The Untitled Space gallery has announced a new exhibition to open on June 27th, titled “SECRET GARDEN: The Female Gaze on Erotica”. Described as “a group exhibition of female identifying artists exploring figurative works of nudes and erotic art” the exhibit is curated by Indira Cesarine, and will be on view from June 27 – July 30. SECRET GARDEN will include works of painting, drawing, photography, printmaking, pottery, sculpture, collage, mixed media and video. The exhibit title is inspired by the book, “My Secret Garden”, published in 1973 by sex positive feminist author Nancy Friday who was instrumental in addressing taboos revolving around female sexuality in the early 70s and an important figure of the feminist sexual liberation movement. The gallery will be showing historical works of pioneering feminist artists such as Betty Tompkins and Joan Semmel, as well as many emerging contemporary female artists such as Andrea Mary Marshall, India Munuez, Myla Dalbesio, Katie Commodore, and Leah Schrager. More than 40 female artists, including curator Indira Cesarine, will present works that fearlessly address sexual themes in their art and celebrate freedom of expression. Read more about the exhibit below and to RSVP for the opening email email@example.com.
Exhibition statement: “Along with the legalization of birth control in the 1960’s came a profound shift in attitudes towards women’s sexuality and the freedom of sexual expression. The sexual revolution celebrated the erotic as a normal part of life, and denounced conservative attitudes that it should be repressed by a patriarchal society, religion or state. From a feminist perspective the movement focused on a woman’s right to choose her sexual partners and preferences free from outside interference or judgment. As women’s sexuality was redefined, many artists of the era, including Betty Tompkins and Joan Semmel, addressed these themes in their works, and fought against censorship and oppression.”
“Since the inception of the sexual liberation movement women have been faced with polarizing views on sexuality, including pornography and erotica, and it’s place within feminism. Through the highly documented feminist sex wars, which many historians believe attributed to the decline of second wave feminism, came the rise of the sex positive movement, which embraced women’s sexual freedom as central to women’s liberation. While the women’s liberation movement is often been equated with sexual liberation, the fight continues against the double standards that inhibit women from enjoying their sexuality freely and without judgment.”
“Despite decades of “liberation” contemporary feminist artists today continue to address these themes, to explore the dichotomies of contemporary society and challenge the double standards that linger. The battle with censorship may have shifted from film to the internet, yet artists continue to grapple with the constraints of conservative positions on depictions of nudity and sexually explicit works. The artists of SECRET GARDEN push social and political boundaries with artworks that boldly challenge the status quo and exemplify a new wave of women’s sexual liberation.”
“With the new political right, we have ushered in a conservative era, which attempts to challenge many liberties we have grown accustomed to including women’s reproductive rights and the legality of birth control. The importance of censorship-free, sexually liberated art has regained significance as women today continue to battle for equality and freedom of expression.” – Curator Indira Cesarine
Exhibiting artists include: Alexandra Rubinstein, Andrea Mary Marshall, Annika Connor, Betty Tompkins, Brittany Maldonado, Brittany Markert, Cabell Molina, Danielle Sigler, Dara Vandor, Dominique Vitali, Elisa Garcia de la Huerta, Ellen Jong, Fahren Feingold, Hiba Schahbaz, India Menuez, Indira Cesarine, Jacqueline Secor, Janine Gordon, Jeanette Hayes, Jessica Litchtenstein, Joan Semmel, Julia Fox, Kat Toronto, Katie Commodore, Katya Zvereva, Kelsey Bennett, Kristin O’Connor, Kristin Prim, Lauren Rinaldi, Leah Schrager, Maia Radanovic, Mairi-Luise Tabbakh, Maisie Willoughby, Marne Lucas, Mary Theinert, Meredith Ostrom, Miza Coplin, Myla Dalbesio, Natasha Wright, Nicole Wittenberg, Rebecca Leveille, Renee Dykeman, Rowan Renee, Signe Pierce, Suzanne Wright, Taira Rice, Tafv Sampson