The Greene Naftali Gallery will present an exhibition entitled Women’s Work opening September 6th and continuing through October 13th. The exhibition is curated by John Sacchi and will include historical and contemporary work by Lynda Benglis, Dara Birnbaum, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bourgeois, Louise Fishman, Nan Goldin, Jacqueline Humphries, Lee Krasner, Barbara Kruger, Sherrie Levine, Suzanne McClelland, Joan Mitchell, Cady Noland, Martha Rosler, Cindy Sherman, Jeanne Silverthorne, Kiki Smith and Nancy Spero.
This exhibition attempts to show the forceful presence of women artists working in a wide range of artistic practices from the fifties to the present. The curator has made the following statement for the exhibition:
Not long ago, MoMA asked Elizabeth Murray to organize an exhibition of women artists; although many fine artists were represented, for the most part the works were small scale. While the “heroic” evolves as much from the power of ideas as it does from scale, the MoMA show had an overall “Women’s Exchange” tone that did not confront the traditional association of heroism with the male artist. The current selections are intended to foster that confrontation, in both content and scale.
Hans Hoffman once infamously said; “This painting is so good it could have been done by a man.” A dealer one told Joan Mitchell; “Joan, if only you were male, French and dead.” Gender prejudice still very much exists in the artworld. Within that area, women are often associated with contemplative art, while painting and particularly expressionism is thought of as a more aggressive form traditionally associated with maleness and Modernism.
The choices here are undeniably a reflection of my own taste. They are not necessarily about germinal ideas, feminist concerns, radical moments or “firsts”. Rather I have chosen artists in full swing, and points in time directly relevant to the dismantling of gender-based power.
New York, 1996