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curatorial_essay_updated.docx-IDS 3167 Curatorial Essay Society as
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curatorial_essay_updated.docx-IDS 3167 Curatorial Essay Society as
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IDS 3167
Curatorial Essay
Society as Portrayed by Women in Art
Women have created and published art for an extended period of time throughout history.
Their art can take up the form of many mediums and can portray a variety of messages or ideas.
Many of the pieces discussed include tributes to social, political, and cultural themes in society,
thus creating a common ground on which the artwork of these women can be compared. the
works featured in this exhibit all highlight the experiences and perspectives of women in society.
Thus, this exhibit would be successful in providing viewers with immersion into art by women.
Additionally, several different mediums are featured, which will make the exhibit engaging and
interesting, and also allow the viewer to experience different mediums of art, in addition to their
different perspectives. Even though all of the works are differing, they all share the common
ground of being created by women, and they all include tributes to social, political, and cultural
themes in society. This common ground allows a means for the work to be compared, and thus
the viewer can draw their own conclusions about society, culture, and politics. Without the
contribution that women make to art in society, the views of half of society would essentially be
missing. By publishing their artwork, these women make it possible to examine differing views
and opinions. In this project, women artists such as Mary Heilmann, Laylah Ali, Caroline
Woolard, and Martha Colburn, as well as others, will be examined.
The primary goal of this project is to highlight how women portray society and culture
through their artwork, and for that reason, Mary Heilmann was the first artist examined.
Heilmann is a ceramicist, sculptor, and painter, and utilizes a wide array of colors and techniques
in her work. She is also known for pulling from her personal experiences when creating work,
which is why she was a prime example for this exhibit
. Following Heilmann, Laylah Ali is
included for her use of comics to depict violent events in society. Her work stirs up conversation
with its simple representations of unspeakable acts, and thus was included in this exhibit
Caroline Woolard is another featured artist, who is known for her idealized art which calls
attention to injustices in society
. Her focus on injustices is similar to that of Ali and was
included in the exhibit so that comparisons between both can be drawn. Finally, this exhibit
features Cathy Lomax, an artist who works in paint and cinema. Lomax examines society in
relation to drama, glitz, and glamour, and was included in the exhibit because she focused less on
politics and more on pop culture
. Overall, all of these artists have different interpretations of
society, culture, and politics, which makes them ideal for an exhibition. By comparing all of the
works in one location, it is easier to compare the different views.
The first piece of art featured in this exhibition would be
Pink Crush,
by Mary Heilmann
(2018). This artwork was chosen because Heilmann is known for her bold, colorful, and almost
playful artwork that features different types of brushwork and painting techniques, and
highlights these techniques. The painting features two canvases, one of which has pink
“swirls” radiating from the top-left corner, and getting lighter as they extend to the bottom right
corner. The second canvas is smaller, and features a checkerboard of various shades of pink.
Heilmann is known for featuring grids as motifs in her work, and so including
Pink Crush
is an
Thomson, Molly. 2018. “Mary Heilmann: Looking at pictures.” vol. 30, no. 1, p.223+.
Gale Academic Onefile,
Helmick-Brunet, Kristin. 2002. “Projects 75: Laylah Ali.”
Vol. 5, no. 3, pp. 38-39.
Colburn, Martha, and Boucher, Brian. 2011.“In the Studio.” 
Art in America
, vol. 99, no. 4, p. 68. 
O’Kane, Paul. 2019. “Painting the Scene of the Self: The Art of Cathy Lomax.”
Journal of Visual Art Practice,
vol. 18, no. 1, pp. 19-36.
(Accessed 2 Oct. 2019).

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