Mattera notes that: "Taking advantage of the newly available acrylic paints at that time, [the Washington Color artists] created geometric compositions, often applying the pigmented polymer directly into unprimed canvas. Their coolly measured work was light years away from abstract expressionist angst."
Schor writes: "I figure that since the show is divided into two parts, installed along two separate sections of the space, with one side featuring the works of women artists who are deceased, and the other side featuring those of us still among the living, I feel that I can safely recommend the dead without incurring controversy among the other living artists in the show or referring to my own work in it or the ramifications of the word 'lady, ' which I know has stirred some controversy. Curator Jason Andrew of Norte Maar has assembled some terrific work in this show, a diverse group of works by notable artists and artists that some may be less familiar with, and in each case has included a very good example of the artist’s work, and in some cases quite a surprising one. Again, I am just talking about the dead. The works are grouped in open bays or booths, creating in effect small mini-exhibitions with some interesting synergies."
Panero writes: "It’s too bad that the language of music cannot apply to visual art. We all know there’s a difference between a tenor and a soprano, yet we value them equally. In fact, opera is rather dull without both. The same holds true for the voices of painters or sculptors. With its concentration of abstract artists, 'To be a Lady' suggests, in particular, why women’s voices have been essential to the evolution of modernism. Even without pivotal figures on display like Helen Frankenthaler, the lady who made the men look like boys, 'To be a Lady' suggests how women have advanced an abstract language that is thankfully free of distracting male quavers. Without macho bluster, the works here can settle into contemplative, often symmetrical compositions."
Thomas Micchelli writes about the exhibition To be a Lady: Forty-Five Women in the Arts curated by Jason Andrew, organized by Norte Maar, on view at 1285 Avenue of the Americas Art Gallery, New York through January 18, 2013.
To be a Lady, Micchelli notes, is a show of "startling scale, ambition and quality: a museum-caliber exhibition unenclosed by museum walls." He continues: "One of the ironies of To Be a Lady (implicit in its title, which Andrew asserts is meant as a provocation) is that the pieces derived from traditional notions of domesticity — 'women’s work' in the not-gender-neutral term — are often the most aggressive... Aggressiveness is on full display in conventional media as well, with tough and jagged paintings by Pat Passlof, Elizabeth Condon, Grace Hartigan, Mira Schor, Brooke Moyse and, with a marked acidity, Elizabeth Murray."
Edited by artist Brett Baker, Painters' Table highlights writing from the painting blogosphere as it is published and serves as a platform for exploring blogs that focus primarily on the subject of painting.