Through the Glass Ceiling

Contemporary Female Masters at Jim Kempner Fine Art

Above: Broome Street at Night by Helen Frankenthaler (1987). Etching, aquatint and drypoint, 39 1/4 x 39 ¼ inches (edition of 68). Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art. Art page: Cutting Through by Fran O'Neill (2014). Oil on canvas, 70 x 70 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

    BY: Liz MacDonald

    Friday, January 27, 2017

In 1971 feminist art historian Linda Nochlin published the essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” to call out the art world on the lack of balance keeping female artists from achieving on a par with male peers. Times have changed, and we’re a long way from that boy’s club environment. That said, the gender gap persists: since 2000, although fifty-one percent of working artists are women, only twenty-eight percent have had solo museum shows; and in a 2015 survey of leading contemporary galleries in Manhattan, only about twenty-five percent represent equal numbers of women and men (the majority show about thirty percent women or less).

Is the “F” word (female, feminist) a bad word? Some women artists don’t want the label. When Linda Nochlin asked Georgia O’Keeffe to take part in an all-women exhibition, she declined because she wanted to be seen solely as “one of the best painters.” But who could forget that O’Keeffe is female? She’s a female modern master. It doesn’t make her less-than, it’s just a part of her work.

The women featured in the “Contemporary Masters” exhibition at Jim Kempner Fine Art present an impressive range of work from contemporary female masters. This group includes some of the best artists working today. Each of them are pushing the boundaries of their medium, upending expectations and creating the kind of work that brings new perspective to how we look at art. These are women achieving against the odds, but above all, they’re women making great art. We’ve selected images of their work for PROVOKR members to enjoy, above and below.

 

Cutting Through by Fran O'Neill (2014). Oil on canvas, 70 x 70  inches.  Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Cutting Through by Fran O’Neill (2014). Oil on canvas, 70 x 70 inches. Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

Take Me to the River by Fran O'Neill (2015). Oil on canvas, 72 x 72  inches.  Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Take Me to the River by Fran O’Neill (2015). Oil on canvas, 72 x 72 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

House #15 by Jennifer Bartlett (2002). Screenprint, 14 x 14 inches (edition of 45). Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art.
House #15 by Jennifer Bartlett (2002). Screenprint, 14 x 14 inches (edition of 45). Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

In the Garden #108 by Jennifer Bartlett (1980). Conte crayon and pastel on paper, 19 3/4 x 26 inches. Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art.
In the Garden #108 by Jennifer Bartlett (1980). Conte crayon and pastel on paper, 19 3/4 x 26 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

Untitled by Kara Walker (2014). Two-sided porcelain pitcher, 8 x 7 1/2 x 5 ½ inches (edition of 1,000). Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Untitled by Kara Walker (2014). Two-sided porcelain pitcher, 8 x 7 1/2 x 5 ½ inches (edition of 1,000). Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

Monologue #36 by Shanlin Ye (2016). Watercolor on paper, 14 x 11 inches. Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Monologue #36 by Shanlin Ye (2016). Watercolor on paper, 14 x 11 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

Untitled #15 by Shanlin Ye (2016). Watercolor on paper, 14 x 11 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Untitled #15 by Shanlin Ye (2016). Watercolor on paper, 14 x 11 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

 

Red and Black by Louise Fishman (2009). Carborundum etching, 30 1/2 x 30 inches (edition of 15). Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Red and Black by Louise Fishman (2009). Carborundum etching, 30 1/2 x 30 inches (edition of 15). Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

Brown on Blue by Louise Fishman (2009). Carborundum etching, 30 1/2 x 30 inches (edition of 15). Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Brown on Blue by Louise Fishman (2009). Carborundum etching, 30 1/2 x 30 inches (edition of 15). Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

Moran by Carole Feuerman (2008). Oil and resin, 26 x 18 x 8 i inches (edition of 6). Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Moran by Carole Feuerman (2008). Oil and resin, 26 x 18 x 8 inches (edition of 6). Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

Branched by Lin Emery (2016). Polished marine aluminum, 14 x 20 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Branched by Lin Emery (2016). Polished marine aluminum, 14 x 20 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

Trinity/Heaven & Earth by Kiki Smith (2000). Etching, paper size: 58 x 44 inches/image size: 48 x 36 inches (edition of 24). Courtesy Jim Kempner Fine Art.
Trinity/Heaven & Earth by Kiki Smith (2000). Etching, paper size: 58 x 44 inches/image size: 48 x 36 inches (edition of 24). Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

India by Paula Scher (2007). Acrylic on canvas, 98 1/2 x 91 1/2 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.
India by Paula Scher (2007). Acrylic on canvas, 98 1/2 x 91 1/2 inches. Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.

 

USA by Paula Scher (2007). Hand-pulled screenprint, 43 1/2 x 60 inches (edition of 90). Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.
USA by Paula Scher (2007). Hand-pulled screenprint, 43 1/2 x 60 inches (edition of 90). Courtesy of Jim Kempner Fine Art.