Michael Rosenfeld Gallery presented this summer The Time Is Now, a group exhibition featuring thirty-two artists whose work the gallery has consistently championed for three decades through thematic group exhibitions as well as multiple solo shows. The exhibition, which takes its title from a protest sign captured by Bettmann on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan during the Women’s Liberation Parade in August 1971, is curated to complement and expand on Making Space: Women Artists & Postwar Abstraction currently on view at the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA, New York).
The Time Is Now features artists who represent a variety of positions on the spectrum from figural representation to abstraction, including: Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ruth Asawa, Hannelore Baron, Mary Bauermeister, Lee Bontecou, Deborah Butterfield, Barbara Chase-Riboud, Elaine de Kooning, Jay DeFeo, Claire Falkenstein, Gertrude Greene, Nancy Grossman, Grace Hartigan, Lee Krasner, Yayoi Kusama, Lee Lozano, Alice Trumbull Mason, Joan Mitchell, Alice Neel, Louise Nevelson, Agnes Pelton, Florence Miller Pierce, Irene Rice Pereira, Anne Ryan, Betye Saar, Kaye Sage, Janet Sobel, Nancy Spero, Dorothea Tanning, Lenore Tawney, Alma Thomas, Charmion von Wiegand, and Claire Zeisler.Covering a period from 1937—Gertrude Greene’s collage (37X1)—to 1984—with works by Jay DeFeo (Untitled (Aoni/Ana)) and Nancy Spero (Untitled)—the exhibition reveals a rich diversity that implicitly challenges the singularity suggested by the notion of “women’s art.” Kay Sage’s hauntingly still The Fourteen Daggers (1942) shares an exhibition space with Lee Lozano’s dynamicRam, a large-scale diptych from the artist’s Verb Paintings series. Both works are characterized by a photographic precision of line, which evokes surreal theatricality in the former and an almost hyper-real, cinematic close up in the latter.
The Fourteen Daggers was included in the landmark 1942 First Papers of Surrealism exhibition, organized by André Breton and Marcel Duchamp; the largest surrealist exhibition ever held in the United States at the time, First Papers of Surrealism hailed the arrival of surrealist artists who had fled Europe for the United States at the outbreak of World War II, including Sage. Executed between 1964 and 1967, Lozano’s Verb Paintings feature hard-edged, abstracted extreme close ups of tools and machinery. While their emphasis on the ordinary may evoke her pop art contemporaries, Lozano’s Verb paintings emphasize the processes of creative and destructive work.















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