Join our incoming Program Chair Jen Packard for the first ART SHARE of the year on Sunday January 9, 2022, at 3:00 p.m. The first 12 members to RSVP will be able to share an image of her work, and everyone who RSVPs is invited to join in for the discussion.
Sunday, December 5, 2021, 11:00 am - 1:00 pm
Carderock Springs Club
8200 Hamilton Spring Court
Bethesda, MD 20817
Hooray! An in-person event! Yowza!!
Woot!! Woot!! An actual party! We hope you can come!
Gourmet lunch by Vie de France!
Plan to Go! It's Gonna Be Great!!
Women’s Caucus for Art Conference 2022 Occupy the Moment: Embracing Our History, Enhancing Our Impact 50th Anniversary of the Women’s Caucus for Art Chicago, IL February 17–20, 2022 This conference celebrates the 50th anniversary of the founding of the Women’s Caucus for Art. Our theme celebrates our strengths and accomplishments and explores how we are moving forward to embrace new agendas and support emerging voices. The conference will include panels, workshops, a national member exhibition, the Lifetime Achievement Awards, and festive celebrations of this historic anniversary. Save the dates and plan to attend. We look forward to seeing you there. A block of rooms will be reserved at The Hilton Hotel near the Art Institute.
Book your hotel rooms soon, prices are guaranteed through Jan 21, 2022.
Finally Seeing Joan Mitchell Large
by Ellen Maidman-Tanner
During lockdown, we all became even more used to seeing artwork in tiny online chiclets of color. Now that the world has opened back up a bit, and travel is once more possible, I had the great good fortune of seeing a very large retrospective of the work of Joan Mitchell at the beautiful San Francisco Museum of Fine Art in late October. Ever since reading the excellent though lengthy work on the women of the Abstract Expressionist Movement entitled “9th Street Women”, I have yearned to see more of their works in person. (The only artist prior to the artworld awakening to female artists, that has occurred just within the last ten years, the only women of the AbEx movement who received museum visibility was Helen Frankenthaler and in part that was no doubt due to her relationship with the powerful critic Clement Greenberg.)
So to see Joan Mitchell installed, and I say that with some gravitas as these works are BIG, was visually overwhelming. As with other major solo shows (more on that in future editions of this newsletter), I was very impressed by the seemingly tireless production, the energy, the sweep of her output. And for me, the transcendent beauty of these pieces frequently lay within compositions - densely layered areas over which I could dwell for days. Here is example from the large work, ‘To the Harbormaster’, 1957, (detail at left, full image at right below) based on a poem by Frank O’Hara, a constant fixture with the AbEx crowd in NYC.
Joan used color to describe various landscapes and views, determined to rely solely on that and brushwork to fill her massive canvases. Some works appeared more resolved than others, some filled the canvas plane, while others were whirligigs of color and gesture in central locations within the canvas.
Overall, to witness the large body of work in all its scope and grandeur was an experiential delight. That art museums are finally giving female artists their due is wonderful. Late, but wonderful nonetheless.
A Dream Come True
I’ve often spoken of how less than five percent of the collections of most major art museums is of work by women. It is a riveting and shameful statistic.
So, last month I was able to get up to New York City for a couple days. When I walked in to the first gallery of a mid-twentieth century show at the Museum of Modern Art, I noticed something strange. All of the tags in the room contained female names! ALL OF THE TAGS IN THE ROOM CONTAINED FEMALE NAMES! After that first room, art in each of the galleries were comprised of roughly equal numbers of male and female artists. This was true of each of the shows we saw.
So, as the year 2021 closes, we can all feel good about this quiet development, this arrival of an important aspect of gender equality in our culture. Savor this thought. Enjoy it. A significant moment in our cultural history has arrived!
WCADC President, 2020-2021
Check the WCADC website often for new programs, activities and opportunities.