An account of the women's art movement in New York City from 1970 to 1992 and how these women created politically and personally effective art works, exhibitions, actions, and institutions
This abundantly illustrated personal narrative takes readers through twenty-two years of activism in the women's art movements in New York City during a period of great cultural change. Author Sabra Moore vividly recounts life in this era of social upheaval in which women artists responded to war, racial tension and reconciliation, cultural and aesthetic inequality, and struggles for reproductive freedom. We learn intimately how she and fellow women artists found ways to create politically and personally effective art works, exhibitions, actions, and institutions.
The book features Moore's involvement in pivotal art organizations of this time and her own development as an artist, counterbalanced with her connections to family in rural East Texas and friends in New Mexico. Moore was a member of the Heresies Collective, an influential feminist activist group, became editor of their art and politics journal Heresies, and was president of the NYC/Women's Caucus for Art. She helped coordinate and curate many of the earliest large-scale exhibitions of women artists in NYC, including Views by Women Artists (1982), and the collaborative shows Reconstruction Project and Connections Project/Conexus. Moore was a principle organizer of the 1984 demonstration against MoMA over their lack of inclusion of women artists and was a member of various groundbreaking collaborative arts groups in the 1970s, including Atlantic Gallery and WAR (Women Artists in Revolution).
While Openings is an historical narrative of women artists' actions, organizations, and ideas, it also candidly describes their periods of challenge, including the death of sculptor Ana Mendieta and the indictment of her husband and the author's own attempted murder by her former art teacher.
The book is illustrated throughout by a treasure of 950 color and black & white images of the art from this momentous period: a valuable collection that is concurrently being archived by Barnard College along with papers, letters, show cards, posters, original artworks, and other documents.
This eye-opening book includes forewords by renowned art critic Lucy Lippard and poet/activist Margaret Randall.
About the Author
Sabra Moore is an artist, writer, and activist. After moving to New York in 1966, she became a member of the Heresies Collective, a group of feminist political artists, was president of the NYC/Women's Caucus for Art, was a key organizer of the 1984 demonstration against MoMA for excluding women artists, joined the Women Artists in Revolution, counseled at NYC's first legal abortion clinic Women's Services, and organized several large scale exhibitions in New York City, Brazil, Canada and New Mexico. She also became the editor for Heresies, the art and feminist journal publication of the Heresies Collective, and worked for thirty years in NYC as a freelance photo editor for publishers such as Doubleday, Harper Collins, American Heritage, and Random House. Her involvement in the women's art movement was showcased in the feature length film The Heretics (2011) as well as at a reading event of her memoir at the Sackler Center for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum. She has published a book entitled Petroglyphs: Ancient Language/ Sacred Art (Clear Light Publishers, 1997), and her illustrations have been featured in several other publications. Her most recent solo museum show, Out of the Woods, was at the Harwood Museum in Taos in 2007. Her artist's books can be found in several museum collections, including the Brooklyn Museum and the Museum of Modern Art in NYC. She lives in Abiquiu, New Mexico with her husband and fellow artist, Roger Mignon. Margaret Randall is a feminist poet, writer, photographer and social activist. Born in New York City in 1936, she has lived for extended periods in Albuquerque, New York, Seville, Mexico City, Havana, and Managua. In the turbulent 1960s she co-founded and co-edited El Corno Emplumado / The Plumed Horn, a bilingual literary journal which for eight years published some of the most dynamic and meaningful writing of an era. From 1984 through 1994 she taught at a number of U.S. universities. Lucy R. Lippard is an internationally known writer, activist, and curator. She has authored twenty-two books, has curated more than fifty major exhibitions, and holds nine honorary degrees. Lippard is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship and two National Endowment for the Arts grants.