January 2014 Women Around Town

Item Date: 
Wed, 01/01/2014 - 1:00am
End Date: 
Thu, 01/30/2014 - 11:59pm

WOMEN AROUND TOWN by Karen Schifman

ART Spotlight: "Group Nine"

Collaboration and community have played a significant role in feminist art practice since its beginnings. An outstanding example is Group Nine, nine women artists who have literally painted together for more than 20 years. Many are SCWCA members and all are CSUN alums. Last fall, I joined six of the original nine artists in Lynn Bassler's Northridge studio for a session of "organized chaos." Their postmodern model for art challenges notions of authorship as well as the idea of a single artist working in a private workspace. They set a timer and each artist works a designated section of a large canvas. One artist uses bold brushstrokes, another delicate, while another has a completely different mode of marking the canvas. United through color and form, the resultant imagery speaks of the finest post-painterly abstraction. These women find this mode a liberating practice in comparison to solitary work in which each is still involved. I say, "Hail the work and example of these amazing women." Group Nine artists include Patti Akesson, Lynn Bassler, Merrilyn Duzy, Myra Gantman, Dona Geib (d.2013) Midge Lynn, Barbara Nathanson, Anita Segalman, and Norma Jean Squires. This group plans to continue their collaboration until there is just one.


At Bergamot Station this month, Lora Schlesinger Gallery presents "The Myth of Balance" by Carrie Seid and "Hamon" (Cloud-like Pattern) by Miya Ando. Runs 1/11-2/15/14.

Ruth Bachofner Gallery features new work by artists Barbara Edelstein and Jennifer Faist.Runs 1/18-3/1/14.

If you are not familiar with the photographic work of the late Vivian Maier, then make sure you view the current exhibition "Vivian Maier (1926-2009), A Life Discovered: Redux" at Merry Karnowsky Gallery. As shared on her website: "Maier worked as a nanny most of her adult life, but spent her private time photographing the streets of the city. At the end of her life Maier became impoverished, but several children she had cared for in the early 50s pooled their money together and paid for an apartment and other necessities. Unbeknownst to them, a storage locker that contained a slew of negatives Maier had secretly hidden away was auctioned off due to delinquent payments. Maier died in 2009 at the age of 83 before the extent of her legacy had been fully understood or revealed." Runs 1/07-1/28/14.


The Hammer Museum presents "Kelly Nipper: Black Forest," an installation informed by mythology and reality, by history and the present and by movement and objects. Here the L.A. based Nipper (b. 1971) takes inspiration from the legends of the forest in Germany. The installation is a landscape of sorts, filled with a variety of objects arranged on tables, resting on the floor and leaning against or pinned to the walls. It appears to be simultaneously a working studio, an archive, and a theatrical setting, but might best be understood as a Wunderkammer, literally a "wonder room," though the term is often translated from the German as a "cabinet of curiosities"(a cumulative and layered microcosm). This installation will be accompanied by several performances by the artist. Thru 2/23/14.

Also on view at the Hammer, the representation of women in the visual culture of Paris in the late 19th and early 20th c. is the subject of "Tea and Morphine: Women in Paris, 1880-1914." Works by women artists such asMary Cassatt are also included in the nearly 100 artworks that are part of theElisabeth Dean Collection. Women in their many guises filled the imagination of artists working in Paris during this period. Their representations ranged from those of the brothel to those of high society taking tea. Prints, rare books and ephemera such as menus, theatre programs and music scores are included in this varied exhibition. Runs 1/26-5/18/14.

Opening later this month at the Pasadena Museum of California art is "SerigrafĂ­a," an exhibition featuring 30 influential silkscreens from the 1970s to the present. Beginning in the late 1960s, graphic art created and distributed by artist-led collectives, or centros, contributed significantly to the public discourse. Emerging in concert with the civil rights movement and demanding political and social justice for marginalized groups, these prints confront political, economic, social and cultural issues on both a personal and a global level. Work by WCA Lifetime Achievement recipient Ester Hernandez is among the artists whose work is part of the exhibition. Runs 1/19-4/20/14.

In honor of the artist's 75th birthday, the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington D.C. will present "Judy Chicago: Circa 75." Runs 1/17/14 thru 4/30/14.