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Hamptons Life

Feb 13, 2018 11:37 AMPublication: The East Hampton Press & The Southampton Press

Janet Goleas Curates 'A Radical Voice,' An All-Women Contemporary Art Show At Southampton Arts Center

Feb 13, 2018 11:37 AM

When the Southampton Arts Center asked East Hampton artist and curator Janet Goleas to plan and organize its first exhibition of 2018, she was given only one parameter: “They asked me to do an exhibit of all women.”

The result is “A Radical Voice: 23 Women,” a show of contemporary art by female artists, most of whom live and work on the East End and/or in New York City, and a few from as far afield as California.

“Over time and under various circumstances, a lot of women have expressed opinions about not wanting to be thought of as a ‘woman artist.’ … Right now, at this moment in time, no one is complaining about being in an all-women show,” Ms. Goleas said during a recent interview.

Though “radical” is in the title, the name does not point to a political motive.

“I think that sustaining the life of an artist over time is a pretty radical thing to do—and that’s where the title comes from,” Ms. Goleas explained. “It’s not an overtly political show. But we are living in a time when there are so many topics about women and gender, etc., etc. But, mostly, this show is political just because it’s all women. That’s, in and of itself, a political concept.”

Ms. Goleas said that while she likes the number 23 because there are 23 pairs of chromosomes, she did not set out to pick that exact number of artists. It just happened to end up that way. “I visited everyone’s studio, I had great conversations, and together the artists and I have selected the work,” she said.

Most of the 23 have been known to her for quite some time, while some are very new to her.

“I’ve watched not all but a lot of these artists develop over decades, often alone in their studios,” she said. “That’s the life of most artists, just completely alone.

“I realize it’s been an incredible privilege to have the long view—now that I’m a little bit older—and to have an understanding of how these artists’ works have developed over time. I think in the life of any committed artist, it is fascinating to watch that progression.”

The works in the exhibition are not thematically linked, but she chose pieces that can be conversant with the others, Ms. Goleas said. “So it is provocative and has a little zing to it when you walk through the show, and it might make viewers connect concept and images in a new way.”

She said she is excited about everything in the show—“I think every single piece is going to be a knockout”—but the piece that will be the first thing visitors see upon entering the Southampton Arts Center is a site-specific work by Almond Zigmund that is being installed in the foyer. Ms. Zigmund—the namesake of Almond restaurant in Bridgehampton, where her husband, Jason Weiner, is the executive chef—creates installations and sculpture.

“Her work changes depending on what kind of space it’s in,” Ms. Goleas noted. “Sometimes she makes work for that space. Sometimes she modifies work because of the space. And this is a nice big space for her to really experiment. I have an idea of what she’s going to do, but I can’t wait to see it. So, that, I’m really looking forward to.”

Tamara Gonzales contributed two paintings and a tapestry to “A Radical Voice.” She uses spray paint and lace, among other media. Ms. Goleas said Ms. Gonzales is an amazing artist who has collaborated with artisans in the mountains of Peru: “Together, they created a body of work that helps sustain the village in Peru, as well as provides a new interpretation of Tamara’s work.”

Ms. Goleas is also happy to be showing work by Connie Fox of Northwest Woods, the widow of fellow artist Bill King. “She is in her 90s and has an enormous body of work,” Ms. Goleas noted. “Of all the work—I love a lot of her work—the two pieces we’re showing are works on paper, and they’re really stunning.”

Throughout the run of the exhibition, which closes March 25, several events are planned with the artists. Among the plans, Bridgehampton photographer Laurie Lambrecht will lead a children’s workshop, Ms. Zigmund will lead a class for teens, and Alice Hope, who makes art with countless soda can tabs, will hold an adult workshop.

The National Museum of Women in the Arts, in Washington, D.C., named Ms. Hope the 2018 “Woman to Watch” for New York.

“Alice is just breathtaking,” Ms. Goleas said. “Her work just changes everything—such beautiful pieces. I urge everyone to take that class. It will be fascinating.”

The others contributing to the exhibition are Olive Ayhens, Amanda Church, Martha Clippinger, Regina Gilligan, Jacqueline Gourevitch, Lisa Hein, Priscilla Heine, Hilary Helfant, Elana Herzog, Judith Linhares, Erika Ranee, Judy Richardson, Bonnie Rychlak, Toni Ross, Drew Shiflett, Jeanne Silverthorne, Zina Saro-Wiwa and Jude Tallichet.

“A Radical Voice: 23 Women” opens at the Southampton Arts Center, 25 Jobs Lane, Southampton Village, on Saturday, February 17, with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. The show continues through March 25. Gallery hours are Thursday to Sunday, noon to 6 p.m. Admission is free.

A curator’s gallery tour is planned on Sundays, February 18 and March 25, at noon, and an artists’ gallery tour is Saturday, March 10, at noon, both free. A curator and artists’ panel discussion is Saturday, March 3, at 5 p.m., also free. A children’s workshop with Laurie Lambrecht is Thursday, February 22, at 3 p.m. for $15. A teen art workshop with Almond Zigmund is Thursday, March 8, at 5 p.m. for $15. Alice Hope will hold an adult workshop on Thursday, March 22, at 6 p.m. for $15.

For more information, visit southamptonartscenter.org.

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