"Independent Visions/Feminist Perspectives" at the Mishkin Gallery, Nov. 21 - Dec. 17
New York, NY, Nov. 14 -- A dozen contemporary artists are presented in this exhibition of women whose work, while broadly feminist, is neither didactic nor loaded with female imagery. Artists who worked outside the womens organizations of the late 1960s and 70s, these women nonetheless produced challenging, innovative work that explored history, identity and shifting perceptions of bodily forms and gestures.
Independent Visions/Feminist Perspectives will be on view at the Mishkin Gallery from Friday, Nov. 21 through Wednesday, Dec. 17, 2008. Opening reception: Thursday, Nov. 20, 6 - 8 pm. Free and Open to the Public.
As a group, Nina Yankowitz, Susan Crile, Cynthia Eardley, Ellen K. Levy, Judy Pfaff and Cindy Sherman and the other artists in this exhibition represent the pluralism and hybrid styles that prevail in todays art world. Along with the use of mixed media, the artists subjects range from the distinct and individual Ida Applebroogs photogenetic portraits of Tobias to the panoramic Susan Criles powerful Firestorm, a depiction of the oil field fires of Kuwait at the end of the Persian Gulf War.
The largest and most overtly feminist work included in this exhibition is Nina Yankowitzs Buried Treasures/Secrets in the Sciences. This ambitious piece is a reclamation of the contributions of women scientists through the ages, women whose work has gone unacknowledged, sometimes for centuries. From a glass test tube, flow their stories, floating on fictive liquid mercury, while images of polytope animations hover inside and above a glass house structure.
Cynthia Eardleys figurative sculptures are memorable for their portrayal of the essential mystery of the human face and the psychological complexity these faces present to the viewer. A group of five individuals is portrayed here, including Witness, Broken Man, New York Girl, James, and an Untitled woman with a slender neck. A range of emotions can be inferred from the lovely and smiling New York Girl to the shattered visage of the Broken Man.
Ellen K. Levys 3-Card Monte, a paint and collage creation on wood, is a maze of figure and ground reversals and line displacements. Like the game it depicts, it is designed to confuse the viewer, suggesting power relationships and combative strategies designed to foil the spectator.
Significant in their own right, these artists as a group deepen our understanding of the myriad ways feminism influenced the aesthetic impulses of women who defy easy classification within the late 20th century womens movement.
The Mishkin Gallery at Baruch College is located at 135 E. 22nd Street. Gallery hours are Monday-Friday, Noon to 5 pm; Thursday, Noon to 7 pm.