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Contemporary Women: Consciousness & Content

DATES October 01, 1977 through October 27, 1977
ORGANIZING DEPARTMENT Brooklyn Museum Art School
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  • September 20, 1977 Contemporary Women: Consciousness and Content, a selection of recent paintings, sculpture, drawings, and video-tape by 29 women artists, will be held at The Brooklyn Museum, Eastern Parkway and Washington Avenue, from October 1 through October 27. Most of the works on view were produced during the past five years; all but two of the artists represented are living. The exhibition was organized for The Brooklyn Museum Art school by Joan Semmel, an artist and teacher at the school; it reflects her personal insight into some specific issues related to the feminist art movement in the United States today.

    “The constant recurrence of self-images and autobiographical references in women’s art has paralleled feminist preoccupation with the connections between the personal and the public,” Joan Semmel says. “This exhibition focuses on four thematic ideas which occur with uncommon frequency in women’s art: sexual imagery, both abstract and figurative; autobiography and self-image; the celebration of devalued subject matter and media which have been traditionally relegated to women; and anthropomorphic or nature forms....The price for entrance into the cathedral of ‘high art’ has been conformity to male modes. Today women artists, for the first time, have begun to develop a unique inconography which, while fitting into more or less accepted stylistic categories, is radically different in intent and content.”

    Artists represented in the show are Eleanor Antin, Lynda Benglis, Judith Bernstein, Louise Bourgeois, Cynthia Carlson, Judy Chicago, Mary Beth Edelson, Audrey Flack, Mary Frank, Nancy Grossman, Harmony Hammond, Ann Healy, Eva Hesse (deceased), Buffie Johnson, Joyce Kozloff, Ellen Lanyon, Pat Lasch, May Stevens, Marisol, Ree Morton (deceased) , Louise Nevelson, Miriam Schapiro, Joan Semmel, Sylvia Sleigh, Joan Snyder, Anita Steckel, Pat Steir, Michelle Stuart, and Hannah Wilke.

    A symposium on the occasion of the show, The Personal and Public in Women's Art, will be held at The Brooklyn Museum on Sunday, October 23, at 2 p.m. Moderated by Joan Semmel, panelists include Lawrence Alloway, author and critic; Harmony Hammond, artist; Joyce Kozloff, artist; Carter Ratcliff, poet and critic; and May Stevens, artist. Admission is $2.00 for students and Museum members, $3.00 for non-members.

    Contemporary Women: Consciousness and Content opens October 1 simultaneously with Women Artists: 1550-1950, the Museum’s major autumn exhibition; and Anni Albers: Drawings and Prints, 77 gouaches, drawings and prints (lithography, screenprints, embossing, photo offset, and intaglio) by the internationally-known weaver, designer and teacher.

    Brooklyn Museum Archives. Records of the Department of Public Information. Press releases, 1971 - 1988. 1977, 022-23.
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