Think back to art history class in high school or college—or just your last visit to a museum or gallery—and you’re probably aware that most of the work you’ve seen was created by a man. And you’re probably aware that there’s been a feminist movement afoot in the art world for decades now.
One incredible engine for this right now is the Every Woman Biennial. It takes a page from the Whitney Biennial—a much-anticipated art world phenomenon—which, three years ago, presented works that were two-thirds male-created; one-third female. (Those numbers have evened out recently.)
The Every Woman Biennial started as something of a joke, with the idea that someone should do The Whitney Houston Biennial instead to put a female spin on things. What began as a clever comment is now a force with which to be reckoned. It displays only the work of female and non-binary artists, over 600 of them.
The project is the brainchild of painter C. Finley, who recently declared, “I say, ‘if you’re making work from a divine feminine place, send it over.’ We have a 13-year-old trans girl from Colorado … and [we’ve had] an 89-year-old artist from New York City that I happened to find. Part of the ethos of this is to be really inclusive and really loving, so people can feel comfortable here.”
Going Coast to Coast
Visitors feel comfortable—and then some. Energized and challenged would be good words. This year’s New York edition kicked off with a flash mob dance to Whitney Houston’s “I Wanna Dance with Somebody” (choreography available here), showing it’s got a major sense of humor and a sense of sisterhood. Among the works included in the exhibition was “Nobody Puts Baby in the Corner,” a silk-screen edition by Deborah Kass, age 67—a terrific example of artists aging boldly.
What began as a clever comment is now a force with which to be reckoned.
The Every Woman Biennial has a free pop-up version in Los Angeles this month. Among the contributions: Artist Marilyn Minter, age 70, is sharing a photo from her “Plush” series (it’s a commentary on female pubic hair, of which she has said, “it seems to be disappearing. And it’s not at all in art history”). There are many works by younger artists, too, and an array of media, from textile art to video art to musical performances. To see for yourself, check out the details here. But hurry; its last day is June 12th.