This week we’re talking about a group of supremely awesome and unapologetic artists who take risks, question art world practices, and also happen to be women – we’re calling them Fierce Women of Art. These are truly inspirational artists who make a wide range of work, and today we’re going to single out and celebrate five of them: the Guerrilla Girls, Corita Kent, Lynda Benglis, Xiao Lu, and Kara Walker.
Can You Spot the Shout-outs to Andy, Yoko, Jasper, Chuck, Lynda & More in Ray Johnson’s Collages?
“Networking” is the word New York magazine used to describe the theme of “Ray Johnson’s Art World,” the riveting show at Richard L. Feigen that pairs the artist’s work with that of his contemporaries including John Baldessari, Lynda Benglis, Chuck Close, Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, Ad Reinhardt, James Rosenquist, Edward Ruscha, Yoko Ono, Andy Warhol, and May Wilson.
Writing in the catalogue, Elizabeth Zuba uses the phrase “wormholes of interlocking incongruities,” which seems somehow more accurate.
Through January 16 you’ll find Ed Ruscha with a potato masher, Ono’s head on a Mona Lisa, and representations of Johnson’s finely honed obsession with the art press, including hilarious riffs on Ellsworth Kelly's Artforum cover, Lynda Benglis’s notorious Artforum ad, and the history of ARTnews around the time Milton Esterow bought it from Newsweek. Betsy Baker, ARTnews alumna who went on to run Art in America, gets an especially affectionate shoutout.
Happy birthday to Lynda Benglis, who said of this series, “I thought of them as people gesturing, sometimes folding their arms, and they seem almost muscular. … This person is a formal person. This person–knot looks directly at you…."