A Complex Weave: Women and Identity in Contemporary Art

La Lutxona, 2007 Blanka Amezkua  Embroidery on cotton fabric and crochet
La Lutxona, 2007
Blanka Amezkua
Embroidery on cotton fabric and crochet

From September 5 to December 1, 2012

In the twenty-first century, issues of identity seem increasingly complex and problematic, but also of fundamental and growing importance. In this way, the contemporary art world is a microcosm reflecting significant aspects of the larger world in which we live. As women have become more a part of the contemporary art world, they have found a myriad ways of expressing many facets of their identity, as well as their gender, through their work. A Complex Weave provides sampling of how a number of first and second-generation contemporary women artists, as well as several younger artists, of diverse backgrounds in terms of ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation and other aspects of individuality, have woven the threads of their identity into their work.

A Complex Weave neither attempts to be an international survey, nor is it narrowly focused on a single aspect of identity. Rather, by bringing together work by sixteen women artists of diverse backgrounds, this exhibition hopes to throw some additional light on the complex weave of gender and identity in contemporary art.
— Dr. Martin Rosenberg

Within a relatively small exhibition of only sixteen artists, photography, video, painting, printmaking, sculpture, fiber and metals and installation are all included. The works are divided into five sub-themes: Image and Text (Superimpositions); Complex Geographies (Hybrids); the Female Body (Pushing the Boundaries); Childhood and Family (Relationships); and Accessories (Clothing and Related Objects). Ranging from installations made out of hair combs and paper doilies that investigate ethnic stereotype and geographical heritage, to photographs that deal with women’s roles in culture, to photographs and paintings that look at the family and childhood, to paintings and textiles that reveal women as super heroines, the exhibition transcends distinctions of media, art versus craft, and fixed versus time-based approaches to contemporary art.

This exhibition is organized by The Stedman Gallery at Rutgers-Camden Center for the Arts, Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. For more information, visit the Feminist Art Resources in Education site.

Curatorial Assistance, Pasadena, CA.