National Museum of Women in the Arts – No Man’s Land

Magdalena Abakanowicz, ‘4 Seated Figures,’ 2002. Burlap, resin and iron rods.
‘No Man’s Land: Women Artists from the Rubell Family Collection’ (here for the online exhibition.) was recently shown at the National Museum of Women in the Arts in Washington DC.

‘4 Seated Figures’ may have been inspired by Magdalena’s memory of witnessing her mother being shot in the hands as soldiers stormed their home in Poland during WWII. What she says about these genderless, race-neutral figures is ‘they are naked, exposed, and vulnerable, just as we all are.’

Faith Ringgold, ‘Jo Baker’s Bananas,’ 1997
One of Faith’s story quilts commentating on racism and discrimination.

In Faith’s signature technique of acrylic painted canvas with a pieced fabric border.

Outside the museum, a sign warned there were nuts in the building. I thought it strange and only on seeing this box of walnuts realised the sign was an allergy alert.

Jennifer Rubell ‘Lysa III’ 2014
Jennifer was inspired by finding a Hilary Clinton nutcracker for sale online.

She worked with the concept of harnessing female power making, as she says, ‘a scary act of female power.’ 

Museum visitors were encouraged, with supervision, to operate the nutcracker. The artist cleverly invites the viewer to contemplate female power in a playful way.
The Hilary Clinton nutcrackers were on sale in the museum shop at the same time Hilary was campaigning to become a president.

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