Moss Arts Center opens a suite of exhibitions by women artists

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Moss Arts Center opens a suite of exhibitions by women artists
Marilyn Minter, Smash, 2014 (still image). HD digital video. 7-minute, 55-second loop. Courtesy of the artist and Salon 94, New York © Marilyn Minter.

BLACKSBURG, VA .- A range of formidable and thought-provoking works give voice to critical issues in “Fierce Women,” a suite of exhibitions by women artists presented by the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech. Spanning the latter part of the 20th century to the present, the work presented includes sculpture, prints, painting on paper, digital prints, and video, and is on view in all the center’s galleries.

Beginning with the historical precedent of the Guerrilla Girls, the exhibition continues with works by Jenny Holzer, then proceeds up to the present with a large-scale video installation by Marilyn Minter. Ranging from Holzer’s iconic LED signs to Chakaia Booker’s brazen rubber tire compositions and Rozeal’s cross-cultural mashups, these artists take on gender and racial inequality, the politics of identity, and address some of the many injustices surrounding power, morality, and corruption in the world.

“From Booker’s fiercely audacious sculptures to the Guerrilla Girls’ exposés of sexual and racial discrimination, the art by the five artists in this suite of exhibitions is formidable,” said the exhibition curator Margo Crutchfield, Moss Arts Center curator-at-large. “These artists take a stand. Their work speaks out. And they are fierce in not only their astute observations and critique of the status quo, but in giving voice to essential issues of our times.”

“Fierce Women” will be on view through April 25.

Chakaia Booker
Chakaia Booker cuts, bends, shreds, and transforms discarded rubber tires into commanding sculptural forms. Fiercely aggressive but also beautiful, Booker’s abstract works resonate as metaphors for strength, survival, endurance, and transformation. While Booker has an impressive history of large-scale sculpture, this exhibition focuses on her pedestal-sized works from museum collections and wall works from the artist’s studio.

Guerrilla Girls
The Guerrilla Girls have zealously taken on the established art world in an ongoing campaign to expose sexism and racism in art institutions since 1985. Delivered with a fierce directness, scathing wit, and occasional humor, the group’s proclamations have taken the form of posters, flyers, billboards, banners, performances, and unauthorized public projections or installations. Presented in this exhibition is a selection of 15 of the Guerrilla Girls’ most iconic works.

Jenny Holzer
Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer employs language as her primary medium. Her texts are provocative and thought-provoking statements that scrutinize the injustices and complex contradictions surrounding power, sexuality, war, morality, and corruption. Presented in the exhibition are four of the artists’ electronic LED signs featuring a selection of the artists’ iconic texts: “Truisms” (1977-79), “Survival” (1983-85), “Arno” (1996), and “Blue” (1998).

Marilyn Minter
“Smash” (2014)

Marilyn Minter is renowned for her outstanding body of paintings, photographs, and videos that explore the complex and contradictory perceptions and experience of beauty and the female body in American culture. In her ongoing investigation of the beauty industry, Minter calls attention to the challenging and often conflicted predicament of women in our culture. Minter’s video “Smash” (2014) will be presented as a monumental video installation in the Moss Arts Center’s Cube. Additionally, iconic wall-mounted digital prints from Minter will be on view through April 25.

Rozeal probes the complexities of identity in paintings and prints that draw on a myriad of cultural and artistic traditions, including ukiyo-e printmaking from Japan, Noh and Kabuki theatre, current Japanese Ganguro cultures, hip-hop, graffiti, and comic book motifs. The fantastical, stylized, and often ambiguous imagery in her paintings and prints comments on the appropriation of African-American cultural forms in the construction of identity across global cultures. This exhibition focuses on works from her “Afro-Asiatic Allegories (a3)” series.

The Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech presents renowned artists from around the globe and from close to home, with a special focus on experiences that expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. The center’s galleries and related events are free and open to the public.

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