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In LA, Women Artists Exceed Men in 2018 Museum Sol

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA—For the first time ever, large-scale female artists’ solo shows outnumbered male artists’ solo shows in Los Angeles this year, reports the Los Angeles Times. The tally—eleven to six—includes exhibitions of work by Sally Mann at the J. Paul Getty Museum; Laura OwensLauren HalseyBarbara Kruger, and Zoe Leonardat the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; Adrian Piper at the Hammer Museum and the Fowler Museum at the University of California, Los Angeles; Nina Chanel Abney at the Institute of Contemporary Art; and other artists at the Craft and Folk Art Museum and the California African American Museum. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art, with zero solo exhibitions of work by women, was the outlier on the list.

The news also comes in a year in which the city designated the Woman’s Building a historic cultural monument. The site—which Lucy Lippard called “the capital of cultural feminism” and was founded by artist Judy Chicago, designer Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, and art historian Arlene Raven—operated from 1975 to 1991 as a space for political organizing, community outreach, and exhibition programming. Groups such as the Sisters of Survival, Feminist Art Workers, and the Waitresses gathered at the building for everything from performance art to comedy routines as part of the progressive agenda’s efforts to raise sociopolitical consciousness. 

After forty-four boxes of archives from the Woman’s Building were donated to the Getty Research Institute (GRI) last year, the GRI received a $284,400 federal grant to conduct conservation on the archive’s photographs, posters, and other printed matter, as well as oral histories, videos, and artworks. The grant is part of the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services’ conservation project entitled Save America’s Treasures, which was initiated over twenty years ago by the National Park Service. The GRI plans to digitize the Woman’s Building archive’s film reels and audio recordings, among other initiatives, and began its project to conserve the materials earlier this month.  

December 19, 2018