Martha Mayer Erlebacher, “Night Still Life,” 2003, oil on canvas, 30 x 32 inches, Courtesy of the Estate of Martha Mayer Erlebacher

Bernarducci Meisel Gallery in New York City will soon mount an important exhibition that highlights the significant — and often subverted — role women have played in the development of contemporary American Realism. Don’t pass this up!

Curated by art historian Jody B. Cutler for New York City’s Bernarducci Meisel Gallery, “Painting the Visible World: American Women Realists” is a significant group exhibition that illuminates a fascinating narrative in the history of postwar art. Opening June 8 and on view through July 22, the exhibition builds upon the work of many feminist art scholars and curators: deconstructing categorical boundaries to address systemic exclusion through male-driven criteria, and correctives to patriarchic art historical narratives. While these endeavors can be extended to all eras and all genres, “Painting the Visible World” spotlights 16 formative female artists and their contributions to contemporary American Realism.

“The selection is meant to indicate the broader scope of potentially relevant material,” says Cutler, “and correlative to the production of male peers still more often associated with contemporary American Realism.” The gallery adds, “For those artists included, the visible world is both a starting point and a foothold. Attention to light effects tied to specific settings is notable across the landscapes, still lifes, architectural subjects, street scenes, and figure compositions featured; while individualistic, divergent sensibilities are also brought to the fore through this gathering.”

Included in the exhibition are works by Leigh Behnke, Jane Dickson, Martha Mayer Erlebacher, Audrey Flack, Nancy Hagin, Sylvia Maier, Sylvia Plimack Mangold, Idelle Weber, Martha Diamond, Lois Dodd, Janet Fish, Jane Freilicher, Yvonne Jacquette, Catherine Murphy, Joan Semmel, and Jane Wilson.

To learn more, visit Bernarducci Meisel Gallery.

This article was featured in Fine Art Today, a weekly e-newsletter from Fine Art Connoisseur magazine. To start receiving Fine Art Today for free, click here.

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Andrew Webster is the former Editor of Fine Art Today and worked as an editorial and creative marketing assistant for Streamline Publishing. Andrew graduated from The University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art History and Ceramics. He then moved on to the University of Oregon, where he completed an M.A. in Art History. Studying under scholar Kathleen Nicholson, he completed a thesis project that investigated the peculiar practice of embedded self-portraiture within Christian imagery during the 15th and early 16th centuries in Italy.


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