A Group Show of 21 Female Artists Addressing Self-Portraiture
Curated by Indira Cesarine and Coco Dolle
Exhibiting artists include: Ahn Sun Mi, Alexa Meade, Andrea Mary Marshall, ANGE, Coco Dolle, Carol-Anne McFarlane, Cornelia Hediger, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Erin Riley, Hiba Schahbaz, Indira Cesarine, Karen Bystedt, KESH, Leah Schrager, Marie Tomanova, Meredith Ostrom, Natalie White, Polly Penrose, Rebecca Dayan, Sarah Maple, and Sophia Wallace.
The Untitled Space is pleased to present SELF REFLECTION, an exhibition of 21 female artists addressing self-portraiture. Curated by Indira Cesarine and Coco Dolle, the exhibit will be on view from September 27 - October 8, 2016, and includes works of photography, painting, tapestry, collage, mixed media and video. Using their own bodies as vehicles, the artists featured in SELF REFLECTION contemplate, as both creator and subject, contemporary issues of gender, identity, sexuality, body image, censorship, and self-liberation. Through their own process, be it autobiographical, metaphorical or inspired by performance and impersonation, these artists present visual narratives that interrogate social, cultural and political dialogues. Self-portrayal becomes a means to address the personal as political via self-reflection and reinvention, tackling conventional notions of female image and taboo.
The self-portrait has been a staple of art history for centuries, defining our social and political climate and a reflection on contemporary culture. In the past few decades the self-portrait has evolved into a much larger dialogue, largely due to the cultural shift to electronic communication and popularity of social media. In an age where the selfie has become a prominent means of self expression, SELF REFLECTION presents contemporary female artists that are not merely using their mobile devices to self promote, but work with self-portraiture as a means to present their own inner dialogue, confronting the human condition through varied artistic mediums. Through diverse methods such as tea painting, watercolors, collage, medium format and poloroid photography as well as wool tapestry making, these artists take the self-portrait beyond its classic definition. They present themselves in their own terms, using their imagination to expand upon dual roles of creator and subject, artist and performer. They interrogate stereotypes of woman as mother, wife, lover or sexual object in works that are at once compelling narratives. Their image becomes their canvas, a tool for self-examination and cultural contemplation.
“Historically women have used self-portraiture as a means to address their own identity in relationship to contemporary society and social constructs. The artists featured in SELF REFLECTION, using their own body as catalyst, metaphorically regurgitate the stereotypes enforced upon women and address not only their own personal conflicts, but psychological and political conflicts of women at large, using their own likeness as a tool for enlightenment. In light of the modern day obsession with the selfie, it is important to turn an eye on the work of contemporary female artists who address self-portaiture, not with self promotion in mind, but to interrogate contemporary society and the social and political values we grapple with.” -Curator/Artist Indira Cesarine
"Self-portraiture has been a staple of art and photography in history. With today’s dissemination of the modern-day selfie, SELF REFLECTION ponders the legitimate essence of the female artist study as its own subject and muse awash in a pixelated sea of instantaneous gratification often misconstrued as self-advertisement. SELF REFLECTION delivers an intriguing vehicle for societal analysis and self-identification, addressing issues of censorship and acceptance, while drawing the viewer in an intrinsic desire to re-contextualize their relationship to the female form." -Curator/Artist Coco Dolle
SELECT ARTIST STATEMENTS:
“I have worked with my own likeness since the early nude paintings from the 1970's through large naked images of myself done more than 30 years later. I like to explore my body as it changes with time. The recent ongoing series of composite photos titled GRACE DELVING INTO ART shows me interacting/reacting with well-known artworks in galleries and museums all over the world. I am naked, climbing, riding, lying down besides or weaving myself in specific artworks from the history of art. The interactions with the artworks are usually humorous, sometimes poignant and often deal with issues such as sexism, ageism, museum policy and the way we react to art, the nude, performance and even what is art?” – Artist Grace Graupe Pillard
"I started doing self portrait oil paintings as a teenager. When I was at art college I began to think more about my background of being mixed race with Islamic upbringing. I began to incorporate this into my work by creating humorous images about the difficulties of growing up with a mixed cultural background. I found performing in my photography the perfect outlet to get my ideas across. In much of my work the self portrait is very important because the work is about the world but my experience of that I think makes it more relatable and the impact is greater. I am also not afraid to laugh at myself. I think today there are many women using self-portraiture because we are tired of being told by the media, society and religion etc, who we should be or what we should look like. I think by photographing ourselves we are reclaiming our image and finally controlling how we want to be seen in the world." -Artist Sarah Maple
“SELF REFLECTION, SELF EXPRESSION, SELF EXPLORATION, SELF SUFFICIENCY, SELF CONSTRUCTION, SELF SERVICE, SELF HEALING These are the underlying currants throughout my work, whether it be in my writings, poetry, photography, sculpture or my contribution in the fashion collective threeASFOUR. My driving forces are my spirit, heart and soul, reflecting on observations and experiences of being a human woman in this society of now. My external shell of face and body is my instrument/tool and assistant in conveying a certain message, telling a story. Be it drama or comedy alike, exploring existential philosophical or simply very personal ideas and thoughts on the human condition and working from deep down my own emotional pipeline.” – Artist ANGE
THE UNTITLED SPACE
Founded in 2014 by Indira Cesarine, The Untitled Space is an art gallery located in Tribeca, New York in a landmark building on Lispenard Street. The gallery features an ongoing curation of exhibits of emerging and established contemporary artists exploring conceptual framework and boundary pushing ideology through mediums of painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, video and performance art. The gallery is committing to exploring new ideas vis-à-vis traditional and new mediums and highlights a program of "Women in Art" as well as special events aligned with our creative vision.