This article is part of our latest Museums special section, which focuses on the intersection of art and politics.

What if the art world could create a kind of popular awakening?

It is a question Apsara DiQuinzio, a curator at the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, asked herself not long after the Women’s March of 2017.

That grass-roots protest helped inspire the Feminist Art Coalition, a nationwide collaboration of museums and arts organizations large and small — 90 institutions and counting — that are planning exhibitions and programming around the theme of feminism and aimed toward this fall.

“One of the motivations behind the Feminist Art Coalition was to create a groundwork where important conversations surrounding misogyny, equality and oppression could happen in the lead-up to the election,” Ms. DiQuinzio said. She reached out to several colleagues with her idea for this initiative in 2017 after being inspired by the energy of the march and how it came together organically after the last presidential election.

Major monographic exhibitions of work by women will be offered at wide-ranging institutions — Alison Saar presented jointly at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena and the Benton Museum of Art at Pomona College in Claremont, Calif.; Lorraine O’Grady at the Brooklyn Museum; Hannah Wilke at the Pulitzer Arts Foundation in St. Louis; Shahzia Sikander at the Rhode Island School of Design Museum in Providence; Deana Lawson at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston; and Diana Al-Hadid at the Henry Art Gallery at the University of Washington in Seattle (which is dedicating its entire gallery footprint for the second half of this year to shows conceived under the Feminist Art Coalition banner).

Of course, not all art by women is automatically feminist, Ms. Huldisch underscored. For her former institution, the MIT List Visual Arts Center in Cambridge, Mass., she has organized the largest show to date of Dorothy Iannone, an idiosyncratic artist from Boston who emigrated to Europe in the 1960s. “She had expressed that she felt out of step with American second-wave feminism in the 1970s,” Ms. Huldisch said, noting that now the artist is excited to be presented under the feminist umbrella.

Ms. DiQuinzio, who used much of the Warhol grant to create the Feminist Art Coalition website and has largely shouldered the administrative demands of the initiative with her assistant curator, lets curators determine for themselves whether their projects are a good fit.

“The aim is to be very inclusive and we want to leave it open to interpretation and ideological positions,” she said. “We have gotten into the situation we are in socially and politically in this country because of problems of exclusion and elitism and the perception of those things.”

Source link