The new exhibition, You Go Girl! Celebrating Women Artists, opened at The Heckscher Museum of Art
on Saturday, December 5, 2015. Drawn from the Museums collection, You Go Girl! presents more than 50 works of art by women artists active during the 19th and 20th centuries through today.
Female artists throughout history faced numerous challenges not experienced by their male colleagues, including limited access to formal training and social conventions that placed women firmly in the domestic realm. Although women achieved more freedoms in the early-20th century, they continued to compete for recognition within a system of galleries, museums, and universities dominated by men. Artists of the 1970s addressed the plight of the female artist and the patriarchy of the art establishment in protests at the Museum of Modern Art, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and elsewhere. Howardeena Pindell and Ce Roser (both represented in the exhibition) are among those who joined together to form activist organizations and cooperative galleries that provided women an opportunity to network, exhibit their work, and advance their cause to end discrimination against women in the arts.
Included in the exhibition is the early feminist artist, Miriam Schapiro, who challenged traditional boundaries by incorporating crafts associated with women within her work, as well as May Stevens and Audrey Flack, who used traditional mediums to challenge male authority in subtle and overt ways. Other women created art similar in form and content to that of their male colleagues, as reflected in much of the work by women artists in the Museums collection.
Featured artists include Berenice Abbott, Elaine de Kooning, Dorothy Dehner, Jane Hammond, Mary Nimmo Moran, Georgia OKeeffe, Betty Parsons, Esphyr Slobodkina, Emma Stebbins, and Jane Wilson. You Go Girl! remains on view through Womens History Month in March 2016.
Also on view is Men at Work which reveals the many facets of human endeavor. Men of thought, laborers, entertainers, and men of action represent significant roles in mans history. Included in the exhibition is 19th-century painter Alonzo Chappel whose Drafting the Declaration of Independence depicts men who relied on intellect and reason to advance humanity. Mark Markov-Grinbergs photograph Nikita Izotov, Distinguished Miner of Donbass Coal Region, Ukraine (1934) focuses on military force to determine mans fate. In these paintings, sculptures, and photographs, artists have depicted intellectuals, sailors, farmers, miners, and soldiers who function as representative types, capturing aspects of their emotional life as well as their physical labor. Featured artists include William Merritt Chase, Thomas Eakins, George Grosz, Emma Stebbins, and John Sloan. Men at Work is on view through March 27, 2016.