Radical Women: Latin American Art at The Brooklyn Museum.

Good to see New York’s weather returning to what we expect from the summer months. Last week, I was fortunate to visit Brooklyn Art Museum to see Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960- 1985.

The show is organised by the Hammer Museum LA as part of a wider initiative supported by the Getty Foundation, Ford Foundation, Bank of America and the Mexican Cultural Institute of New York amongst others. The Brooklyn Presentation is curated by Catherine Morris, for the Elizabeth A Sackler Centre for Feminist Art, Brooklyn Museum.

Marcia Schvartz – Les veines:Las vecinas (The Neighbours)

The show presents the work of more than 120 women artists and collectives active in Latin America and the United States during a period in the history of Americas and the development of contemporary art. The artists come from fifteen countries and include emblematic figures as well as significant, if lesser known, contemporaries. The exhibition illustrates an amalgam of radical and feminist art practices both in Latin America and among artists in the United States.

For women artists in Latin America, the decades covered by the exhibition were a time of repression as well as liberation. Most countries in the region were ruled by dictatorships or embroiled in civil war during these years. The lives of many of the featured artists were entangled with experiences of authoritarianism, imprisonment, exile, torture, violence or censorship.

There are many works to see, including ‘ The Neighbours’ by Marcia Schvartz’s and photography by Switz born Claudia Andujar. In 1971 Andujar began photographing the indigenous Yanomani community, leaving Sao Paulo to live in the states of Roraima and Amazonas. The dictatorship dispatched officials to force her to leave such rural communities in an attempt to halt the spread of images illustrating the then government’s encroachment on indigenous life.

Horizontal 2, From the Series Marcados (1983)

The show is truly a remarkable collection of work, allowing visitors to capture the  minds of inspiring  and pioneering artists.  The show runs until July 22nd  so if you’re in town pop in and see it!  For further info please visit https://www.brooklynmuseum.org

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A Thought for the Day: The Importance, Power and Need to be Creative

Milstein OR#2 by Ellen Griesedieck

The month has been quite a reflective one so far. I’ve spent most of it with relatives at New York’s Presbyterian Hospital, a hospital I’ve never been inside before. Of course, when visiting friends or relatives with health conditions, you focus on the most important things in life such as the people, relationships, the legacy you leave behind and the fulfilment of doing all you can whilst you can. We should remember some of  the things we often take for granted someone else is praying for.

We remember those we meet along our travels, especially the ones that genuinely provide unconditional love for you, support your career unreservedly and appreciate your aspirations in life. Being in this reflective position once again only encourages me to focus on such people, my love for the arts and the necessity to continue enjoying, above anything else, the therapeutic fulfilment of being creative as and when I can.

Moreover, this week I’ve witnessed once again the power of music as an art form to stimulate patients and bridge communication. We cannot underestimate the power of the arts in general but particularly in hospitals. I’ve always been an advocate that everyone of us must seek and execute abilities to be creative in whichever discipline we lean towards. It is something every human soul needs because it provides therapeutic support and may combat the stresses of everyday life!  I hope occupational health therapists will agree!

Always on the lookout for creative stimulation, one recent inspiration for me is Milstein OR#2 (114” x 152”), a marvellous painting by the artist Ellen Griesedieck. The work is displayed at the hospital and you can’t miss it as you approach the restaurant on the second floor.  In appreciation to the skills of health professionals, the painting captures the teamwork required for the delivery of modern medicine and surgery. Unfortunately, this photograph doesn’t capture the size, scale and appropriate placing of the work but it is still is an eye catcher.

In summary, just put your life and the life of loved ones in perspective, pursue your dreams, no matter your current circumstances, find that creative therapeutic outlet and remember you are the architect of your life! Live it now, on your terms, because it’s not a rehearsal!