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.