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"Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection" opens at the Brooklyn Museum
Corita Kent (aka Sister Mary Corita) (Fort Dodge, Iowa, 1918–1986, Boston, Massachusetts). Jesus Never Fails, 1967. Screen print on Pellon, 29 ¾ × 36 in. (75.7 × 91.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Henry L. Batterman Fund, 68.116. © Corita Art Center, Immaculate Heart Community, Los Angeles, CA. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum).

BROOKLYN, NY.- The Brooklyn Museum announces Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection, an exhibition presenting major works, new acquisitions, and rediscoveries in the Museum’s collection through an intersectional feminist lens. Highlighting work created in response to crucial social and political moments from the last one hundred years, from World War I to the Civil Rights Movement and #MeToo, the exhibition foregrounds more than fifty artists who use their work to advocate for their communities, their beliefs, and their hopes for equality across race, class, and gender. The exhibition is organized by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator, and Carmen Hermo, Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, and is on view August 23, 2018, through March 31, 2019.

Half the Picture draws its title from a 1989 Guerrilla Girls poster that declares, “You’re seeing less than half the picture without the vision of women artists and artists of color.” “The power of the Guerrilla Girls lies in their funny, concise, and biting graphic work, made to rally support and inspire action on behalf of a cause; to combat stereotypes and dominant narratives,” explains Morris. “Presenting the equally compelling work of over fifty other artists, Half the Picture explores how artists get the rest of us to pay attention.”

A number of recent acquisitions are on view for the first time, including two works from Beverly Buchanan’s best-known series of shack sculptures; Betty Tompkins’s Fuck Painting #6 (1973), marking the first time a work from this controversial series is on view in an American museum; and Nona Faustine’s Isabelle, Lefferts House, Brooklyn (2016), in which the artist positions herself in front of the Lefferts homestead, a historic colonial farmhouse built by a family of slaveholders, which still stands in Prospect Park.

Other highlights include Renee Cox’s monumental photograph Yo Mama (1993); Dara Birnbaum’s iconic video Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman (1978/79); and Wendy Red Star’s 1880 Crow Peace Delegation series, which features historical photographs overlaid with annotations drawing attention to the stereotypes and appropriation of Native Americans by mainstream popular culture. Also on view is Harmony Hammond’s large-scale sculpture Hunkertime (1979–80), in which a number of heavily wrapped ladder-like forms are displayed in close arrangement, evoking a supportive sisterhood. The earliest works in the show, dating from the 1920s, are a group of woodcuts by German artist Käthe Kollwitz, which depict the lives of women and the less fortunate in the gruesome aftermath of World War I.

Other notable artists included are Vito Acconci, Sue Coe, An-My Lê, Yolanda López, Park McArthur, Zanele Muholi, Dread Scott, Joan Semmel, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero, Mickalene Thomas, Adejoke Tugbiyele, and Taller de Gráfica Popular, among many others.

“The exhibition focuses on work that feels both meaningful and relevant in relationship to current politics and conversations about feminism, by artists of varied backgrounds, approaches, and intersecting identities,” adds Hermo.

Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection is organized by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator, and Carmen Hermo, Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

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