CAMH Presents the Women Artists Behind the Curtain

The Contemporary Art Museum of Houston hosts The Desconstructive Impsulse: Women Artists Reconfigure the Signs of Power, 1973-1991—not quite as ambitious as MOCA’s WACK! feminist art survey (2007), which had people desperately searching for wall tags in an exhibition so large that it made Dolly Parton’s breasts seem small, yet certainly home to some of our favorite feminist artists: Cindy Sherman, the Guerrilla Girls, and Sherrie Levine—in an exhibition that is, “a survey of leading women artists that examines the crucial feminist contribution to the development of deconstructivism in the 1970s and ’80s.”

CAMH goes on to say that an integral part of this exhibition involves, “examining source material, generally borrowed from the mass media, to expose the ways commercial images reveal the mechanisms of power.” Simply put:  media’s viewpoint is usually male dominated, insofar as the CEOs of media corporations were and are usually…men, and these women artists reexamine the agent doing the viewing and the media generated from such an agent. The bottom line is:  a woman deserves a seat behind the proverbial curtain.

Sherman and friends have deftly excavated gender roles in society since the early 70s, and the history of art is better for their contributions—in short, The Deconstructive Impulse is worth seeing.

Exhibiting artists include: Judith Barry, Dara Birnbaum, Barbara Bloom, Sarah Charlesworth, the Guerrilla Girls, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Susan Hiller, Jenny Holzer, Deborah Kass, Mary Kelly, Silvia Kolbowski, Barbara Kruger, Louise Lawler, Sherrie Levine, Adrian Piper, Martha Rosler, Cindy Sherman, Laurie Simmons, Lorna Simpson, Sturtevant, Carrie Mae Weems, and Hannah Wilke.

Feature Image:  Sarah Charlesworth, Figures from “Objects of Desire I,” 1983-84. Cibachrome with lacquered wood frame, 42 x 62 in. Courtesy of the artists and Susan Inglett Gallery, NYC.

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