooting Paintings; “Feminine Imagery,” highlighting her vibrant and sometimes aggressive portrayals of women; and “Sculpture and Public Art.” Numerous contributors include Bloum Cardenas, the artist’s granddaughter and trustee of the Niki Charitable Art Foundation, and Camille Morineau, lead exhibition curator.

Morineau’s introductory essay asserts Saint Phalle’s status as a feminist and risk-taker with a “mixture of coherence, complexity, and courage which distinguishes great artists.”

All are welcome to look at this catalogue, which is available in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. If you’re touring the museum’s exhibitions, the library is open to the public and makes a great starting point on the fourth floor. In addition to beautiful books and comfortable chairs, library visitors enjoy interesting exhibitions that feature archival manuscripts, personal papers by women artists, rare books, and artists’ books. Reference Desk staff members are always happy to answer questions and offer assistance. Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.

—Elizabeth Lynch is the editor 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.