Don’t Miss – Los Angeles: ‘Bitch is the new black’ at Honor Fraser now through August 29, 2009

August 25th, 2009

Her Daddy’s Money and Her Momma’s Good Looks, Rosson Crow (2009). Via Honor Fraser

The summer show ‘Bitch Is The New Black’ at Honor Fraser, Los Angeles will continue until August 29th. Curated by a former editor at ArtReview, Emma Gray, the exhibition showcases the work of 14 local female artists.

Thematically, the exhibition was inspired by the Anne Sexton poem, “Consorting with Angels”. The title comes from an altogether different source; a snippet of dialogue broadcast on Saturday Night Live during the 2008 Presidential Election. During the aforementioned sketch, Tina Fey celebrated the idea of a woman president as a “bitch” by reasoning that “bitches get things done.

Untitled, Catherine Opie (1993). Via Honor Fraser

Honor Fraser Homepage
‘Bitch Is The New Black’ exhibition page []
Consorting with Angels by Anne Sexton [Google Books]
Art Review: “The New Black” at Honor Fraser [Los Angeles Times]

More text and images after the jump….

Sprayed Bush, Kirsten Stoltman (2007) Via Honor Fraser

The 14, “ballsy” women exhibited at Honor Fraser are Cathy Akers, Kathryn Andrews, Andrea Bowers, Rosson Crow, Krysten Cunningham, Pearl C. Hsiung, Annie Lapin, Shana Lutker, Ruby Neri, Catherine Opie, Amanda Ross-Ho, Anna Sew Hoy, Mindy Shapero and Kirsten Stoltmann.

BITCH IS THE NEW BLACK – Installation View. Via Honor Fraser

The work on display comes in a variety of mediums: sculpture, photography, video, painting and performance are all present. Further to this, the works display a diverse range of attitude towards female identity politics.

Skies the Limit (Leave Me Alone), Amanda Ross-Ho (1998 -2009). Via Honor Fraser

HELLO, Pearl C. Hsiung (2009)

Included in the exhibition is a photograph by Kirsten Stoltman, an artist who describes herself as a “self-destructive feminist”. Typically,  Stoltman’s work brazenly confronts taboo and her contribution to this exhibition is no exception; Sprayed Bush, a cropped photograph of her body which places her neon-pink, spray-painted ‘minge’ in the center is said to highlight her ethos of ‘vaginal power’.

Untitled, Rudy Neri (2008). Via Honor Fraser

Pregnancy Pee, Cathy Akers (2009). Via Honor Fraser

In a similarly bold manner Cathy Akers’ photograph, from her Pee Performances series, displays a pregnant, female subject attempting to pee while standing up like a man. Akers herself has noted, the women in this series “are simultaneously vulnerable and powerful, exposed, but sheltered by their own self-possession, their intense subjectivity, while performing the act of peeing.”

Crutch, Shana Lutker (2009). Via Honor Fraser

Three Faced, Mindy Shapero (2009). Via Honor Fraser

In a slightly different vein, Rosson Crow’s contributions utilize typically male bastions such as the Stock Exchange, butcher shops or oil fields as subject matter.

Feel (2009) Annie Lapin. Via Honor Fraser

It is important to note, as does Emma Gray, that many of the women included in the show avoid the ‘f’ word altogether. Therefore, while many of the works in this exhibition are loaded with feminist opinion; the exhibition does not pose as re-envisioning a new collective feminist consciousness. In fact, it wishes to be solely a celebration of talented artists working in L.A. who happen to be women – with attitude.

Arm Hook With Denim Worm, Anna Sew Hoy (2008). Via Honor Fraser