Lady Painters, Lady Sculptors?

To Be a Lady: Forty Five Women in the Arts is the title of a show curated by Jason Andrews at Norte Maar. It's framed as a provocative reclaiming of the old phrase Lady Painter. The work in the show is outstanding (artists include Jessica Stockholder, Nancy Grossman, Lee Bontecou and Alice Neel) and its certainly artwork by artists we see often in museums and galleries around the country.  Some of the artists have less visibility than others and that is certainly is worth examining, but its not. Andrews questions the intent of a "Lady" show and so do I. He mentions the canonization of the men of the Ab Ex movement, a great show would dig more deeply into any of the historically constructed narratives of art and expose the holes in it. Retell the story(s) without the gender bias or the false separation  Women don't make work in separate rooms, I don't know what's to be gained by showing their work in this way.

Alma Thomas, Red Scarlet Sage


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