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Jack Shainman Gallery

Girl Power Is Back: Top 10 Shows For Women In 2016

by Emily Colucci on December 21, 2016
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Despite the misogynistic horror of Donald Trump’s campaign and eventual election victory, 2016 was a great year for women in the art. There were compelling solo exhibitions by women artists in major institutions, a copious list of all-women group shows and dynamic revivals of unfairly overlooked female artists’ careers. It seems like 2016 marked the return of much-needed 1990’s-style “girl power.”

Granted, there’s still a long way to go for equal representation, particularly for women artists of color. But, hopefully, this is just the beginning. To celebrate this year’s exciting and timely return to feminism, I selected the ten best shows featuring women in 2016. Results below:

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With Art As My Witness: Carrie Mae Weems at Jack Shainman Gallery

by Emily Colucci on November 23, 2016
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I often hear the platitude that art thrives when artists are forced into action by life or death necessity. But, what might this new politically engaged art actually do to combat racism, xenophobia, misogyny and a host of other threats that have already appeared well before Trump’s inauguration?

Carrie Mae Weems’s two current exhibitions, on view at both Jack Shainman galleries, seem to offer an answer: art can act as a witness. In the dual shows, Weems shines a light on violence, institutional silence, judicial ignorance and black underrepresentation. This is seen most vividly her gut-wrenching take on the killings of unarmed black men and women by police in the 24th street space. Not all the pieces in Weems’s shows force viewers to witness these crimes, but those that do drag these issues into view for a Chelsea art audience, rendering a passive and apolitical viewing experience almost impossible.

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