December 17 - July 21, 2024
From the Dallas Museum of Art:
“The Dallas Museum of Art will close out 2023 with the premiere of an exhibition of works by women artists from the 1970s to today who call into question the myth of the sole male genius. The women artists featured in He Said/She Said: Contemporary Women Artists Interject strategically appropriate the contributions of male artists to insert themselves into the canon and create space for new, more inclusive narratives.
Over the past seven years the DMA has dedicated ample resources to acquiring works by female artists and people of color, presenting over 15 solely dedicated women artists group shows and individual expositions. A majority of the works presented in He Said/She Said: Contemporary Women Artists Interject are recent acquisitions and are making their debut, along with some loans from local collections.
“It is no secret that we are living through an incredible moment in history when women artists are driving the pop culture narrative.” said the Eugene McDermott Director, Agustín Arteaga. “In this spectacular era of women-powered success, we are thrilled to showcase how women artists have been carving out space and commandeering the narrative throughout history.”
Ranging from the feminist movement of the 1970s to young artists who are inspired by Surrealism, the artists in He Said/She Said create work that critiques gender norms, sexism, and racism. Many artists in the show, especially from the Postmodern period of the 1970s to 1990s, appropriate elements from male predecessors and contemporaries, several of whose works are also included here. The exhibition is divided into four thematic sections, each of which strategically places artworks in conversation with one another to investigate the position of women in the canon of art. By rejecting chronological organization, He Said/She Said underscores the ongoing and interwoven dialogues between male and female artists across time and space.
· Guests are invited into He Said/She Said: Contemporary Women Artists Interject with a selection of foundational works from the DMA’s permanent collection, like those by Jackson Pollock and Jasper Johns, juxtaposed with recent acquisitions by pioneering women artists like Carolee Schneemann. Illustrating the revisionary approach of the exhibition, Kaleta A. Doolin’s Improved Janson: A Woman on Every Page confronts the viewer with its subversive modification of H. W. Janson’s A History of Art, an art history textbook first published in 1962 and still used in many undergraduate classes, which points to the fact that the only women to traditionally appear in such textbooks have been nude models.
· The artists in the section Women and Appropriation started creating art during the rise of Postmodernist theory in the late 1970s to 1990s. Postmodernism rejected the idea of artistic genius and instead argued that there is no such thing as a unique gesture or thought—all creation is instead built on references to the past—opening the art world for women to seize upon its strategies of appropriation. The work of the artists in this section, including Barbara Kruger, Cindy Sherman and Sherrie Levine, questions the validity of male genius and critiques the images of women as objects of sexual desire.
· The artists in Black Female Subjectivity appropriate imagery made famous by white male artists. In doing so, they broaden the subject of art and make room for Black women to reclaim their agency as the subject of the narrative. Artworks by Janiva Ellis, Lorna Simpson, and Lauren Halsey are juxtaposed with works by Donald Judd and Robert Motherwell to underscore the three women artists’ argument for a visual language that accommodates the lived experience of Black women.
· In Women and Surrealism, artists such as Leonora Carrington and Olivia Erlanger exemplify Surrealism and its legacy, particularly the fertile ground the historic movement has provided to younger women artists who are interested in exploring gender in their work. The artists in this section use hybrid or anthropomorphic figures, or shocking juxtaposition favored by Surrealists, to overtly critique gender roles.
· Just as women artists have fought for their inclusion in art history alongside their male contemporaries, they have also had close and productive relationships with male artists. The final section of the exhibition, Friendship and Collaborations, highlights these relationships through a series of works in which fellow male artists serve as female artists’ subjects, along with works that demonstrate the collaboration between men and women designers.
“He Said/She Said has been a wonderful opportunity to place the cornerstones of our postwar collection and in dialogue with more recent acquisitions to give them fresh context,” said Katherine Brodbeck, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. “The conversations that the women artists in this exhibition have started force us to reexamine how art historical narratives have privileged the work of white male artists over the expense of women and people of color, and what is gained when we broaden our perspective”
He Said/She Said: Contemporary Women Artists Interject is on view December 17, 2023, through July 21, 2024. The exhibition is curated by Katherine Brodbeck, Hoffman Family Senior Curator of Contemporary Art. Tickets are available at dma.org.
He Said/She Said: Contemporary Women Artists Interject is organized by the Dallas Museum of Art. Free General Admission to the Dallas Museum of Art is made possible with generous support from the Robert Gerard Pollock Foundation. The Dallas Museum of Art is supported, in part, by the generosity of DMA Members and donors, the Texas Commission on the Arts, and the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture. “
On View: December 17, 2023 | 12–5 pm
1717 North Harwood
Dallas, 75201 TX
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