Friday, August 21, 2009

Better than Ever: Women Figurative Artists from the 70's Exhibit

ROWAN GALLERY OPENS SEASON WITH EXPLORATION OF
WOMEN ARTISTS FROM ‘70S SOHO CO-OPS

GLASSBORO, NJ – Exploring the contributions of women artists to New York’s downtown art scene in the 1970s, the Rowan University Art Gallery opens its 2009-2010 season with Better Than Ever: Women Figurative Artists of the ‘70s SoHo Co-Ops from September 1 – October 2, 2009. A reception to celebrate the exhibition is September 10 from 5-7 pm in the gallery.

Curated by Sharyn Finnegan, Better Than Ever presents the work of figurative women artist activists who spearheaded the explosive emergence of artists-run cooperative galleries during the heyday of the SoHo art scene in the early ‘70s. At that time, 50 percent of the artists in these early galleries were women - a rare sort of art scene with women proportionately represented. These pioneers validated the co-op model as an engine for women artists to find a public and a community that supported them in pursuing professional careers. They overcame overt discrimination from gallery directors and were empowered by taking their careers into their own hands.

Nineteen women, who were either founders, early members or directors of galleries like A.I.R., Prince Street Gallery and SOHO20 (among others in that exciting period), are represented in the Rowan exhibit by one work from the ‘70s and another from the last decade. This gives a glimpse of the trajectory of their development. The roots of Dotty Attie’s serial narratives can be seen in an early series exploring the process of creation using a portrait drawing of Ingres. Early and late self-portraits most clearly show both the aging process and the maturation of a painting style in Marjorie Kramer and Sharyn Finnegan’s pieces. Current politics engage many now, with work about war by Attie, peace by Selina Trieff and environmental degradation by Cynthia Mailman and Marcia Clark.

Admission to the gallery and the reception is free and open to the public. Hours for this exhibit are Tuesday – Friday, 10 am - 5 pm, or by appointment. For information, call 856-256-4521 or visit www.rowan.edu/fpa/artgallery. Rowan University Art Gallery is located on the lower level of Westby Hall on the campus of Rowan University, Route 322 in Glassboro, NJ.
Post a Comment