What: Rebirth Through Time: Celebrating 10 years of Excellence
When: March 1 – April 28, 2013
Jewelry Trunk show by Corinthia Peoples: Saturday, March 30th 1-7pm
2nd Opening Reception: Friday, April 5th, 6-9pm
Artist Talk: First Friday, April 5th 7-8p
Where: Joyce Gordon Gallery
406 14th St (12th St. Bart Exit)
Oakland, Ca. 94612
Participating Artists: Zena Allen, Latisha Baker, Christine Balza, Lorraine Bonner, Dimeng Brehmer, Samantha Chundur, Linda Fong, April Hankins, Penny Harncharnvej, Kristen Jensen, Vanessa Marsh, Susan Matthews, Barbara McIntyre, Corinthia Peoples, Keli Walker and Flo Oy Wong
For more information please contact:
Gallery Curator: Eric Murphy - firstname.lastname@example.org
Joyce Gordon Gallery presents “Rebirth Through Time”, an exhibition of sixteen women artists in honor of Women’s History Month of March into April and the inaugural celebration of Joyce Gordon Gallery’s 10th anniversary in downtown Oakland.
In Europe during 1911, March 8th was celebrated as International Women’s Month with the focus on women’s rights in society and continues to be recognized to this very day. In the US, this celebration much like Black History Month began to be observed for a full week and in 1987, Congress extended this fete into the entire month of March.
Today by inevitable response, we also honor women artists through exhibitions and other public programs without much discussion about the history and evolution of women artists, gallerists, critics and collectors throughout time. In Eleanor Tufts’ 1974 book, Our Hidden Heritage: Five Centuries of Women Artists, Tuft document the lives of 22 women artists from the 16th to the 20th century and examined how each of them became involved in art. These female artists include, Artemisha Gentileschi, 19th Century sculptor Edmonia Lewis and 17th Century still life painter, Rachel Ruysch whose paintings was believed at one point to sell higher than the works of fellow Dutch painter, Rembrandt. Other studies suggest that parity in the success of male and female artists in history is subject to initial conditions and favorable environments. This nature vs. nurture idea would then support the success of such women artists as the daughters of Charles Peale, students of Bologna University and the painters of Mithila in India; a predominant group of women artists that became Internationally famous and financially more successful than some of their husbands, enabling them to be more than corporeal assets.
In our exhibition, Rebirth Through Time, artist, Zena Allen’s Watercolor and Ink painting, “Baptism” adapts the style of the Indian Mithila painters and various folk art while merging another sub-Saharan culture in Ethiopia, ironically these two cultures are also comparable in the culinary arts. Other culturally conscious artworks, includes Keli Walker’s “The Albino” hinting towards the modern massacre of Albino’s in Africa today, Penny Harncharnvej’s “Thais to America” series, (feat. Thailand’s King, Bhumibol Adulyadej, born in Cambridge, Massachussettes) challenges class systems and Asian stereotypes as referenced in a 2010 Art in America article and Flo Oy Wong’s “Oakland Chinatown” is a retrospective series of drawings in which her family restaurant demonstrates a period of working class Chinese Americans during her childhood in direct contrast to Hollywood’s portrayal of popular Chinese culture at that time. Other artists like Linda Fong, April Hankins, Barbara McIntyre and Samantha Chundur’s abstract paintings focus more on the intrinsic nature of art. The innovative process of Vanessa Marsh’s Constellations series of photograms, and verisimilitude of life like figures in her c-prints is a nod to Anna Atkins and the role of women photographers of the 19th and 20th Century.
Regardless of medium or subject, this group of sixteen women artists is salient to the role of women in modern art. So the question remains, what is the role of women gallerists, curators, critics and collectors? If I may be more colloquial than factual to express personal observation, women in the field of art seem to show a greater dominance in today’s art market. It’s not just a cheer to the muses, it is a venerated moment to a more cognitive species. In regards to collecting art, let’s not forget Oakland’s own, Gertrude Stein (February 3, 1874 – July 27, 1946), who I am certain would say to women artists today, “There she is.” Historically women gallerists are no modern sensation either when considering the role of Agnes Dürer and Rembrandt's first wife, Saskia van Uylenburgh, who managed their husband’s art practices.
So how does a commercial gallery survive for 10 years, which may suggest that it must remain innovative and reinvent itself through time to stay fresh and relevant. With that said, we toast to 10 years of Oakland’s muse and woman gallerist, Joyce Gordon.