Category Archives: Muses

Carolee Schneemann

Schnee“Could a nude woman artist be both image and image-maker?” – Carolee Schneemann

To say that Carolee Schneemann, who passed away last month, was a legendary painter, photographer, and performance artist is to miss the point, almost, of her six-decade-long body of work. I mean that phrase literally, since Schneemann used her body to stage intricate and taboo feminist dramas in a way no one else has ever done. Schneeman explored desire, sex, oppression, and—yes—joy, in ways that were confrontational, sometimes brutal, and almost always ephemeral. It is difficult to explain her work without having seen it, and it is doubly difficult when, as Maggie Nelson says in her excellent article in the New Yorker:

“…I also can’t help feeling that to consistently deem someone an underrated living legend is also to practice a certain repetitive distortion, whereby all praise or estimation begins to register more as corrective than insight. Similarly complicated, when it comes to Carolee’s work, is the question of suppression and censorship.”

Read more about this fascinating artist, and, if you can, see her work.

Photo of the artist from the author’s postcard of “Carolee Schneemann: Up To And Including Her Limits,” 1997, at the New Museum; a still from the film “Meat Joy.”

 

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Liminal structures

Take a look at Nedret Andre’s paintings, which occasionally become three-dimensional, now at the Hess Gallery at Pine Manor College:

Hess Gallery / Nedret Andre

Nedret’s ecological activism and artwork speak volumes about what dedicated individuals can do to heal the planet.

Full disclosure: I’m the Hess Gallery director.

The Skin Has Eyes: Animated Visions

My favorite show of the year so far is now up at the BCA’s Mills Gallery. Curated by filmmaker Maya Erdelyi, the show features 13 artists who make entirely handmade animated films, using every imaginable media including cutouts, cut paper sculpture, pencil drawings on vellum, and inking directly on film. The show is exuberant, refreshingly handmade, and by turns tender, hilarious, horrifying, and stunning. Panel discussions still to come, check out the full list of activities and register here. The show is up until April 28th.

Top right: Ma Femme Maison installation and animation by Maya Erdelyi, At left: installation view of the main gallery.

https://vimeo.com/blog/post/staff-pick-premiere-brain-wave

New Ceramic Dreams

Holly Curcio‘s handbuilt “Dream Team” at Mudflat Pottery in Somerville.

At the studio

10bf28a6-ad0c-483b-acbc-b7af77df72b6…of the Flower Painter Jan Frans Van Dael (1816), a new acquisition of the Worcester Art Museum. This view of Van Dael’s studio at the Sorbonne shows a charming group of women painters in various stages of work: making preparatory drawings, painting, studying. Some women were amateurs; others professional painters who exhibited and sold artwork. By Philippe Jacques Van Bree.

Worcester Art Museum news here.

Florence Hosmer, Age 16

FloHosmerPainter Florence Hosmer, a younger (much younger) cousin of sculptor Harriet Hosmer, lived in Sudbury, Massachusetts most of her life. Her former home is now a museum housing her artwork and furniture. A painter of portraits, Hosmer’s first known attempt was this self-portrait at age 16. She received many commissions in her lifetime, but mainly painted family and friends.

A docent from the Sudbury Historical Society gives a tour of Florence’s home and artwork.

Winter Reads

As nights draw in, there always seems to be more time for reading. Check out fellow blogger artforhousewives and her recent meditations on Dido, Harriet Hosmer, and  The Burden Of Beauty:

Burden of Beauty

The Tears of Things

 

Ruth

MarisolRuth2

Marisol Escobar’s wry portrait of Ruth Klingman, titled simply “Ruth” is on display at The Rose Art Museum this fall. Ruth is included in Passage, a wide-ranging selection of work from the permanent collection of the Rose.

Ruth Klingman had been Jackson Pollock’s mistress, and was the lone survivor of the car crash that killed Pollock and another friend in 1956. Constructed 5 years after Pollock’s death, in 1961, Marisol’s Ruth is made of carved and found wood, plaster casts, and found objects. Marisol’s signature draftsmanship details Ruth’s hair and facial features, using loose line work to create casual but accurate portraiture.  Ruth is a literally multifaceted portrait of a misunderstood, complicated woman who was—as Marisol herself was for a time—a part of Andy Warhol’s New York inner circle.

Marisol, an influential and once-widely-exhibited pop artist, is due for a long-overdue retrospective at the Albright Knox gallery

Ruth3

Eva Hesse on American Masters

19Hesse

Now free to watch on PBS.org or the corresponding app: Artists Flight: Eva Hesse, a documentary about this groundbreaking sculptor of the 1960s. Too long in the shadows, Eva’s work is emerging as some of the most seminal sculpture of the 20th century.

 

A visible, invisible muse

DavidaJC

Davida Johnson Clark, the model whose classically beautiful features pervaded Augustus St. Gaudens’ visualizations of Diana, Victory, and Amor Caritas, is one of the most highly visible faces in neoclassical art. Yet the woman herself—St. Gaudens’ longtime mistress and mother of one of his sons—has almost disappeared from history.

A Swedish immigrant whose name was originally Albertina Hulgren, Davida was re-christened by St. Gaudens after Michelangelo’s David. Her great-granddaughter wrote a fictionalized biography of her in 2016.