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Pretty Tough: Contemporary Storytelling at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum
Stacey Steers, Night Flight (film still from Phantom Canyon), 2006. Courtesy of ClampArt, New York.
RIDGEFIELD, CT.- Ten women with a point of view—nine artists and The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum’s new curator, Mónica Ramírez-Montagut—will open the exhibition Pretty Tough: Contemporary Storytelling at the Museum on June 21, 2009.

The exhibition highlights the recent proliferation of women artists—in this case Ambreen Butt, Kate Clark, Orly Cogan, Amy Cutler, Kyung Jeon, Catarina Leitão, Rosana Palazyan, Liliana Porter, and Stacey Steers—who reclaim storytelling as a strategy to address contemporary discussions on warfare, the environment, and female struggles in their work.

Each of the artists in the exhibition focuses on narrative representation and figuration. Their fairytale-like depictions are in reality reflections of underlying conflicts explored through refined, delicate, and meticulous work—including hand-crafted pop-up booklets, watercolor and gouache paintings on rice paper, re-embroidered vintage textiles, taxidermic sculptures, toy assemblages, and a video of animated collages.

Curator Mónica Ramírez-Montagut points out, “The artists look back at traditional modes of expression, such as storytelling, as well as employing old-fashioned techniques that require labor-intensive processes—obsessive, elaborate, yet impeccably manufactured. This highly stylized work—pretty—offers profound assessments of our contemporary world—tough—by relying on storytelling. This unique combination of methods is a subversive strategy that permeates the public sphere more effectively than confrontational discourses.”

The exhibition will be on view through January 3, 2010.

Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum | Mónica Ramírez-Montagut | Ambreen Butt | Kate Clark | Orly Cogan | Amy Cutler | Kyung Jeon | Catarina Leitão | Rosana Palazyan | Liliana Porter | Stacey Steers |


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