Revolt, They Said (October 15–November 29, 2015)
Insistence (October 15–November 15, 2015)
11 West 53rd Street, New York
This month the MoMA continues a two-part presentation by artist Andrea Geyer. Comprising of the video projection Insistence (2013) and the large-scale wall drawing Revolt, They Said (2012–ongoing), the presentation is the culmination of her research on MoMA’s founders—Lillie P. Bliss, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, and Mary Quinn Sullivan. Insistence features their portraits and those of their many fellow collectors, cultural visionaries, and social entrepreneurs, to show and remind us how these women created a far-reaching network that was not simply an occurrence of the past but a legacy that is alive and present today.
Over the past three years, Andrea Geyer (German and American, b. 1971) has produced a body of work challenging the lack of recognition of women’s work in the story of the modernist movement during the 1920s and 1930s in New York City and beyond. Based on a continually evolving drawing, Revolt, They Said is a wall-sized diagram that takes the viewer through a network of 850 women who made an indelible impact on the American cultural landscape. Geyer’s hand-drawn lines chart professional relationships, friendships, commitments, and alliances among Bliss, Rockefeller, Sullivan, and a vast web of artists, collectors, cultural visionaries, and social entrepreneurs. With this work, Geyer not only maps these connections, but envisions a blueprint for how social and cultural change has been and can be realized.
Geyer’s 2013 video Insistence expands this research, weaving together stories about a group of these influential women in a voiceover that is paired with a continuous accumulation of postcards featuring their portraits and those of their collaborators, lovers, business partners, and supporters. Questioning the fundamental shortcomings and omissions of prevailing histories, the video suggests that the work, spirit, and convictions that drove these women to establish a far-reaching network across art, politics, education, and social reform remain very much alive and significant today.