Listen to the interview here.
This coming Tuesday Elizabeth Leach will be my guest on Art Focus. Her gallery is currently showing Body Gesture. I can’t wait for this conversation.
To read the PR for this show is deeply satisfying. There, they said it well, so it doesn’t have to come from this middle-aged woman artist. Still I cannot help but observe how so many practices, mediums and delicious extremities in contemporary art zoom along while the innovators fell into relative obscurity (market share talks).
I saw a lot of cool things rising in the 1970s. At my very tender age, I was more a cheerleader than gang leader. Even so, I made my own version of Woman with a Gun. For years I looked back on the silly piece and thought it trite and insignificant, but no more.
There are no doubt a ton of reasons while the feminist artists didn’t maintain center stage. First, you’ve got to keep your elbows out and that generation didn’t have the cradle-to-grave training to compete (I can attest because while I am younger, I didn’t get it either). But more importantly, the fellows could pick up on the breakthroughs, adding their own twist and saga and it was so much more comfortable and familiar to watch the hero (instead of the heroine), it all just went down easier. Besides, it was the 80s (or the 90s or the new century or etc. etc. etc.) and we didn’t have to address that boring gender identity or disparity issue, did we? More and more the art world embraces and dissects power, stardom and greed and at least on the surface (and at auction, let's not forget), the guys do it better.
I think we’re catching up though.
I don’t know where to start with this exhibition; it’s all so good and there’s so much to read, not just look at. In general I'm not fond of work I must read, not experience, but I make a great exception with Body Gesture. The letters from Andrea Bower, Necessary Reminders from the Past of a Future Choice, truly make you wince. I read every single one.
The exhibition features: