ELIZABETHTOWN: A gala reception welcomed museum patrons and art lovers to the formal celebration of the art show, “A Woman’s View ~ Recognizing Artists in the Adirondacks” in the Rosenberg Gallery at the Adirondack History Museum.
With over 100 visitors, the museum provided light fare and bar staples at tables placed outside and around the lobby.
Aurora McCaffery, executive director of the museum, noted the collection of women’s art in the Rosenberg Gallery was curated by Elena Borstein, an Elizabethtown artist whose work is included in the show.
“We had worked hard to open this art exhibit last year, but it was left largely unseen due to Covid closure and limited hours,” McCaffery said.
“Having such a well-attended and vivacious reception was a welcome and wonderful way to celebrate the often unseen and unrecognized work of women who live here and otherwise are inspired by the Adirondack Mountains.”
Part of this exhibit is an entryway to the gallery layered with graphic works from the Guerilla Girls, a troupe of feminist, activist artists who use facts, humor and visual extras to expose gender and ethnic bias in politics, art, film and pop culture.
One Guerilla Girl attended the opening wearing one of the group’s signature primate masks.
“We have done hundreds of projects all over the world. We also do interventions and exhibitions at museums blasting them on their own walls for their bad behavior and discriminatory practices,” the organization says of efforts to decry prejudice.
Their work has recently been exhibited at Tate Modern in London, Sao Paulo Museum, Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam, and Art Basel in Hong Kong.
“A Woman’s View” at the Adirondack History Museum brings together a diverse group of artists, including an internationally known multimedia artist, a renowned fiber artist, and three painters who have found inspiration in varied places.
With Borstein are artworks from Shirin Neshat, Cynthia Schira, Laura Von Rosk, and Linda Fisher. The artists attended the reception to discuss their work and answer questions.
Elena Borstein: has long been inspired by architectural spaces. In her recent series, “The Color of Architecture” she pays homage to Mexican architect Luis Barragan. She uses appropriation and computer manipulation to recreate his spaces and give them new meaning as large airbrush paintings.
Borstein’s work is included in numerous major collections including the Museum of Modern Art, the Neuberger Museum of Art, and the Newark Museum. She is the recipient of a Purchase Prize from the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
Shirin Neshat is an Iranian visual artist living in New York City and Westport, who is known for her work in film, video and photography. Her artwork (such as the one pictured above) centers on the contrasts between Islam and the West, femininity and masculinity, antiquity and modernity, and bridging the space between these subjects. She collaborated with photographer Larry Barns for the works on display in this show.
Because basic human rights have been undermined in Iran, particularly since the Islamic revolution, Neshat gravitated toward making art that is concerned with “tyranny, dictatorship, oppression and political injustice. Although I don’t consider myself an activist,” she says, “I believe my art – regardless of its nature – is an expression of protest, a cry for humanity.”
Neshat has been recognized countless times for her work, winning the First International Prize at the Venice Biennale in 1999 and Silver Lion for Best Director at the 2009 Venice Film Festival. She was recently honored with a retrospective of her work at the Broad Museum in Los Angeles.
Cynthia Schira is a fiber artist who uses a computerized loom to integrate painted and contemporary warps with tapestry techniques to weave her impressions. The pieces in the exhibit are part of a 1990s series called Landscapes.
Schira’s work is represented in major public collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Smithsonian’s Renwick Gallery.
Laura Von Rosk makes small paintings averaging only 12 inches square. Each depicts the experience of a specific place in response to other artworks, including pieces from the Renaissance, Persian miniatures, and Indian manuscript paintings.
Von Rosk exhibits her work at the Carrie Haddad Gallery in Hudson, NY. She has also been in group exhibitions at the Hyde Collection in Glens Falls and the Schick Art Gallery at Skidmore College.
Linda Fisher has captured many iconic views of the Adirondack mountains in paint. From Jay, NY, her work has also drawn from vast vistas in Labrador. All of her paintings emerge from contrast between permanence and fragility.
“I chose wild places for their natural history and abstract qualities that I enhance through selection and composition, avoiding perspective, and exaggerating pattern and shape over form. All these paintings were made after camping and spending time in these places, then working back home with memory and work photos.”
Fisher has shown her work for many years at the Atea Ring Gallery in Westport and at the Keene Arts Center, among others.
The Adirondack History Museum welcomes guests and local area residents alike to view the show, which will be on exhibit until October 9th of 2021.
This project was supported in part by the Essex County Arts Council’s Cultural Assistance Program Grant with funding provided by Essex County.