Women by Women 2020:
Depictions and Interpretations by Greater Los Angeles Women
January 18-March 7, 2020
Curator Sharon Allicotti with curatorial advisor Fatemeh Burnes
Artists Sharon Allicotti, Chloe Allred, Jodi Bonassi, Kaleeka Bond, Ada Pullini Brown, Leslie Brown, Therese Conte, Lani Emanuel, Zara Monet Feeney, Melanie Florio, Ashley Gardner, Candice Gawne, Ja’Rie Gray, DJ Hall, Lanise Howard, Regina Jacobson, Linsley Lambert, Margaret Lazzari, Lucinda Luvaas, Aline Mare, Judy Nimtz, Aihua Pearce, Serena Potter, Hope Railey, Linda Santana, Betty Shelton, Cynthia Sitton, Ondy Sweetman, Cynda Valle and Ruth Weisburg
Opening Saturday, January 18, 2020, 4-7 PM
Closing + Talk Saturday, March 7, 2020, 2-4 PM
As a contemporary art space founded by a female artist and steered by a fearless, all-female Board and Advisory Council, SoLA Contemporary is proud to present Women by Women 2020, a group exhibition featuring depictions and interpretations of actual women and girls as subject by an all-female cast of Los Angeles-area artists. Marking the centennial of the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution granting women the right to vote, Women by Women 2020, in tribute, invites viewers to reengage with the traditional, “classicist” elements of figurative realism.
The concept of Women by Women 2020 likely begs the question if qualitative differences can actually be discerned in the ways female artists portray women versus the way their male counterparts do. This question has generated lively debate for many years, but the fact remains that inequality and patriarchy remain stubbornly prevalent even in our “first world” society.
“The great majority of paintings and graphic works in museum collections that depict women and girls have been created by men, and that’s reason enough to mount this show,” says artist, art educator, and Women by Women 2020 curator, Sharon Allicotti.
It was also important for Allicotti to create a show intent on figurative realism, conveying a true likeness of the human figure. She selected works by women who are consciously pursuing a representational, image-based approach in an era of artistic pluralism where realist painting, especially, is often marginalized as passé. Allicotti believes in the power of portraits to heighten viewers’ capacity for empathy, and portraits of real women by women feed a dignifying narrative about female experiences, such as beauty constructs, pregnancy, eating disorders, etc.
“These works honor the lives of those depicted,” says Fatemeh Burnes, artist and curatorial advisor to Allicotti. “And by extension, they affirm the creative achievements and aspirations of our Los Angeles community’s women and girls.”
There are over 40 pieces by 30 exhibiting artists in Women by Women 2020, all laden with subtexts concerned with female identity and agency in a 21st century culture still afflicted by pernicious gender and race-based discrimination. Each piece reflects a multiplicity of themes, from sober, even solemn reserve, to those manifesting a playful, declarative exuberance, collectively revealing women’s voices and visions as complex and varied as the individual artists in the exhibition.
“I love seeing work where women’s voices are in the forefront, as ‘leading characters,’” says Peggy Sivert, SoLA’s founder and executive director. “Art is about connection, and Sharon has built a show that connects to the deepest layers of women’s intuitions, desire and struggle.”