Art Fix Friday: April 22, 2016

TIME magazine released their list of the 100 most influential people. Bustle writes, “with 60 men and 40 women, the TIME 100 list is still experiencing a gender gap.” The magazine also highlighted 13 women whose influence exceeds their fame, including Chinese fashion designer Guo Pei and 87-year old Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama.

In a TIME interview, rapper Nicki Minaj gives advice to women and says, “Don’t ever be ashamed to ask for the top dollar in your field.” Jennifer Lawrence writes an essay about Adele and calls the British songstress “an international treasure.” Tina Fey writes a feminist ode to UFC fighter Ronda Rousey. The list also includes actresses Melissa McCarthy, Priyanka Chopra, and Gina Rodriguez—among others.

Front-Page Femmes

The Guardian examines how the death of student Sara Ottens profoundly impacted Cuban American performance artist Ana Mendieta.

Ilma Gore faces a potential lawsuit from Donald Trump’s legal team if her painting of a nude Trump sells.

The Guardian discusses how to buy indigenous Australian art—ethically.

Photographer Annie Leibovitz discusses career advice she received from Queen Elizabeth II.

Harriet Tubman will replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. There are also plans for seven more historic female figures to grace the $5 and $10 bills.

ARTnews discusses how artist Lynn Hershman Leeson published art criticism under the guise of three invented personas.

Everybody Loves Raymond actress Doris Roberts passed away on Sunday at age 90.

“It takes a lot of bravery to be kind,” says Newbery award-winning author Kate DiCamillo.

Slate interviews photographer Amanda Marsalis about Ava DuVernay, gentrification, and directing her first film, Echo.

Barbara Holmes used wood reclaimed from a dump in San Francisco to create a spiraled, site-specific installation.

After tragic news of Prince’s death on Thursday, women artists paid their respects on social media and Slate explored his history of collaboration with women, calling Prince “one of music’s great champions of women.”

Coachella has no female headliners—for the ninth year in a row.

The documentary series, The Ascent of Woman, recognizes feminist trailblazers in an attempt to “retell the story of civilization with women and men side by side for the first time.”

Shows We Want to See

Lee Miller: A Woman’s War at the Imperial War Museums closes this Sunday. The exhibition showcases over 150 images by the war correspondent, alongside Picasso’s portrait of Miller, and her personal correspondence with Condé Nast.

The first major survey of Mona Hatoum’s work in the U.K. is on view at Tate Modern. The Lebanese-born Palestinian artist is best known for adjusting domestic items to “imbue them with a certain lethal horror.”

A new exhibition features Pati Hill’s “delicate, remarkable images, all made on the rather unremarkable IBM Copier II.”

Roz Chast creates a larger-than-life mural in the Museum of the City of New York, for an exhibition of 200 of her drawings titled Cartoon Memoirs.

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

Art Fix Friday: January 8, 2016

London’s Saatchi Gallery made waves this week with the announcement of its first all-women exhibition. The Guardian reports Champagne Life will showcase the work of 14 emerging women artists.

In a response to the announcement, an artnet article debates the value of women-only exhibitions. The gallery’s chief executive stated that although women artists are better represented in art today, “there remains a glass ceiling that needs to be addressed.”

ARTnews examines 2015 auction prices and finds that “while women artists are very slowly beginning to gain a fairer share of the art market, their male counterparts continue to outperform them dramatically at the highest end.”

Front-Page Femmes

Known as the Bee Queen, Oregonian artist Sara Mapelli dances with swarms of honeybees covering her torso.

Anita Corbin photographed the female punks of London’s 1980s underground clubs. Now, 35 years later, the artist is trying to track down her subjects.

Photographer Annemarie Heinrich’s negatives, prints, and archives are in jeopardy due to a lack of conservation policies in Argentina.

Carmen Herrera, Rosalind E. Krauss, and artist-activist Carrie Mae Weems were among the recipients of the 2016 Awards for Distinction from the College Art Association (CAA).

Stark black watercolor paintings by Indonesian artist Elicia Edijanto explore the relationships between people, animals, and nature.

Singapore Art Week will be “helmed by female artists,” including solo exhibitions by Jane Lee, Donna Ong, and Belinda Fox.

New Orleans-based artist Eugenie Schwartz—known as Ersy—died at the age of 64. For her “darkly humorous” works, the artist took inspiration from the French Quarter and Southern Gothic surrealism.

Cate Blanchett discusses her role in the movie Carol, which tells the story of two women who fall in love in 1950s New York.

Cartoonists and graphic novelists called for a boycott of the Angoulême International Comics Festival, because no women were nominated for France’s most prestigious comics prize.

The Huffington Post explores Katy Siegel’s book “The heroine Paint” After Frankenthaler.

Discover seven interesting facts about Zora Neale Hurston, in honor of the 125th anniversary of the writer’s birthday.

NPR interviews Japanese organizing guru Marie Kondo about her best-selling book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up.

Shows We Want to See

The New York Times raves about Liza Lou: Color Field and Solid Grey at the Neuberger Museum of Art. The exhibition includes Lou’s largest work—an iridescent grid of tiled colors comprised of cylindrical glass beads.

New works by Los Angeles-based artist Lita Albuquerque explore the Earth, space, land, stars, and the body in two exhibitons at Kohn Gallery and the University of Southern California’s Fisher Museum of Art. The artist tells Artforum that her paintings communicate “activation through a vibrating language of pigments” and her new film explores the idea of “interstellar consciousness.”

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

Art Fix Friday: January 1, 2016

The Telegraph examines the status of women in the art world. Although women have made strides with high-profile museum exhibitions in the last year, there is still a huge price gap. Bonhams reports that only 19 of the top 500 artists sold by value last year were women—showing how women artists are “woefully undervalued.”

Although Georgia O’Keeffe broke the record for a price at auction by a woman artist, she still does not come close to the latest record-setting work by a male artist. This year, Picasso’s Les Femme d’Alger (Version “0”) earned a $179 million price tag at auction.

Front-Page Femmes

Police denied permission for an exhibition of Mathilde Grafström’s photographs of nudes to be shown in Copenhagen’s Nytorv square on the grounds that they are “indecent.”

The Boston Globe highlights the city’s successful public displays of art by women in 2015, including works by Janet Echelman, Joan Jonas, Helen Frankenthaler—among others.

Broadly examines the theme of revenge in paintings by 17th-century artist Artemisia Gentileschi.

Pastel artist Zaria Forman honors her mother’s memory and raises awareness about climate change through large-scale Arctic seascapes.

Artslant shares its favorite interviews from 2015, including discussions with artists Cecily Brown, Hito Steyerl, Lesley Dill, Martine Syms, Laure Prouvost, and Zina Saro-Wiwa, and Frances Stark.

Artinfo highlights the promotion of women artists in 2015.

The Independent profiles 70-year-old Maggi Hambling—one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary artists—who says, “You can still say something with oil paint that you can’t with photography or film.”

Mic features 13 feminist Tumblr artists who turned their blogs into online galleries.

Women in the music world broke records in 2015.

The Guardian describes Star Wars: The Force Awakens as “the feminist punch-the-air moment we’ve all been desperately waiting for.”

The Atlantic describes popular novels that feature “ill-natured, brilliantly flawed female protagonists,” illustrating that female characters do not have to be likable.

Dakotah storyteller Mary Louise Defender Wilson won a $50,000 United States Artist Fellowship.

Shows We Want to See

LoudArt in the Saudi Arabian city of Jeddah covers “controversial themes such as gender issues, freedom and an identity crisis.” Led by curator Raneen Farid Bukhari, the event “reflects the efforts by young Saudi women to expand their role in public life.”

Hyperallergic instructs visitors to get caught up in the “mathematics of identity, in the rights and wrongs of the art world, and in the aesthetics of documentation as art” in the exhibition Lorraine O’Grady: Where Margins Become Centers. The exhibition features photography, film, collage, performance documentation, and writing.

Surfacing at the Minnesota Marine Art Museum will include two temporary “escapist” exhibits that spotlight water-themed works by painter Samantha French and photographer Rhea Pappas.

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

Art Fix Friday: December 4, 2015

The significant number of works by women at this year’s Art Basel Miami Beach has the art world buzzing.

Highlighting a handful of young artists at the main fair, The Wall Street Journal includes noteworthy Moroccan artist Yto Barrada’s exhibit evoking a natural-history museum and Mexican artist Fritzia Irizar’s gold-threaded Phrygian hat.

The Frisky lists 15 works by women artists who exhibited at Art Basel, including Hannah Wilke, Helen Frankenthaler, Marina Abramović, and Kara Walker. The Observer also selects seven must-see booths, including works by Rosalyn Drexler, Louise Nevelson, Emily Sundblad, and Zilia Sánchez.

A showcase by collectors Don and Mera Rubell, No Man’s Land, presents work by more than 100 women artists. The Guardian writes, “The whole presentation works more than fine as an art world cross-section, and you really don’t miss the men.”

Front-Page Femmes

Three decades after her tragic death, Cuban-American artist Ana Mendieta “seems to inspire, generally: devotion, even obsession.”

Hyperallergic explores the fluid, abstract works of Philadelphia-based painter Jan Baltzell.

Examining femininity and domesticity, Patty Carroll’s “Anonymous Women” photos depict textile-cloaked women blending into their environments.

Dickey Chapelle, the first American woman photojournalist killed in action, captured historical moments from Iwo Jima to the Vietnam War.

This year’s Pirelli calendar—famous for featuring sexualized, nude models—features women role models under the direction of photographer Annie Leibovitz.

B.A. Shapiro’s new novel, The Muralist, tells the fictional story of two Abstract Expressionist painters.

Slate writer Anne E. Fernald traces the links between Gertrude Stein and Goodnight Moon author Margaret Wise Brown.

Known for her pioneering work in Islamic feminism, Moroccan writer and sociologist Fatima Mernissi died Monday at the age of 75.

Orange Is the New Black actress Uzo Aduba discusses acting, smiling, and her ten-year ice skating career.

Critiquing Hollywood image and weight standards for actresses, Star Wars star Carrie Fisher says, “They don’t want to hire all of me—only about three-quarters! Nothing changes, it’s an appearance-driven thing.”

A new play for the Royal Shakespeare Company, written by Helen Edmunson, delves into Queen Anne’s relationship with the aristocrat Sarah Churchill.

Blank on Blank animates an interview with Nina Simone and European jazz singer Lillian Terry, which progresses from a discussion of pop culture to violence.

Shows We Want to See

Haunting panel scenes by married artists Iri and Toshi Maruki encapsulate the horrors they witnessed three days after the atomic bomb exploded in Hiroshima in 1945.

Hyperallergic reviews Mary Heilmann’s works, which combine “a do-it-yourself ethic with a vision of unconventional domesticity.”

A Georgia O’Keeffe retrospective in Grenoble, France includes O’Keeffe’s paintings alongside the works of her contemporaries. The Huffington Post explores the exhibition’s abstracted floral imagery and the artist’s success in “escaping the classic images of female sexuality.”

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

Posh Pathmakers

Dynamic women designers and artists from the mid-20th century and today create innovative designs, maintain craft traditions, and incorporate new aesthetics into fine art in Pathmakers: Women in Art, Craft, and Design, Midcentury and Today, now on view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Each week, compare and draw parallels between works on view in Pathmakers and NMWA collection favorites.

On view in Pathmakers

Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe, Viviana Bangle Watch, ca. 1969

Bülow-Hübe’s sleek stainless-steel watch exudes modernity and seamlessly integrates art with functionality. It showcases clean, curvilinear lines and maintains a sense of visual balance despite its asymmetry. The watch’s band remains partially open, revealing a small portion of the wearer’s wrist. Elegant and simple, the piece lacks numbers or clasps. The watch is stripped of excess adornments and distilled to basic forms.

Left: Image of Viviana Torun Bülow-Hübe, 1954; Right: Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe (manufactured by Georg Jensen), Vivianna Bangle Watch, 1969; Stainless steel, 3 x 1 3/8 in.; Photos courtesy of George Jensen

Left: Image of Viviana Torun Bülow-Hübe, 1954; Right: Vivianna Bangle Watch, 1969; Stainless steel, 3 x 1 3/8 in.; Photographs courtesy of George Jensen

Who made it?

Vivianna Torun Bülow-Hübe (1927–2004) gained renown for her unconventional silver jewelry designs. Born in Sweden, Torun (as she was usually known) began designing jewelry as a teenager. She attended the University College of Arts, Crafts and Design in Stockholm before setting up a studio in Paris. Her innovative, handmade designs caught the attention of luminaries such as Pablo Picasso, Billie Holiday, Brigitte Bardot, and Ingrid Bergman. Her life, like her designs, was unconventional. In the late 1960s she became a member of Subud, an international spiritual movement. She moved to Germany and later to Indonesia, working in service of the movement.

How was it made?

In 1967, Torun began designing for the Danish luxury silver company Georg Jensen. The watch on view in Pathmakers was the first ever made by Jensen and enjoyed great popularity. Eventually the company renamed it “Vivianna” in honor of its creator. Torun said that the watch’s creative design stems from a desire to attune its wearers to the present moment: “I wanted to free people from the slavery of time,” she explains, “the watch is open-ended to symbolize that time should not bind us, and the dial like a mirror reminds us that life is now.” The watch is still sold by Jensen today.

Collection connection

Eulabee Dix, Me, 1899; Watercolor on ivory, 2 1/2 x 2 1/8 in. oval; NMWA, Gift of Mrs. Philip Dix Becker and family

Eulabee Dix, Me, 1899; Watercolor on ivory, 2 1/2 x 2 1/8 in. oval; NMWA, Gift of Mrs. Philip Dix Becker and family

In NMWA’s collection, Eulabee Dix’s Me (1899) also serves as functional and portable art. Easily carried, miniatures like Dix’s served as mementos for loved ones. They were also used to introduce people across long distances. The trend of creating portrait miniatures began in the 15th century, and they remained popular until they were displaced by photography. American-born Eulabee Dix was instrumental in the miniature revival movement in the early 1900s. She used watercolor on ivory—a painstaking process resulting in a delicate artwork. A close look reveals that Dix used stippling for facial details and broader strokes for the clothing. Me exemplifies Dix’s attention to detail and her skill in creating likenesses.

Visit the museum and explore Pathmakers, on view through February 28, 2016.

—Marina MacLatchie is the education and digital engagement intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts

Art Fix Friday: November 20, 2015

A new retrospective of French portrait artist Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun (1755–1842) is on view at the Grand Palais in Paris. Half of the works are from private collections and are on view for the public for the first time.

As Queen Marie Antoinette’s favorite court painter, Vigée Le Brun had to flee Paris during the French Revolution. Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun 1755–1842 charts the artist’s rise to fame and her successful career. Apollo Magazine praises the exhibition for including less well-known works that offer “human insight” into the turbulence of the French Revolution.

Front Page Femmes

Actor Alec Baldwin told ARTnews how he accidentally purchased a Pat Steir painting for $95,000.

Laura Lima turns a storefront into a chicken coop—complete with hens and a rooster with brightly colored feathers.

The Plume Project, started by artist Emily Stover, uses a power plant’s steam plume to create art in the sky.

The Guerrilla Girls plan an “anti-billionaire” campaign to highlight discrimination.

An excerpt from a 100-year-old ARTnews article discusses women art dealers.

ThreeFold by Natasha Johns-Messenger is a maze of mirrors that tricks and disorients visitors.

French Photographer Valérie Belin was awarded the Prix Pictet for her memento mori project using cheap, plastic goods to expose grotesque excess.

Victorian artist Fiona McMonagle won the biennial University of Queensland National Self-Portrait Prize for her 16-second video of 100 self-portraits.

Feminist art historian Linda Nochlin also writes poetry.

Children’s book author Kate DiCamillo writes an essay for the Washington Post about reading stories aloud.

Forgotten stained-glass artist Wilhelmina Geddes is the subject of a new book.

“The Queen of Swing”—95-year-old Norma Miller—discusses her fame as a Lindy Hop dancer and her recent career in comedy.

Albanian soprano Ermonela Jaho plays Zazà in an upcoming performance at the Barbican.

New York street performer Lois Evans asks passersby to nominate women who they think should be memorialized with a public monument.

Actress Krysten Ritter, recently cast as Marvel superhero Jessica Jones, says the role is “an amazing female character study that we haven’t seen before on television.”

Shows We Want to See

The Garage Museum of Contemporary Art in Moscow hosts a powerful exhibition of Louise Bourgeois’s Cells, which “chronicle a recursive series of anxieties, one of the last iterations in the long process of art-as-therapy that characterizes Bourgeois’s work.”

Corita Kent and the Language of Pop presents 60 screen prints by artist, activist, and nun Sister Mary Corita Kent. Hyperallergic explores how “Kent distilled a Pop narrative into a larger political and religious conversation.”

Haunting video and photographs by German artist Annina Roescheisen tell the story of Shakespeare’s Ophelia in What Are You Fishing For?

The New York Times highlights solo exhibitions in Los Angeles for video artists Simone Forti, Magdalena Fernández, and Diana Thater. About video as a medium, Thater explains, “There is no male-dominated history, so there’s more freedom.”

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

Art Fix Friday: October 16, 2015

National Geographic poses the question, “Were the first artists mostly women?” New research on handprints in early cave paintings suggests women may be the artists responsible for ancient cave paintings.

Iconography in early paintings in France and Spain showcase game animals, which lead many researchers to believe the artists were male hunters. However, women would have been equally concerned with successful hunts in these hunter-gatherer societies. Studies found that women’s ring and index fingers tend to be similar lengths, whereas men’s ring fingers tend to be longer. Three quarters of hand stencils in cave art were left by women.

Front-Page Femmes

Influential German photographer Hilla Becher died at the age of 81.

Frieze London, one of the world’s prominent contemporary art fairs, opened on Wednesday. Elle UK showcases 10 of the cutting-edge women artists at this year’s exhibition.

Self-portraits by modern Indian painter Amrita Sher-Gil, deemed “national treasures,” are selling for top prices at auctions.

Aline Smithson, a former fashion editor for Vogue Patterns and Vogue Knitting, found her calling in photography.  Smithson’s first book, Self & Others: Portrait as Autobiography, examines two decades of portraiture.

Kate Gilmore wins a $200,000 juried ArtPrize competition.

Juxtapoz highlights portraits of North Korean women in works by Romanian photographer Mihaela Noroc.

ArtInfo reflects on six embroidered works recently on view in Teresa Margolles: We Have a Common Thread at the Neuberger Museum of Art.

Famed feminist advocate and organizer Gloria Steinem releases her latest book, My Life on the Road.

The Huffington Post shares 15 books by women to read this fall, including works by Margaret Atwood, Lauren Groff, and Anne-Marie Slaughter.

A new album by American folk singer-songwriter Iris Dement contributes to a surge of interest in 20th-century Russian poet Anna Akhmatova.

Bustle highlights 13 songs by women artists for their fall playlist.

The Walking Dead actress Danai Gurira discusses the lack of African women’s perspectives in the arts. Gurira’s off-Broadway play, Eclipsed, stars Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o.

Playwright Suzan-Lori Parks wins $300,000 Gish Prize for “highly accomplished artists…who have pushed the boundaries of their art forms, contributed to social change and paved the way for the next generation.”

In a New York Times article, author and filmmaker Miranda July interviews pop star Rihanna.

Shows We Want to See

Jane Freilicher and Jane Wilson: Seen and Unseen brings together works by two American artists who bonded over their “insider-outsider status in the New York art scene” of the 1950s.

New York gallery exhibitions of works by Sarah Sze, Julia Bland, Martine Syms, Anna K.E., and Andrea McGlinty capture the attention of ArtInfo.

Sarah Cain: The Imaginary Architecture of Love features one painting spanning the walls and floors of the Contemporary Art Museum, Raleigh.

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

Art Fix Friday: October 9, 2015

Design label Max Mara works with London’s Whitechapel Gallery to give women artists a shot at having their own solo exhibitions. The Max Mara Art Prize for Women enables one artist to have a six-month residency in Italy followed by a major solo exhibition.

Meet the shortlisted artists:

  • Ana Genovés recreates overlooked objects and spaces through architectural installations.
  • To examine landscapes, Tania Kovats creates large-scale installations and time-based works.
  • Emma Hart uses ceramics, video, and photography to explore misrepresentation.
  • Using a range of materials, Phoebe Unwin paints from memory rather than photo references.
  • Ruth Ewan works with archaeologists and horticulturalists to explore radical histories.

Front-Page Femmes

ARTnews gets a sneak-peak into Joan Semmel’s SoHo studio.

Moroccan-born Lalla A. Essaydi combines Islamic calligraphy with representations of the female body.

Evelyn Dunbar, the only woman hired as an Official British War Artist in World War II, gets a retrospective of over 500 paintings and sketches.

The New-York Historical Society plans to open a Center for the Study of Women’s History—spurred by the discovery that some of their collection’s Tiffany lamps were actually made by women.

Juxtapoz shares doll illustrations by Mexican-born artist Hilda Palafox.

Pakistani-born artist Shahzia Sikander’s training in centuries-old Islamic art miniatures influences her hypnotic video installations.

In Central Park, Yoko Ono gathers thousands of people to create a peace sign in memory of John Lennon.

Olga Hirshhorn, collector and widow of the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden’s founder, died at age 95.

ArtInfo asks Ishiuchi Miyako about her solo exhibition and how she broke up the boys’ club of Japan’s postwar photography.

Belarusian writer Svetlana Alexievich wins the 2015 Nobel prize in literature for her compilation works exploring history through the emotions of her interviewees.

Rock ‘n’ Roll maven Peggy Jones, also known as “Lady Bo,” died at age 75.

Belgian director Chantal Akerman, known for her introspective feminist films, died at the age of 65.

Marketing efforts for the upcoming film Suffragette receive backlash.

Slate suggests headlining women superheroes for future Marvel movies.

Hawaiian actress Auli’I Cravalho is cast as the voice of Disney’s Moana.

Shows We Want to See

Asia Society Texas Center features mixed-media works by Seoul-based artist Yeesookyung. Known for her “Translated Vase” series, the artist reassembles broken shards to create biomorphic sculptures.

The Grand Palais retrospective of Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun includes a 49-foot-high mirror diffusing a rose-scented fragrance—a reference to the painter’s patron, Marie Antoinette.

Jacqueline Humphries’s “black light” paintings—works that glow with phosphorescent paint—will be on view at the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans.

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

Flights and Frights of Fancy

With over one thousand unique works, NMWA has one of the nation’s most extensive collections of artists’ books. Selections are always on display in the Betty Boyd Dettre Library and Research Center, but curators often collaborate so that book arts also join other art objects in a special exhibition. Ten artists’ books in Super Natural reveal that the book is an effective medium for addressing the exhibition’s central question: “What is natural?”


Kerry Miller, Britain’s Birds and Their Nests, Mixed media hand-cut assemblage, 11 x 20 1/2 x 2 3/8 in.; On loan from Kerry Miller; Photo credit: Laura Hoffman

Two of these featured artists’ books are Britain’s Birds and Their Nests (2015) by Kerry Miller, and four and twenty black birds (2004–07) by Carol Todaro. These entrancing works are linked not only by their medium and their focus on nature, but by their specific focus on birds.


Detail of Britain’s Birds and Their Nests

Birds have a long history of intricate symbolism in literature and art. Depending on the species and context, birds can stand for a plethora of ideas ranging from resurrection to greed.

Because of their ability to soar to heights that mankind cannot naturally reach, birds commonly represent freedom.

Bursting from the confines of a textbook’s binding, the winged creatures in Britain’s Birds and Their Nests embody carefree liberation. The viewer can almost hear the cacophonous sounds issuing from their open beaks.

Kerry Miller extracts the text in a natural history book to reveal a three-dimensional riot of colorful birds. Miller states that the purpose of her work is to release images from books, and here she successfully delivers the birds from the constraints of cold, scientific fact. She allows her birds to take ownership over text-based analyses of their biology and behavior.


Carol Todaro, four and twenty blackbirds; Table and ink drawing on paper; On loan from the artist; Photo credit: Laura Hoffman

While Miller’s birds seem liberated, the blackbird in Carol Todaro’s large-scale book work appears to be irreversibly trapped within the graphite-laden pages. This blackbird’s disembodied wings are laid flat upon a black stool while being spread thin over translucent pages. The title of the piece, as well as the dark hue of the graphite, alludes to a haunting nursery rhyme that details the killing of many blackbirds for human consumption.

The eerie tone of Todaro’s book contrasts with Miller’s blithe one. Both allow birds to interact with their book medium, but one compares the motion of a wing to the opening of a page, and the other shows birds flying from a book’s leather binding. In works by these artists, the bird can remain a symbol of freedom or, alternatively, have its wings clipped.

—Christy Slobogin was the summer publications and marketing/communications intern at the National Museum of Women in the Arts.

Art Fix Friday: August 28, 2015

Women in music caused a buzz this week. Music critic Jessica Hopper used Twitter to “put the spotlight on pervasive sexism staining the [music] industry.”

The Guardian shares women musicians’ experiences of not being as respected as their male counterparts.

The Huffington Post discusses the gender gap with pop artist Anna Hass. The songwriter says, “It must first be acknowledged before it can be changed. Men and women of talent deserve equal representation and opportunities to make a living in the music industry.”

Exam boards have ignored female composers as worthy of study. Although there have been famous and successful female classical composers, many have been “written out of history; left out of the canon.”

The New York-based platform Discwoman showcases female-identified DJ talent in the electronic music community.

Front Page Femmes

Japanese artist Megumi Igarashi’s controversial sculpture has led to her arrest—twice.

The Guardian discusses women war photographers who have since faded into obscurity.

New tapestries by Ebony G. Patterson incorporate colorful clumps of flowers and gems but reveal disturbing crime scene moments upon closer examination.

Akshaya Borkar, the founder of The Art and Craft Gallery, is attempting to revolutionize the art industry online.

The Joan Mitchell Center, an artist retreat funded by Mitchell’s foundation, opened this weekend in New Orleans.

The Huffington Post interviews curator and writer Maura Reilly. Reilly discusses the recent ARTnews Special Issue on Women in the Art World.

The Women’s Project Theater begins its season at the McGinn/Cazale Theater on Broadway. The company is dedicated to promoting women artists.

Twelve writers have been selected to participate in a new program funded by Meryl Streep. The Writers Lab is devoted to script development for women writers over the age of 40.

Ballet dancer Misty Copeland makes her Broadway debut in the musical On the Town.

Shows We Want to See

Hyperallergic reviews a new exhibition of works by Baroque painter Josefa de Óbidos (1630–1684). “She is considered to be one of the most accomplished painters of 17th-century Portugal and is especially significant because of the recognition she gained in an art period dominated by men.”

Egyptian-Lebanese artist Lara Baladi’s 29-foot-long tapestry Oum el Dounia is on view at the Smithsonian’s Arthur M. Sackler Gallery.

Portuguese artist Leonor Antunes cites textile artist Anni Albers and filmmaker Maya Deren as inspirations for her installation in the New Museum’s Lobby Gallery.

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