Kara Walker, A Work on Progress,1998 cut paper on wall. 69 x 80 inches, Collection of Judie and Howard Ganek
TAS Summer 2022
The Art Section this summer is devoted to dialogues between women about their art. This focus on dialogues was originally conceived in the wake of Cecilia Alemani’s triumphant curation of the 59th Venice Biennale, which showed that not only is the future female, but the past was as well. There was such power, strength, and vision in her curation; artists who were hardly recognized before were seen in a context where they could no longer be ignored.
But last month, the clocks in the United States were turned back 50 years when the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade. Women can no longer make decisions about their own bodies in much of this country. In light of this appalling development, conversations between women, including artists and critics, take on a new urgency and meaning.
The studio is where artists make their decisions; they can determine the content of their work within the worlds that they create. The artist has total autonomy in the process and conception of their artwork, an autonomy they do not necessarily have outside the confines of the studio. Discussions between women artists and critics are important at this moment as we all seek to navigate this new era of control. Such conversations and dialogues are measures we can take to examine how art can address the present time.
Dr. Tanya Augsburg and artist Lynn Hershman Leeson had a Zoom conversation about LHL’s new work at the Venice Biennale, Logic Paralyzes the Heart, a 13 minute and 53 second video and installation that explores the cyborgian idea of the body. This haunting work questions the ethical use of AI technology, a topic Leeson has been addressing for many years. In this time of increased government control over women’s bodies, the idea that the cyborg—a woman in Leeson’s film—evokes the fear that it may someday learn to think for itself takes on added poignancy.
Artists Liat Yossifor and Iva Gueorguieva both live and work in Los Angeles. They were born in the same year in Israel and Bulgaria, respectively. Their conversation is about painting as it relates to their sense of national identity and their relationships to abstraction in connection with their personal histories, providing insight into their work.
I have been making paintings with horizontal gestures across the canvas for the last four years. When I saw new works by artist Joanne Mattera, the connection between our work as artists who are passionate about color, geometry, and horizontal movement became more than apparent. Through our discussion of the horizontal as it relates to color and abstraction, we discover that our respective processes are parallel in some ways and completely different in others.
I hope that these dialogues provide a small window into the work and concepts of these artists and their relationship to our current reality.
With appreciation to all our writers and readers,
The Art Section