The F Word Re-imagined
When I was a little girl growing up in Ann Arbor in the 60’s, my parents urged me to dream big and pursue whatever my imagination allowed. With brothers on both sides, I built forts, dug in the sandbox, and climbed trees. My liberal dad and feminist mom raised me to believe in myself, supporting me when I organized girls to wear pants to school, which believe it or not, was against the rules.
It wasn’t until adulthood that my idealist bubble burst and I realized the real world didn’t operate that way. What do you mean, over 50 percent of artists are women, yet only 28 percent of museum exhibitions and 25 percent of NYC solo shows feature women? How could there still be nearly a 20 percent wage gap between men and women artists, and a $135 million gender gap in the highest price paid at auction?
The bias against women in the arts has continued for years with only marginal improvement, despite persistent outcry. Just look how far we have not come since the 1970s and Judy Chicago’s seminal The Dinner Party?
The Obamas recently responded by installing contemporary works in their private quarters by women and artists of African American, Asian, and Hispanic descent. And in September, President Obama wrote a provocative, inspiring article for Glamour Magazine, proclaiming “This is what a feminist looks like,” urging men and women to fight together to achieve parity.
Not surprisingly, my own work has a decidedly feminist bent. I aim to have a distinctive voice in the conversation about elevating women’s handcrafted works to high art in the tradition of Judy Chicago, Rosemarie Trockle, and others inspired by countless unknown women artists who’ve received little recognition or acclaim.
My psychologically infused “security blanket” paintings reference women’s internal struggle to feel comfortable in their own skin and external struggle to be known and valued.
I paint on antique linen, handwoven by women in the 1800’s, originally used as sheets and duvet covers, security blankets in their own right. The coarse threads, hand stitched seams, and occasional repairs highlight the vestiges of the female hand and engender a sense of strength, authenticity and beauty in that which is genuine and imperfect.
If you’re on the road, I’d love you to stop by my solo exhibition, Uneven Edges, at Cheryl Hazan Gallery in NYC, and Lawrence Fine Art at Art Miami Context.
After all, Iwan Wirth, co-founder of Hauser & Wirth, recently declared, woman artists ”are the bargains of our time.”
Represented by Lawrence Fine Art, East Hampton, NY
Uneven Edges, Solo Exhibition
Cheryl Hazen Gallery Oct 26 – December 2, 2016
35 N. Moore St., #1
New York, NY 10013
Lawrence Fine Art
Art Miami Context, Miami, Florida Nov 29-Dec 4, 2016