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A Feminist Look at The Brooklyn Museum Collection

  • Adejoke Tugbiyele - Gele Pride Flag, 2014
  • Vito Acconci - Bite the Bullet; Slow Guns for Quick Sale..., 1977
  • Mickalene Thomas - Madame Mama Bush in Black and White, 2007
  • Guerrilla Girls - You're Seeing Less than Half the Picture, 1989
  • Guerrilla Girls - Women in America Earn Only 2:3 of What Men Do., 1985
  • Carrie Mae Weems - Untitled (Man Smoking:Malcolm X), from the Kitchen Table series, 1990
  • Wendy Red Star - Alaxchiiaahush : Many War Achievements : Plenty Coups, 2014, Wendy Red Star - Peelatchiwaaxpáash : Medicine Crow (Raven), 2014
August 12, 2018
A philosophy graduate interested in theory, politics and art. Alias of Jelena Martinović.

One of the premier art institutions in the world, the Brooklyn Museum is a place where great art and courageous conversations meet as catalysts for a more connected, civic, and empathetic world. Having a varied and extensive collection, the institution aims to expand the ways we see ourselves, the world and its possibilities.

A new exhibition will present major works, new acquisitions, and rediscoveries in the Museum’s collection through an intersectional feminist lens. Titled Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection, the show will feature work by more than fifty groundbreaking artists who responded to crucial social and political moments from the last one hundred years, from World War I to the Civil Rights Movement and #MeToo.

Betty Tompkins - Apologia (Artemesia Gentileschi 4), 2018, Philip Pearlstein - Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer, 1968
Left: Betty Tompkins – Apologia (Artemesia Gentileschi #4), 2018. Acrylic on paper, 11 × 8 1/2 in. (27.9 × 21.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Emily Winthrop Miles Fund and Robert A. Levinson Fund, TL2018.10. © Betty Tompkins. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum / Right: Philip Pearlstein – Portrait of Linda Nochlin and Richard Pommer, 1968. Oil on canvas, 72 × 60 in. (182.9 × 152.4 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Gift of the Estate of Linda Nochlin Pommer, TL2018.12. © Philip Pearlstein. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum)

Half the Picture

The title of the show, Half the Picture, is drawn from 1989 Guerrilla Girls poster which reads “You’re seeing less than half the picture without the vision of women artists and artists of color.” A collective of activist female artists founded in 1985, Guerrilla Girls are known for their funny, concise, and biting graphic work aimed at combating stereotypes and dominant narratives.

Bringing together over fifty artists of varied backgrounds, approaches, and intersecting identities, the exhibition will present works which are relevant to the current politics and conversations about feminism. The show will highlight the power of the artists to bring into the fore the pressing issues of our time.

Joan Semmel - Intimacy-Autonomy, 1974
Joan Semmel – Intimacy-Autonomy, 1974. Oil on canvas, 50 x 98 in. (127 x 248.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum; anonymous gift, 2004.117. © Joan Semmel. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum)

Highlights of the Show

For the first time, the show will feature a number of recent acquisitions, including two works from Beverly Buchanan’s best-known series of shack sculptures; Betty Tompkins’s Fuck Painting #6 from 1973, marking the first time a work from this controversial series is on view in an American museum; and Nona Faustine’s Isabelle, Lefferts House, Brooklyn from 2016.

Other highlights include Renee Cox’s monumental photograph Yo Mama from 1993; Dara Birnbaum’s iconic video Technology/Transformation: Wonder Woman from 1978/79; and Wendy Red Star’s 1880 Crow Peace Delegation series; Harmony Hammond’s large-scale sculpture Hunkertime from 1979–80, as well as the earliest works in the show, a group of woodcuts by German artist Käthe Kollwitz from 1920s, which depict the lives of women and the less fortunate in the gruesome aftermath of World War I.

Other artists included in the show are Vito Acconci, Sue Coe, An-My Lê, Yolanda López, Park McArthur, Zanele Muholi, Dread Scott, Joan Semmel, Lorna Simpson, Kiki Smith, Nancy Spero, Mickalene Thomas, Adejoke Tugbiyele, and Taller de Gráfica Popular, among many others.

Alison Saar - Ulysses, 1994, Laurie Simmons - Man/Woman/Horses (Roy Rogers and Dale Evans), circa 1978, Nancy Spero - Fertility Totem, 1986
Left: Alison Saar – Ulysses, 1994. Woodcut on paper, 50 1/2 x 19 7/8 in. (128.4 x 50.6 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Robert A. Levinson Fund, 1995.3. © Alison Saar. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum) / Center: Laurie Simmons – Man/Woman/Horses (Roy Rogers and Dale Evans), circa 1978. Chromogenic photograph, 7 1/8 x 4 3/4 in. (18.1 x 12.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Gift of Susan Wyatt in memory of Ann A. Wyatt, 2014.119.2. © Laurie Simmons. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum) / Right: Nancy Spero – Fertility Totem, 1986. Hand-printed collage on paper, 108 x 20 in. (274.3 x 50.8 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of The Foundation, To-Life, Inc., 2008.83. © Nancy Spero. (Photo: Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum)

A Feminist Look at the Brooklyn Museum

The exhibition Half the Picture: A Feminist Look at the Collection will be on view at The Brooklyn Museum in New York from August 31st, 2018 until March 31st, 2019.

The exhibition is organized by Catherine Morris, Sackler Senior Curator, and Carmen Hermo, Assistant Curator, Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art.

Featured images: Adejoke Tugbiyele – Gele Pride Flag, 2014. Fabric, metallic thread, brass, 64 x 175 in. (162.6 x 444.5 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Gift of the artist, 2016.24. © Adejoke Tugbiyele; Vito Acconci – Bite the Bullet; Slow Guns for Quick Sale…, 1977. Photo-etching on paper, 29 3/4 x 41 3/4 in. (75.6 x 106cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Nancy Genn, 1991.215. © 2018 Vito Acconci / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York; Mickalene Thomas – Madame Mama Bush in Black and White, 2007; printed 2011. Chromogenic photograph, 18 3/4 x 23 1/2 in. (47.6 x 59.7 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Gift of Mickalene Thomas, 2011.26. © Mickalene Thomas; Guerrilla Girls – You’re Seeing Less than Half the Picture, 1989. Offset lithograph, 17 × 22 in. (43.2 × 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Gift of Guerrilla Girls BroadBand, Inc., 2017.26.22. © Guerrilla Girls; Women in America Earn Only 2/3 of What Men Do., 1985. Offset lithograph, 17 × 22 in. (43.2 × 55.9 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Gift of Guerrilla Girls BroadBand, Inc., 2017.26.6. © Guerrilla Girls; Carrie Mae Weems – Untitled (Man Smoking/Malcolm X), from the Kitchen Table series, 1990. Gelatin silver photograph, 31 1/4 x 30 7/8 in. (79.4 x 78.4cm). Brooklyn Museum; Caroline A.L. Pratt Fund, 1991.168. © Carrie Mae Weems. (Photo: Sarah DeSantis, Brooklyn Museum); Left: Wendy Red Star – Alaxchiiaahush : Many War Achievements : Plenty Coups, 2014, from the series 1880 Crow Peace Delegation. Pigment print on paper, from digitally reproduced and artist-manipulated photograph by C.M. (Charles Milton) Bell, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, 25 × 17 in. (63.5 × 43.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D., TL2018.8.5a–b. © Wendy Red Star / Right: Wendy Red Star – Peelatchiwaaxpáash : Medicine Crow (Raven), 2014, from the series 1880 Crow Peace Delegation. Pigment print on paper, from digitally reproduced and artist-manipulated photograph by C.M. (Charles Milton) Bell, National Anthropological Archives, Smithsonian Institution, 25 × 17 in. (63.5 × 43.2 cm). Brooklyn Museum; Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Gift of Loren G. Lipson, M.D., TL2018.8.1a–b. © Wendy Red Star. Photos by Jonathan Dorado, Brooklyn Museum unless otherwise stated.