To be a Lady

Grace Hartigan (1922-2008), "Marilyn," 1962, oil on canvas, 70 x 50 inches, Collection of Hart Perry, New York, Photo: Jason Mandella

To be a Lady

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010), “Life Flower I,” 1960, Bronze, painted white 22 ½ x 34 x 23 inches, Bronze base: 27 ½ x 15 ¼ x 15 ¼ inches, Courtesy Cheim & Read / Photo: Christopher Burke, © Louise Bourgeois Trust

To be a Lady

Alma Thomas (1891-1978) “Red Scarlet Sage,” 1976, acrylic on canvas, 46 x 36 inches, Courtesy of Michael Rosenfeld Gallery LLC, New York

To be a Lady

Tamara Gonzales (b.1959) “Plastic Fantastic,” 2011, spray paint on canvas, 65 x 100 inches (diptych), Courtesy of the artist, Photo: Jason Mandella

To be a Lady

Brooke Moyse (b.1978) “Mount,” 2011, oil on canvas, 72 x 80 inches, Courtesy of the artist, Photo: Jason Mandella

forty-five women in the arts

Now extended through March 21, 2013

Curated by Jason Andrew
Organized by Norte Maar
Sponsored by the ownership at 1285 Avenue of the Americas

1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery
1285 Avenue of the Americas
(btwn 51st+52nd Str), New York City
B/D/F/M to 47-50 Strs/Rockefeller Ctr, B/D/E to 7th Ave, 1 to 50th Str
Hours / Admission
: Mon-Fri, 8am-6pm / Free

Press Release + Image Sheet

View Image Gallery

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Related Press:
Toughen Up, Lady, by Sharon Butler, Two Coats of Paint, Mar 8

State of the Lady, by Kate Wadkins, IDIOM, Feb 27

On being a “Lady,” by Mira Schor, A Year of Positive Thinking, Feb 10, 2013

To be a Lady named ‘best museum show not offered by a museum,’ by Thomas Micchelli, Hyperallergic, Dec 29, 2012

“To be a Lady” has already been and continues to be…, by Paul D’Agostino, L Magazine, Dec 21

On female artists and “To be a Lady”, by James Panero, The New Criterion, Nov 1

It Takes Multiple Visits “To be a Lady”, Phil Terry, Slow Art Day, Nov

City of Women, by Thomas Micchelli, Hyperallergic, Oct 13

How to be a Lady Painter, by Howard Hurst, Hyperallergic, Oct 9

To be a Lady, one of 40 most anticipated shows of the fall, by Ben Sutton, ArtInfo

To Be (Or Not to Be) A Lady, by Sara Roffino, ArtInfo, Sept 24

To be a Lady: This Week’s Must-See Art Event by Whitney Kimball, L Magazine, Sept 24

To be a Lady: Top Pick on Artcat, Sept 24

To Be a Lady, by Alice Losk, Artsicle, Sept 27

Norte Maar and the 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery announce the exhibition To be a Lady: Forty-Five Women in the Arts, on view at the 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery from September 24, 2012 through January 18, 2013. A reception, open to the public, will be held on Monday, September 24 from 6-8pm.

Curator Jason Andrew brings together forty-five artists born over the last century who happen to be women. Striking examples by historic protagonists, Alma Thomas, Louise Nevelson, Alice Neel, Lenore Tawney, Louise Bourgeois and Grace Hartigan set the stage for an exhibition designed to challenge and reshape the meaning of the word lady.

For centuries, the word lady has been a nuanced term for women prescribed by social mores. Politeness, good manners, correct attire, and behaving properly shaped what it meant to be a lady. To be considered as such was once the goal of every woman across the economic spectrum. At least, that’s what the men thought.

The word lady, here, is a provocation. For much of the early 20th century, women were up against the “lady painter” image which historian Linda Nochlin suggests was “established in 19th century etiquette books and reinforced by the literature of the times.”[1] Despite what might appear to be great progress for women in the arts, these societal expectations continue into the present. As Lee Krasner said, “I’m an artist not a woman artist.”[2]

“It is not the intention of this exhibition to be a comprehensive survey of women in the arts, it’s a selection of artists I know, have come to respect and whose aesthetic I admire. These women have problematized and played with gender identifications and characterizations, from lady to woman to other in some form, consciously or unconsciously. But here, specifically, it is the physicality of the art making that I am drawn too. Whether it be Louise Bourgeois’ corporeal sculpture, Lenore Tawney’s transformative weave, Grace Hartigan’s expressive stroke, these ladies exude a tactile process and manipulated rigor which lays the groundwork for those that followed.”
-Jason Andrew, exhibition curator

 The exhibition aspires to re-introduce the work of artists: Edith Schloss, Ruth Asawa, Pat Passlof, Jay DeFeo, Susan Weil, and Judy Dolnick. Others are in need of closer inspection including: Hermine Ford, Mimi Gross and Judy Pfaff. There is a large presence of mid-career artists including Nancy Bowen, Lindsay Walt, Elisabeth Condon and Jessica Stockholder. Their work in many ways bridge the gap between the established vanguard and the newest generation that includes Austin Thomas, Ellen Letcher, Vanessa German, and two painters of merit Brooke Moyse and Nathlie Provosty.

The exhibition has a cross disciplinary component including photographs by Barbara Morgan, text work by poet Kathleen Fraser and a video installation by choreographer Julia K. Gleich.

Multi-media, interdisciplinary, and cross-generational with seminal works by each artist, this exhibition reminds us that the world is full of great artists, and many of them happen to be ladies.

Artists:Alma Thomas, Charmion von Wiegand, Louise Nevelson, Alice Neel, Barbara Morgan, Irene Rice Pereira, Janice Biala, May Wilson, Lenore Tawney, Louise Bourgeois, Edith Schloss, Grace Hartigan, Ruth Asawa, Betye Saar, Pat Passlof, Jay DeFeo, Susan Weil, Lee Bontecou, Viola Frey, Judy Dolnick, Kathleen Fraser, Hermine Ford, Mimi Gross, Nancy Grossman, Elizabeth Murray, Judy Pfaff, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Mira Schor, Mary Judge, Nancy Bowen, Lindsay Walt, Michelle Jaffé, Elisabeth Condon, Tamara Gonzales, Jessica Stockholder, Brece Honeycutt, Ellie Murphy, Julia K. Gleich, Austin Thomas, Ellen Letcher, Rachel Beach, Vanessa German, Kristen Jensen, Brooke Moyse, and Nathlie Provosty

[1] Linda Nochlin. “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”  Art News 69 (January 1971).
[2] Michael Kernan. “Out of Pollock’s Shadow: Her Life & Art Seen Whole at Last,” Washington Post, October 23, 1983, L1.

This exhibition is organized by Norte Maar and sponsored by 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery as a community based public service in partnership with 1285 Avenue of the Americas and Jones Lang LaSalle.

About the curator:
Jason Andrew
is an independent archivist, curator, and producer. Currently the Manager of the Estate of Abstract Expressionist painter Jack Tworkov, Mr. Andrew specializing in the field of Postwar American Art. He has published extensively on the subject and is currently editing the catalogue raisonné of paintings by Jack Tworkov. Guarding against special interests in any particular style or genre, his curatorial projects bridge gaps left in art history and reflect the creative imagination of the past, present and future. Recent curatorial projects include the retrospective exhibition Jack Tworkov: Against Extremes / Five Decades of Painting (UBS Art Gallery / Provincetown Art Association and Museum, 2009); Jack Tworkov: Accident of Choice, the artist at Black Mountain College 1952 (Black Mountain College Museum + Arts Center, 2011). Mr. Andrew is a prominent figure in the Bushwick art scene, and is the co-founder of Norte Maar.

About Norte Maar:
Norte Maar for Collaborative Projects in the Arts
is a 501(c)3 non-profit arts organization founded in 2004 by curator Jason Andrew and choreographer Julia K. Gleich to create, promote, and present collaborations in the disciplines of the visual, literary, and the performing arts: connecting artists, choreographers, composers, writers, and other originating artists with venues and each other. Norte Maar encourages and supports innovative and educational projects in the arts by offering unique exhibitions, unusual performances, workshops and lectures for artists and residents of our community. Embracing spontaneity, Norte Maar nurtures new ideas bringing them to fruition and encourages risk-taking at all levels from art-making, to producing, to performance. Norte Maar aims to be a leader in building collaborative partnerships between originating artists and other organizations thereby uniting cultural forces to foster artistic expression and raise the imaginative energy in us all. Norte Maar is all about blurring the lines that distinguish artistic practices. Norte Maar is supported by the Friends of Norte Maar. For more information please visit:


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