EXHIBITION ON VIEW
January 17 – February 5, 2017
January 17th Opening 6pm – 9pm
More events to be announced
THE UNTITLED SPACE
45 Lispenard Street Unit 1W
Anti-Trump protests have continued ever since the November 8th election results. Now, female artists are stepping in to display their resistance against the misogyny and intolerance perpetrated by the President-elect. From January 17th through 28th, the week of the presidential inauguration, The Untitled Space gallery and curator, Indira Cesarine, will present UPRISE/ANGRY WOMEN, a group exhibition that features 80 female contemporary artists whose work responds to the current social and political climate in America. The exhibition opens on January 17th with a reception, additionally, several events will take place at The Untitled Space through out the two weeks.
The UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN exhibit is presented in partnership with the ERA COALITION, a political organization that is working to support passage and ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, and a portion of proceeds will benefit their Fund for Women’s Equality. The Fund for Women’s Equality is a charitable organization, working to raise awareness on gaps in the law that leave women without legal recourse from sex discrimination, and developing educational resources on the need for a constitutional provision to protect and promote equal rights for women. Founded by Jessica Neuwirth, author of “Equal Means Equal”, the ERA Coalition board also includes Gloria Steinem, Teresa Younger and many other prominent women’s rights activists.
Of the decision to curate UPRISE/ ANGRY WOMEN, Cesarine states:
“Right now it is important time for women to demonstrate solidarity in face of the threats upon us in regards to women’s rights. The 2016 presidential election has brought to the surface extremes of sexism, racism and discrimination. Many women are deeply disturbed not only by the negative stereotyping and sexist attitudes towards women that have surfaced but also the threats to roll back women’s rights. The “UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN” exhibit gives female artists a means to express themselves in regards to the social and political climate in America, and empower others with their visual imagery. We are proud to partner with the ERA Coalition and help raise money for their Fund for Women’s Equality. Right now more than ever women need to unify and work together to ensure that our rights, which were fought for with blood and tears for many decades, are not only assured, but continue to progress.” -Curator Indira Cesarine
In times of political turmoil, art has always been an important avenue for resistance and provided a space for marginalized voices. Cesarine agrees, saying, “I think in times when we are challenged as a culture, artists become more creative and more productive.” With his misogynistic language and his conservative cabinet picks, Trump has made it clear that he does not respect women and intends to do away with many of our hard-won rights. The UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN exhibition provides a much needed platform for female artists of all backgrounds to demonstrate their thoughts and feelings towards the new president through a wide range of art practices. Many use their artistic practice not only to criticize Trump but also to defend what they hold dear – America’s diversity, solidarity among women, the environment, and the right to be feminine.
Linda Friedman-Schmidt uses textiles to stress the need for inclusivity. Of her piece, Weeding, she says: “There is a need to reweave our nation’s social fabric as it is being torn. In the garden of life who has the right to decide that some plants or people are good and others bad, that some should be pulled and others cultivated? Pointing the finger at people who do not fit familiar patterns of one’s own race, religion, gender, culture, morality, or politics and labeling them weeds hides their humanity and justifies their uprooting and destruction. We must cultivate empathy for one another or “united we stand, divided we fall.””
Many artists express their right to fight back. Of her reasoning for being in “Angry Women” seventeen-year-old photographer Kat Danziger states, “The day after the election I got detained by the NYPD for smashing a statue of a Trump bust in Times Square and leading seventy protestors through the streets surrounding Trump towers. I’m still finishing high school and am not of age to vote, but I am deeply hurt by this election. I’m scared for the upcoming future and try to do what I can to help. I want to make a larger contribution to my community of powerful women being targeted by the results of this election. Queerness and femininity have always been radical acts of protest.” Similarily, many artists use symbols of the feminine in contrast with elements of male aggression. In Plug It Up, Laura Murray uses a major signifier of womanhood, the tampon, as a means to stand up to the barrel of a gun.
Other artists show work that uproots the shameful past of the United States. Painter Haile Binns uses her work to explore racism, stating, “As a Black Jamaican American female I am deeply saddened by the outcome of this election. Everything our President is and stands for for is everything I am not. I have been painting in the color black because I am seeking to find out why people fear it so much. I feel like the outcome of this election exposed the racial fears in our country that have been hidden for so long.” Lili White’s collages also explore historical moments that were also fraught with unrest. Of her work she says, “I continued to make target works that were begun in the late 70’s, when a friend of mine bought a “fixer-upper” in a Philadelphia neighborhood for a few thousand dollars. The plaster walls were papered with newspapers from the 1930’s. As I read them, the news seemed just a disastrous then as now. In that age of the artist, when loft living was invented, another friend’s place had walls peppered with bullet holes and human silhouette targets, invented for practicing enthusiasts, that laid scattered on their floor.”
From paintings to photography to puppetry, UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN sees artists using all manners of media to visualize varying reactions to the election. Work featured was selected from out of more than 1,800 entries from more than 400 different artists. Cesarine described the immense variations of responses to the open call for the exhibit as “powerful,” saying, “Some of the artwork was very serious, while other artists created very powerful satirical works that equally had an enormous amount of strength in the message behind the humor. As they say, jokes are based on the truth. We received artwork from artists all over the country, and they each brought a different message to the exhibit.”
Artists mined the spectrum of human emotion to respond to Trump. While painter, Cara DeAngelis portrait of the President-elect with a toupee of roadkill appears humorous, the message behind it is a serious meditation on the disastrous effects that Trump’s presidency will have on the planet. Of her first attempt at political satire she explains, “The furry victims on top of Trump’s head refer not only to environmental degradation, (and to his hair dilemma), but also to the many skeletons in his closet. They represent the endless corruption and controversy which we’re learning about daily, and will continue to throughout his term.”
The staggering amount of work submitted further demonstrates the necessity of providing outlets for the visual expression and exposure of female artists. While 2016 has been a tough political year for women, in the world of fine art things are looking up for females who have increasingly seen more representation in galleries and are finally finding space to showcase their unique viewpoints. The fact that women continue to experience cutbacks to their reproductive rights and push-backs in equalizing the work place will only embolden female artists and exhibitions such as UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN will ensure that in galleries and museums, the recognition of the contributions of these women continues to grow. Cesarine explained, “I think as far as female artists are concerned, we are going to see more and more progression, and the election has lit the fire more than ever. Women are joining together and men also, in response to the current political situation. Right now people are waking up to the misogyny in this country and realizing that not only does it exist but that under the circumstances female artists need be supported and have their voices heard and their artwork seen.”
UPRISE continues The Untitled Space’s mission to highlight women in art. In May, the gallery presented the exhibition, “In the Raw: The Female Gaze on the Nude,” which presented the paintings, sculptures, photography, sculptures, mixed media and videos of twenty female artists’ intimate vision on the female nude to reclaim the female body through art. Following that show The Untitled Space opened another all female exhibition. Curated by sisters Kelsey and Rémy Bennett and presented by gallery owner Indira Cesarine, “LIFEFORCE,” explored the concept of the cyborg and the feminine by imagining a world without gender.
Much like social media flipped the word, “nasty” on it’s head following Trump’s despicable conduct in the last 2016 presidential debate, the upcoming UPRISE/ANGRY WOMEN exhibition reclaims the word “angry” by demonstrating that female outrage is not something that warrants judgement but in fact is a productive and practical response to a political atmosphere that is increasingly toxic to women. Cesarine described her reasons for choosing the exhibition title, stating:
“One of the reasons I titled the show “ANGRY WOMEN” is to challenge the stereotype of women who are powerful or strong as being “angry”. This term is commonly used against women, as well as similar terms such as “nasty”. “bitchy” etc. Women are told from infancy that they have to constantly smile to please others, and that if they aren’t always smiling and putting forward a polite happy demeanor that something is wrong with them, which is a massive double standard. No one would ever tell a serious or stern man he is “nasty” or “bitchy” or “angry” if he isn’t smiling and making everyone happy all the time. It underlines the attitude that women’s only purpose is to please others (men) and if they aren’t pleasing others they must be “angry”. I think it’s important to challenge these attitudes and use what is used against women as a tool for change and empowerment. It is essential to break the stereotypes and the double standards. And yes, a lot of women are rather “angry” that we are faced with a future president with a track record of sexual assault who is against women’s rights as well as the rights of many other minority groups. A man who has been quoted as saying women should be “punished” for getting abortions. Is it too negative? absolutely not. It is powerful, empowering – it is important for women to embrace their anger and use it as a tool to challenge the status quo. I decided to add the additional title “UPRISE” to encourage solidarity and the strength women can have collectively joining together for a common goal, empowering themselves and others.”
Many artists work is in alignment with the title of the exhibition. BooLynn Walsh used the experience of making art for “Angry Women” to direct her fury, saying, “It has been a cathartic experience channeling my increasing anger at the offensive, dangerous rhetoric and backlash in America, particularly against females – while working on art pieces to share with the public for this “Angry Women” exhibition. It appears that with the current Trump administration’s conduct, women’s rights and fight for equality have been set back at least a half century. However, this gives us all pause to consider what we (men and women) are willing to tolerate. May this oppressive state of affairs renew our commitment to consolidate our collective power, and continue our journey towards a just and equal society for ALL.” Similarily artist, Danielle Siegelbaum’s piece, Shouting, depicts women enraged by the current state of affairs while Cesarine’s work shows females marching together in protest against the incoming presidency.
See how women are embracing their anger and empowering themselves through art at UPRISE/ANGRY women this month at The Untitled Space!
Artists include Allison Hill-Edgar, Alonsa Guevara, Alyson Provax, AM DeBrincat, Andrea Mary Marshall, Anna Rindos, Anna Van Schaap, Anne Arden McDonald, Annika Connor, Anya Rubin, Audrey Lyall, Bia Monteiro, BooLynn Walsh, Camilla Marie Dahl, Cara DeAngelis, Chantal Bruchez-Hall, Christina Massey, Cinnamon Willis, Daniela Raytchev, Danielle Siegelbaum, Desire Rebecca Moheb Zandi,Diana Casanova, Elektra KB, ENID CROW, Erin Lynn Welsh, Fahren Feingold, GILF! (Ann Lewis), Gin Stone, Haile Binns, Hye Ryung Na, Indira Cesarine, Ingrid Wells, Jasmine Williams, Jennifer Dwyer, Joan Bemel Iron Moccasin, Jordie Oetken, Kat Danziger, Kat Toronto, Katrina Majkut, Katya Zvereva, Kelly Witte, Kristen Williams, Laura Murray, Lauren Rinaldi, Leah Oates, Lili White, Linda Friedman Schmidt, Lucia Fainzilber, Lynn Bianchi, Maggie Dunlap, Maidenfed, Mary K Theinert, Meredith Ostrom, Mila Rochenner, Miza Coplin, Natalie White, NatSuko Hattori, Olga Filippova, Parker Day, Pat Badt, Patty Horing, Rebecca Leveille, Renee Dykeman, Rosary Solimanto, Rose McGowan, Rute Ventura, Ruth Rodriguez, Sara Jean-Baptiste, Sarupa Sidaarth, Shawnette George, Sophia Wallace, Stephanie Hanes, Taira Rice, Tania Alvarez, Tatyana Murray, Tiffany Trenda, Tracy Brown, Virginia Wagner, Yasmine Diaz, and Zen Sevastyanova.
ABOUT THE UNTITLED SPACE:
The Untitled Space is an art gallery located in Tribeca, New York in a landmark building on Lispenard Street. Founded in 2014 by Indira Cesarine, the gallery features an ongoing curation of exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of “Women in Art” as well as special events aligned with our creative vision.
ABOUT THE ERA COALITION AND FUND FOR WOMEN’S EQUALITY:
The Fund for Women’s Equality, a 501 (c)(3) charitable organization, promotes legal and lived equality in the United States by increasing public understanding of the need for comprehensive, fair and equal treatment of women and girls under the law and the need to end sex inequality in all its forms. The ERA Coalition, a 501 (c)(4) political organization, works with Congress and grassroots activists for the passage and ratification of an Equal Rights Amendment. All men and women are created equal and that must be reflected in the Constitution. For more information visit online www.eracoalition.org.
*Please note artworks created for this exhibition do not reflect the ERA Coalition’s opinions. All works are the creations of respective artists, and the ERA Coalition’s does not specifically endorse or accept any responsibility or liability for the content of the artwork featured in the UPRISE / ANGRY WOMEN exhibition.