DEAR LUCY
July 3 – August 31, 2019

April Bey
Bean Gilsdorf
Michelle Grabner
Wendy Red Star
Faith Wilding
subRosa

THE WORK
This group exhibition explores depictions of women and “domestic arts” by women, at the intersection of the intimate and the political. Ranging from portraits of recognizable public icons, to people unknown to the viewer, to abstraction, the works offer different perspectives on feminism and gender at this cultural moment. The artists, who vary widely in conceptual interest, medium, age, place and background, are united by their use of iconographies and materials that embed social critique, theory and direct action deep in their artworks.

The exhibition’s title refers to a famously pithy letter written by artist Nancy Spero to critic Lucy Lippard in 1971. It reads, "N Y OCT 29 / DEAR LUCY / THE ENEMIES OF WOMEN'S LIBERATION IN THE ARTS WILL BE CRUSHED. / LOVE (Signed, 'Nancy')" (source: Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institution).

THE ARTISTS
April Bey grew up in the Caribbean (Nassau, Bahamas) and now resides and works in Los Angeles, CA. Bey’s interdisciplinary artworks examine and critique American and Bahamian culture, pop culture feminism, generational theory, social media, AfroFuturism and constructs of race. The artist’s practice and material choices are informed by her travels to Canada, Iceland, London, Bali, Dubai, Morocco, Senegal, Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Ghana, West Africa. Collections housing Bey’s work include The California African American Museum, The National Art Gallery of The Bahamas and The Current, Baha Mar in Nassau, Bahamas. Bey holds a BFA in drawing from Ball State University (2009) and MFA in painting from California State University, Northridge (2014).

Bean Gilsdorf works with appropriated images and texts to delve into relationships between historical narratives, the iconography of authority, and the ways in which representations influence our perception of cultural values. Gilsdorf’s numerous accolades include Fulbright Fellowships to Poland (2015-2017), the Bess Winspear Memorial Scholarship at Banff Centre, a Graduate Fellowship at Headlands Center for the Arts, and a Graduate Full Merit Scholarship at California College of the Arts. In addition to her studio practice, Gilsdorf is a writer and editor, having worked for publications such as Artforum, BOMB, Frieze and Daily Serving. Gilsdorf holds a BA in literature from Bard College at Simon’s Rock and MFA in Fine Arts from California College of the Arts (2011). She is based in Portland, OR.

Michelle Grabner works in variety of mediums including drawing, painting, video and sculpture. Her works are united through themes of patterning, abstraction, domesticity, and questioning the opposition between fine art and craft. Grabner’s multi-faceted career incorporates writing, curating and teaching with a studio practice grounded in process and productivity. Grabner holds a BFA in Painting and Drawing (1984) and MA in Art History (1987) from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and an MFA in Art Theory and Practice from Northwestern University (1990). Collections holding her work include the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; MoCA, Chicago; Daimler Contemporary, Berlin; Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London. She lives in Milwaukee, WI.

Wendy Red Star explores the intersection of Native American ideologies and colonialist structures through an array of media, including photography, sculpture, fiber arts and video. The numerous museum collections housing her work include the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, CA; Portland Art Museum, OR; Hallie Ford Museum of Art, OR; Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, KS; Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, MO; Eiteljorg Museum, IN; and the Newark Museum, NJ (which recently presented A Scratch on the Earth, a mid-career survey of her work). Red Star holds a BFA from Montana State University, Bozeman (2004) and an MFA in sculpture from University of California, Los Angeles (2006). Raised on the Apsáalooke (Crow) reservation in Montana, she is based in Portland, OR.

Faith Wilding works in fiber, handwriting, watercolor, ink and other natural materials that refer to decorative handwork typically ascribed to women artists. Her practice is informed by a steadfast resistance to gendered roles and ideas. Wilding’s many accolades include the prestigious Women’s Caucus for Art Lifetime Achievement Award (2014), a Guggenheim Fellowship (2009) and two individual media grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. A co-initiator of the Feminist Art Programs in Fresno and at California Institute of the Arts (Cal Arts), she contributed Crocheted Environment and her Waiting performance piece to the historic Womanhouse exhibition. Wilding holds a BA in English from University of Iowa, IA (1968) and MFA in Visual Art from Cal Arts (1973). Born in Paraguay, Wilding emigrated to the United States in 1961 and is currently based in Rhode Island. Wilding's solo work is represented by Anat Ebgi Gallery, Los Angeles, CA.

subRosa is a cyberfeminist collective founded in 1998 in Pittsburgh, PA. Faith Wilding is a co-founder and continuing participant. It describes itself as “a reproducible cyberfeminist cell of cultural researchers committed to combining art, activism, and politics to explore and critique the effects of the intersections of the new information and biotechnologies on women’s bodies, lives, and work.” The name honors feminist pioneers in art, activism, labor, science, and politics: Rosa Bonheur, Rosa Luxemburg, Rosie the Riveter, Rosa Parks and Rosie Franklin, among others.