From ART News Interesting show of women artists to start at Denver Art Museum in the Summer of 2016. Titled “Women of Abstract Expressionism,” the show will feature more than 50 works by 12 artists. Following its run at the DAM, the show will travel to the Mint Museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, and the Palm Springs Art Museum in California.”
Wanted to share this great blog, Broad Strokes, about women in the arts. Love it. So much information and a great resource. I can’t even read it all and have to come back to it. This blog is part of the National Museum of Women in the Arts or NMWA which is another great resource.
Many women artists have been ignored but, while the world was looking away, they went on creating their art. There is a change in attitude lately, to pay attention to some of these women and give recognition to their work. They are being discovered or re-discovered now when they are in their elder years. There is such a diversity of styles and the materials they use. Their creative spark has not diminished.
I want to write about some of the women artists who I have become of aware of through a blog I subscribe to here in LA. It is the Engage blog which often posts about elder artists and provides links to articles.
Here is a group of artists from a New York Times T Magazine article called Works in Progress which, quote, is ” a very small sampling of the female artists now in their 70s, 80s and 90s we should have known about decades ago.” This piece includes some videos, of two of the artists, Judith Bernstein and Rosalyn Drexler.
I have done a post on Carmen Herrera in the past which includes some nice videos of her work, including an interview of her, and more discussion of overlooked women artists through a link to a Hyperallergic essay. Carmen Herrera just had a retrospective show. She recently turned 100. The videos I found on some of the artists adds a depth over viewing 2-dimensional images. In many videos the artist is interviewed and able to speak for their own perspective and the videos include some art that is not available freely online.
Dorothea Rockburne via Netropolitan Artsconversations:
In the video below, the artist Joan Semmel speaks about how she wants her paintings of her older self to express that there should not be shame about being older for women or men. From the T Magazine post: Semmel,…………. is encouraged by the current interest in her — and other older female artists’ work — because, as she puts it, women “are usually buried after about 45 years of age and just disappear completely.” Moreover, she adds, she isn’t just getting older, she is getting better: “I really feel that some of my most powerful work has come in these late years.”
The continued work of these women artists says that creativity does not have an age limit or expiration date. In my research I found this article from The Guardian by Emine Saner. She interviewed a group of women artists who were over 60 years old. She writes, “I spoke to a number of well-established women artists, and found that age certainly does not seem to have had a detrimental effect on their creativity – indeed, for many, their later years have been among their most productive.”
These women artists embody the essence of creativity and the inextinguishable flame of the human spirit.
I love reading a blog I subscribe to and get in my Email. It is from EngAGE. It is an organization based in Southern California that has created housing for older adults and runs all kinds of enrichment classes at their complexes. At their North Hollywood complex they have a full theatre available for the residents who can get involved in producing their own plays. In addition they have this uplifting blog to combat ageism. It features older adults doing all kinds of creative things. Senior Planet.org is another organization I love. They often feature similar articles as EngAGE and they discuss issues that impact older adults.
There are so many inspiring stories. One that was sent to me recently from EngAGE was about Carmen Herrera. She is an artist who was “discovered” at age 89 and now at age 99 her work is being featured at a famous museum and gallery. She is still working at age 99. I am sharing this information from the EngAGE blog and other articles about her. Here is one from the Guardian and another one here. Her art is now to be shown at The Whitney Museum Of American Art and the Lisson Gallery.
When I first read about Carmen Herrera I said fantastic! Here is an artist who is still creating. I love these stories about older people and their spirit to continue to create. Artists, writers, musicians often can all continue practicing their craft as long as they want. This inspires me and I envy them in that they have this wonderful work.
An alarming bit of information came up about women artists. I also get a newsletter from Hyperallergic.com which is about art. I read an essay “The Problem of the Overlooked Female Artist” by Ashton Cooper talking about how women and minority artists for many years were held back by a white male dominated art world. Or at least an art world that only respected white male artists. This is so disheartening to me. I did not realize this was again another field where this discrimination was going full force. Carmen Herrera mentions it in the interview above. How she was denied a show in a gallery because she was a woman. I don’t know how these artists did not completely despair. The essay from Hyperallergic links to several other articles on this topic of “overlooked” women artists. The author suggests the story of these artists lives should be explored in more depth to shine a light on what it was like to face this discrimination and how they coped with it all through the years before they were finally recognized. Some died before being recognized.
Carmen Herrera via Frederico Seve Gallery:
And from The Smithsonian: