Published April 4, 2013
Three radically different exhibitions—focusing on online shopping, feet and gender roles in post-World War II New York—will open next weekend at the UB Anderson Gallery.
All three exhibitions will open on April 13 with public receptions from 6-8 p.m. in the gallery, One Martha Jackson Place near Englewood and Kenmore avenues.
“Hartigan, Mitchell, Jackson: Subtle Resistance” investigates the ways in which artists Grace Hartigan and Joan Mitchell, and gallery owner Martha Jackson resisted rigid categorization of gender roles in post-World War II New York. It features artwork of Hartigan and Mitchell from 1950–80 from the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University, Smith College Museum of Art, the Annette Cravens collection, the estate of David Anderson and UB collections, as well as rare, archival materials from the Martha Jackson Gallery Archives at the Anderson Gallery.
During the post-World War II era, women artists working in New York City faced certain challenges to success specific to their gender. Abstract expressionism, the predominant artistic movement of the time, was considered by critics as exemplifying masculinity through a formalist aesthetic of action painting.
As exhibition curator Angelica Maier explains in her catalogue essay, Hartigan and Mitchell often were referred to as “second-generation” abstract expressionist painters. They were able to resist this gendered construction by means of a quiet, subtle, two-fold strategy: They adopted styles that rejected the “masculine” constructs of abstract expressionism and they cultivated a tight social network and created a calculated public image.
The Martha Jackson Gallery in New York City represented Hartigan and Mitchell from 1962–77 and from 1968–74 respectively. As letters in the Martha Jackson Gallery Archives attest, gallery owner Martha Kellogg Jackson protected and supported her artists and allowed them to cultivate their own artistic styles.
This exhibition provides the unique opportunity to not only see outstanding work by Hartigan and Mitchell on loan from prestigious collections, but to read original letters and other material that bring to life, in a very personal way, their artistic styles and creative struggles.
Maier curated the exhibition in conjunction with her master’s thesis at UB.
The exhibition runs through Aug. 4.
Hyeyoung Shin’s installation, “Weight of Being,” consists of Japanese gampi paper castings of individual’s feet and enlarged photographs of the bottom of feet. This choreographed environment activates an intimate space between people and serves as a profound metaphor for the weight of a human being.
Through the experience, participants create their own memories and perhaps gain a glimmer of the spiritual bonds that sustain all of us.
A teacher, artist, printmaker, book artists and UB alumna (MFA ’10), Shin currently is completing her second year as a junior research scholar at the Anderson Gallery and the Department of Visual Studies.
“Weight of Being” will be on view through Aug. 4.
Liz Rywelski’s exhibition, “RETURN POLICY,” is a selection of recent, largely visually based and performative works. The exhibition will showcase store receipts, a phenomenology of online shopping, and hand-held event shopping framing the performative and fleshy free agency embedded within the mechanical and political act of consuming identity.
Rywelski makes artwork about relationships, consumer roles and market identity. She writes and produces performance art and games that can be molded, emotionalized, emphasized and replicated. Her performances and games take the form of big-box store detritus, store receipts, studio portraiture and retail advertising.
“RETURN POLICY” is Rywelski’s UB MFA thesis exhibition. It will be on display through May 26.