At Home: A Selection of Works by Women Artists
Carol Cole, Merritt Johnson, Pat Lasch, Alice Neel, Judy Pfaff, Hilla Rebay , Janet Sobel, Renée Stout and Rhonda Wall
April 30 - June 30, 2019
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At Home is a selection of work by important American women artists of the 20th and 21st century and is a response to the changing landscape of the art world as well as to the particular and complex demands on working women. The selection of works is inspired by the ways in which women negotiate and contest the boundaries between private and public space and private and public lives.
Carol Cole’s (b. 1943) artistic career spans over forty years. Her surreal drawings from the 1970’s and her later mixed media breast sculptures are charged with a feminist critique derived from her life experiences. Cole lives and works in Greensboro, NC, surrounded by the works of other notable artists, sharing their spirits, in her art collection. In 2018 Cole’s own work and collection were featured in, Carol Cole: Cast a Clear Light at the Weatherspoon Art Museum, NC.
Merritt Johnson's (b. 1977) work is rooted in her experience as a cis-gender pansexual woman of mixed (non-status) Mohawk, Blackfoot and Settler descent. Her work in mixed materials asserts agency for mixed bodies, and allegiance with land and water. Among the works on view is Door Between Worlds which was previously included in The Burke Prize, the Future of Craft at the Museum of Art and Design in NYC. This piece is a life size handwoven basket in the shape of a female pelvis. It addresses the alignment of women’s bodies with land as sources of life and sustenance and the resilience of women even in the face of the violence of settler colonialism and patriarchal systems.
Pat Lasch (b. 1944) is the daughter of a German pastry chef and a seamstress. Lasch draws on both family businesses to create the works she has been known for since the 1970’s: highly detailed sculptures resembling confections and women’s dresses, which are constructed almost entirely of acrylic paint. The works with Accola Griefen are from the 1980’s and were first exhibited with A.I.R Gallery, the first all-women’s art gallery in the United States. In 2017 Lasch had her first career retrospective (catalog available) at the Palm Springs Art Museum. Her work is courtesy of Meredith Ward Fine Art.
in this selection
Alice Neel (1900-1984) is widely considered one of the most important figurative artists of the 20th Century. In this selection the double portrait of mother and child highlights Neel’s interest in women and children, subject matter she elevated and in which she often reached the height of her “ability to balance empathy and analysis.” (Victoria Josslin, Kinships: Alice Neel Looks at the Family, Tacoma Art Museum, 1996).
Judy Pfaff (b. 1946) is an originator of the genre of Installation Art and her ground-breaking work is also associated with the Pattern and Decoration Movement (P&D). The artist has received many prestigious awards including the MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Award. In 2015 Pfaff was one of the first contemporary artists to complete a major installation at the Barnes Foundation in Philadelphia. Her work was titled, “Enter Mrs. Barnes.” Works on paper from Pfaff’s 1970’s Prototype Series, her first major body of work that extended into the realm of Installation, are included in this selection.
Hilla Rebay (1890-1967) was born in Germany and moved to the United States in 1927. In 1913 she was exhibiting with Brancusi, Archipenko, Chagall, Robert Delaunay and Diego Rivera in Paris at the Salon des Independents. In 1915 she also came to know Arp, Kandinsky, Klee, and Rudolf Bauer, among others. While in New York and after becoming an important figure in the art scene Rebay was asked to paint a portrait of Solomon R. Guggenheim. She took this opportunity to encourage him to collect abstract art, which she called the Art of Tomorrow. In the 1930s, while maintaining her own painting practice, Rebay became the founding curator and director of the Museum of Non Objective Painting, which subsequently became the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum we know today.
Janet Sobel (1893-1968) was born in Russia and moved to the United States in 1908. After the birth of her five children and without an education, Sobel began painting, often on her living room floor. Her art educated son thought the work worthy enough to show to Max Ernst, Andre Breton, John Dewey and Sidney Janis. Soon Sobel’s work also caught the eye of Peggy Guggenheim who exhibited her work at the Art of This Century Gallery in 1945 and 1946. Sobel is perhaps best known for influencing Jackson Pollock with her expressionist, all over drip paintings. Sobel’s work is in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art where it is often exhibited next to Pollock.
Renée Stout’s (b. 1958) work addresses the spiritual roots of her African American heritage and African Diaspora culture. Drawing on these sources, life in her DC neighborhood and also current events, Stout eventually became the first American artist to exhibit in the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African Art. Often combining highly detailed virtuoso trompe-l’oeil effects with a variety of media, including painting, drawing, mixed media sculpture, photography and installation, Stout creates works that encourage self-examination, introspection and the ability to laugh at the absurdities of life and ourselves. Her solo traveling museum exhibition, Tales of a Conjure Woman, was named one of the top 10 exhibitions of the year by Hyperallergic in 2015.
Rhonda Wall (b. 1956) In the 1980's Wall was part of the vibrant East Village art scene. One of her earliest collectors was Keith Haring. The selected work is from the 1980’s and reveals her deeply personal subject matter and idiosyncratic drawing style. Wall's work has been reviewed in publications including The New York Times, ArtNews and The New Yorker Magazine. She has presented solo exhibitions/projects at the Allentown Art Museum, Spring Break Art Show, Princeton University’s ’s Woodrow Wilson School’s Bernstein Gallery, and Arena gallery with Renee Riccardo, among many others.
Works on paper by Gina Adams, Susan Bee, Nancy Bowen, Nancy Cohen, Mary Grigoriadis, Jee Hwang, Jaune Quick-to-See Smith and others are also available.
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