Accola Griefen Gallery

Hail to the Feminists Who Produced the Revolution:

Works by Mary Beth Edelson from 1971 to 2012

April 5 - May 12, 2012

Thurs., April 26 from 6pm to 8pm

Since the 1960’s Mary Beth Edelson has been a pioneer in feminist art practice, political activism, performance art and public participation. Edelson’s art production consists of diverse mediums; included in this survey exhibition are large-scale collage installations, drawings, early performative photographs and her iconic posters from the 1970’s.

Winding through the gallery space, Edelson’s wall collages weave together an ongoing narrative of feminist histories. The drawings, primarily from the 1990’s, address related themes with a sharper focus on the humor of her trickster characters. Pop culture references, political figures, visual puns and brief textual narratives remind one that despite the seriousness of Edelson’s projects, there is another level evidenced, for example, in her series title: “Honey, It’s a joke.” The most intimate works included in the exhibition are a series of unique 10” x 12” black and white photographs with oil and collage that picture the artist’s early 1970’s ritual performances. This initial exploration of the possibilities of feminist “body art” has been widely reproduced and influential for subsequent generations of artists.

A new limited edition of prints based on Edelson’s well known posters, Some Living American Women Artists, Last Supper of 1972 is now available. Ten per cent of the proceeds from the sale of this new edition will be donated to A.I.R. Gallery, the first gallery, the first gallery for women artists in the United States, on the occasion of its 40th Anniversary. Edelson was both an early pioneer and active participant in the non-profit gallery for more than ten years during a decisive period in A.I.R.’s history.

Mary Beth Edelson’s work has been featured in over 90 books and is widely reviewed in the United States and abroad. Recent exhibitions include, Pictures by Women: A History of Modern Photography, MoMA, New York; WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, which was curated by MoMA’s Connie Butler and
traveled to LA MOCA, The National Museum of Women in the Arts, the Vancouver Museum, and PS1, New York and Picturing the Modern Amazon, New Museum, New York. The artist has also exhibited internationally at the Malmo Kunstmuseum in Sweden, where she had a retrospective of her work; Mumok Museum, Vienna; Migros Museum, Zurich; Shedhalle, Zurich; Lofoten International Art Festival, Norway; and the Tate, London. In addition to international recognition Edelson has founded numerous feminist enterprises including the seminal conference held at the Corcoran Gallery, Washington, D.C.  in 1972 and the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C. in 1973. She is a founder of Heresies Magazine and WAC (Women’s Action Coalition).  In 1994 Edelson produced Combat Zone: Campaign Hq. Against Domestic Violence, sponsored by Creative Time. Her work is in the collections of major museums including: the Guggenheim, NY, NY; MoMA, NY, NY; Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. and the Walker Art Center, MN and Malmo Kunstmuseum, Sweden.

The exhibition announcement includes a new essay by Eleanor Heartney, which addresses Edelson’s work and career. To request a copy please contact the gallery.