'Woman shows' at the New Museum
By Keren Goldberg.
Much has been said about the attention recently dedicated by the art world to ‘women’s art’. The Saatchi recently mounted a group show featuring fourteen women artists; Pussy Riot have declared their intention to open an all women museum in Montenegro, showing only women and operated solely by women, an many solo women shows opened last year in major venues worldwide. Of course, this is just a drop in the mainly male art world ocean, as seen in the statistical report published a year ago by ARTnews. I am usually careful when using these kinds of generalized definitions, and I am especially weary of the term ‘women art’.
This is why it was refreshing to see that the New Museum has dedicated its five floors, including one of its staircases, to shows by six women – Nicole Eisenman, Cally Spooner, Andra Ursuţa, Gushka Macuga, Eva Papamargariti and Beatriz Santiago Munoz ¬– without any grand statements or burdening labels. As it is with any group of shows, whether it is produced by men, women or other sexes, some are more successful than others. I will focus on three of the shows, and I will try, in line with the artists’ statements in the catalogues’ interviews that accompany their shows, to leave the sex (but not the gender) behind.
To simplify things dramatically, for me, your work has also become the voice of a queer community.
No. God, no. I’m not the voice of any group of people! That’s a horrifying thought. I’d never want to define a community or begin to know what the borders of that community even look like.”
(From Nicole Eisenman’s interview with Massimilliano Gioni and Helga Christoffersen, in the exhibition catalogue).
(The photograph of Andra Ursuta’s “Crush” was taken by Keren Goldberg)