The Aldrich revisits its landmark feminist art exhibition
52 Female Artists: A Feminist Milestone celebrates the fifty-first anniversary of the historical exhibition Twenty-six contemporary women artistscurated by Lucy R. Lippard and presented in 1971 at the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in Ridgefield, Conn. Opening on June 6, 2022, 52 artists will feature work by the artists from the original 1971 exhibition along with a new list of twenty-six women who identify as emerging or non-binary artists, tracking the evolution of feminist art practices over the past five decades.
52 artists will cover the entire museum (approximately 8,000 square feet) – the first exhibit in The Aldrich’s new building, dedicated in 2004. The show runs through January 28, 2023.
The new artists, all of whom live in New York City, will not have had a major solo exhibition in museums across the United States by March 1, 2022, in keeping with The Aldrich’s mission to represent the work of emerging artists and with
Lippard’s original commission for the 1971 exhibition. “This group of 26 emerging artists reflects the revolutionary
Evolving feminist art practices over half a century and exhibiting a diversity of experiences and a multitude of
Sensitivities unified by a 21st-century feminist expression that is inclusive, expansive, resilient and free,” said Amy Smith-Stewart, senior curator of The Aldrich, who curated the contemporary selection.
The exhibition is being organized by The Aldrich’s Senior Curator Amy Smith-Stewart and independent curator Alexandra Schwartz, along with The Aldrich’s Curatorial Assistant Caitlin Monachino.
“52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone is one of our most ambitious exhibitions to date,” said Cybele Maylone, executive director of the Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum. “The exhibition demonstrates the museum’s commitment to emerging and underrepresented artists over time and provides an unprecedented opportunity for important scholarly insight into the historical legacy of the 1971 exhibition. We are delighted to compile this exceptional list of artists for this timely and important show. “
Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists was on view at The Aldrich from April 18 to June 13, 1971 and was organized by writer, art critic, activist and curator Lucy R. Lippard, who viewed curating this landmark exhibition as an activist gesture. In her catalogue, she explains: “I accepted this exhibition because I knew that there are many women artists whose work is as good or better than what is currently on show, but who can make it due to the prevailing discriminatory policies of most galleries and museums Rarely does anyone get to visit their studios or take them as seriously as their male colleagues.” With this exhibition, Lippard arguably established feminist curatorial practice in that country.
52 artists will review this groundbreaking exhibition, including artworks from the original exhibition and recreations of some of the more short-lived pieces and, if neither are available, related works from the same period. The exhibition will also include recent work by many of the original artists and explore how their practices have evolved over the past fifty years. By showing the original group alongside today’s emerging artists, the exhibition will testify to both the historical impact of Lippard’s landmark exhibition and the influence of the original 26 artists it presented at The Aldrich on a new generation of artists.
Lippard’s original 1971 exhibition at The Aldrich was one of the first institutional responses to the problem of women artists’ invisibility in museums and galleries. More specifically, the exhibition offered a response to protests by the ad hoc Women Artists Committee (founded by Poppy Johnson, Brenda Miller, Faith Ringgold, and Lucy Lippard) about the absence of women in the Whitney Museum of American Art‘s Sculpture Annual 1970. Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists opened the floodgates for a variety of other feminist exhibitions in the 1970s, signaling Lippard’s rise as a visionary feminist curator and critic and marking the debut of many seminal artists. 52 Artists not only celebrates this radical exhibition, but also highlights its enduring influence on future generations of artists.
The original 1971 catalog was designed by architect and scholar Susana Torre. A new 180-page hardcover book designed by Gretchen Kraus, The Aldrich’s Design Director, and co-edited with Gregory R. Miller & Co. will accompany the exhibition. This significant catalog will feature new essays by Lippard, Smith-Stewart and Schwartz, as well as rare historical documentation of the original exhibition, images, installation views and checklists from the 1971 and 2022 exhibitions.
The artists whose works were featured in the original 1971 exhibition are: Cecile Abish (born 1926), Alice Aycock (born 1946), Cynthia Carlson (born 1942), Sue Ann Childress* (born 1947), Glorianna Davenport* (born 1944), Susan Hall (born 1943), Mary Heilmann (born 1940), Audrey Hemenway (1930–2008), Laurace James (born 1936), Mablen Jones (1943–2021), Carol Kinne (1942). -2016), Christine Kozlov (1945-2005), Brenda Miller (born 1941), Mary Miss (born 1944), Dona Nelson (born 1947), Louise Parks* (born 1944), Shirley Pettibone (1936- 2011), Howardena Pindell (*1943), Adrian Piper (*1948), Sylvia Plimack Mangold (*1938), Reeva Potoff (*1941), Paula Tavins (1936–2019), Merrill Wagner (*1935). ), Grace Bakst Wapner (born 1934), Jackie Winsor (born 1941) and Barbara Zucker (born 1940). All but three of the original 26 artists’ work will be included 52 artists. (*These artists are not participating.)
The new generation of artists represented in the exhibition are: Leilah Babirye (born 1985), Phoebe Berglund (born 1980), LaKela Brown (born 1982), Lea Cetera (born 1983), Susan Chen (born 1992), Pamela Council (born 1986), Lizania Cruz (born 1983), Florencia Escudero (born 1987), Alanna Fields (born 1990), Emilie L. Gossiaux (born 1989), Ilana Harris-Babou (born 1991) , Loie Hollowell (born 1983), Maryam Hoseini (born 1988), Hannah Levy (born 1991), Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski (born 1985), Catalina Ouyang (born 1993), Anna Park (born 1996). ), Erin M. Riley (born 1985), LJ Roberts (born 1980), Aya Rodriguez-Izumi (born 1986), Aliza Shvarts (born 1986), Astrid Terrazas (born 1996), Tourmaline (born 1983), Rachel Eulena Williams (born 1991), Kiyan Williams (born 1991) and Stella Zhong (born 1993).