Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #11, 1978; Gelatin silver print, 12 3/8 x 15 7/8 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York. On view in the exhibition Women House (March 9-May 28, 2018)
March is Women's History Month. At D.C.'s National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA), the only major museum in the world solely dedicated to championing women through the arts, there's lots going on.
First, it's the return of the award-winning #5WomenArtists social media campaign. Led by the museum, and now in its third year, the campaign seeks to confront gender inequity and inspire a global conversation.
NMWA poses the question: "Can you name 5 women artists?" and invites individuals and cultural organizations to celebrate women artists by using the hashtag #5WomenArtists on social media. In 2017, over 11,000 individuals and 520 organizations from 30 countries and all 7 continents participated. They expect an equally strong response in 2018, when the museum will be encouraging a focus on women artists of color, who experience a double disadvantage in an already challenging field.
And, just opened is the opening of the exhibition Women House (March 9-May 28, 2018) featuring 36 international artists whose work - photography, sculpture and video - recasts conventional ideas about women in the home. Women House forms a sequel to the famous project Womanhouse, developed in 1972 by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. The artists and their students at the California Institute of the Arts transformed a dilapidated Hollywood mansion with works that disrupted conventional ideas about the home as a feminine space. It attracted thousands of visitors and national media attention. A landmark exhibition in art history, Womanhouse was the first female-centered art installation to appear in the Western world. The artists in Women House at the National Museum of Women in the Arts, include Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Mona Hatoum, Zanele Muholi, Leticia Parente, Martha Rosler, Miriam Schapiro, Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons and others.
I have a feeling of disgust that there's a need for Women's Month, but let's join in while we still need to! Here's some of what's on view at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in the Women House exhibition. Definitely worth a trip to Washington.
Laurie Simmons, Woman/Red Couch/Newspaper, 1978; Cibachrome print, 3 1/2 x 5 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York
Zanele Muholi, Katlego Mashiloane and Nosipho Lavuta, ext. 2, Lakeside, Johannesburg, 2007; Lambda print, 30 1/8 x 29 3/4 in.; Private collection
Cindy Sherman, Untitled Film Still #82, 1980; Gelatin silver print, 15 7/8 x 12 3/8 in.; Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures, New York
Kirsten Justesen, Portræt i arkiv med samling (Portrait in Cabinet with Collection), 2013; Chromogenic print mounted on Dibond with matte acrylic, 58 1/4 x 39 1/2 x 1 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of Montana A/S; © Kirsten Justesen
Laurie Simmons, Walking House, 1989; Chromogenic print; 64 x 46 in.; Collection of Dr. Dana Beth Ardi; Photo courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York