Women in Art : Afterthoughts on Armory Week, or, Life is for the Living

When I walk an art fair, I like to use my iPhone camera as an aide-de-memoire, and then review my photographs later, searching for patterns. This year, I was happy to notice that almost all of the artists who caught my eye were women.

Most of the artists that I’ve featured in this month’s “Women in Art” series have been either historical figures, or women who we might call “acknowledged masters,” artists whose careers are already in full flower. But that can create its own tunnel vision.

When I was very young, and still trying to figure things out–when I still believed that one figured things out, and then proceeded, all the elegant steps of the solution laid out–I sought models for how to live a creative life. But all the artists I knew–and by “knew,” I mean all the artists I had heard of–were either dead, or famous. Where was the beginning? The middle? How did the metamorphosis take place?

It’s important to celebrate our past. At the same time, life is for the living.

It is hard to live while engaged in a retrospective reckoning of accounts.

I don’t know that I’ve come any closer to answering the question of how to live a creative life. I suppose you never fully arrive.  I suppose you live it by doing–whether alone in the studio, or out there in the world, by being here, and present.

I suppose you might say that this viewpoint reveals me as a child of California. Hurry along. Nevermind the past.

In any case, I am happy to see life lived by the living. In a month where we celebrate history made by women, I am happy to see history being made, present tense. It gives me hope. There will be more.


Now, a bit on the four artists that caught my eye, in no particular order.

Genesis Belanger
@ the Mrs. Gallery booth, NADA

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Genesis Belanger, Mrs. Gallery booth, NADA NY 2018.

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Elizabeth Kley
@ the CANADA booth, Independent


Ruby Neri
@ David Kordansky Gallery, Independent

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Contemporary ceramics. Independent Art fair.

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Mieko Meguro
@ the Shoot the Lobster booth, NADA

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Ladies working the fair, NADA NY 2018.

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