The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum

Skip to main content

Important Update

June 4, 2022 to January 8, 2023 | Lobby, Leir Gallery, Screening Room, Ramp, Project Space, Balcony, South Gallery, Sound Gallery, Opatrny Gallery

52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone

52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone celebrates the fifty-first anniversary of the historic exhibition Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists, curated by Lucy R. Lippard and presented at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 1971. 52 Artists will showcase work by the artists included in the original 1971 exhibition, alongside a new roster of twenty-six female identifying or nonbinary emerging artists, tracking the evolution of feminist art practices over the past five decades. 52 Artists will encompass the entirety of the Museum (approx. 8,000 sq. ft)—the first exhibition to do so in The Aldrich’s new building which was inaugurated in 2004.

Artworks

The artists whose work was presented in the original 1971 exhibition are: Cecile Abish (b. 1926), Alice Aycock (b. 1946), Cynthia Carlson (b. 1942), Sue Ann Childress* (b. 1947), Glorianna Davenport* (b. 1944), Susan Hall (b. 1943), Mary Heilmann (b. 1940), Audrey Hemenway (1930-2008), Laurace James (b. 1936), Mablen Jones (1943-2021), Carol Kinne (1942-2016), Christine Kozlov (1945-2005), Brenda Miller (b. 1941), Mary Miss (b. 1944), Dona Nelson (b. 1947), Louise Parks* (b. 1944), Shirley Pettibone (1936-2011), Howardena Pindell (b. 1943), Adrian Piper (b. 1948), Sylvia Plimack Mangold (b. 1938), Reeva Potoff (b. 1941), Paula Tavins (1936-2019), Merrill Wagner (b. 1935), Grace Bakst Wapner (b. 1934), Jackie Winsor (b. 1941), and Barbara Zucker (b. 1940). All but three of the original twenty-six artists will have work included in 52 Artists. (*These artists are not participating.)

The new generation of artists included in the exhibition are: Leilah Babirye (b. 1985), Phoebe Berglund (b. 1980), LaKela Brown (b. 1982), Lea Cetera (b. 1983), Susan Chen (b. 1992), Pamela Council (b. 1986), Lizania Cruz (b. 1983), Amaryllis DeJesus Moleski (b. 1985), Florencia Escudero (b. 1987), Alanna Fields (b. 1990), Emilie L. Gossiaux (b. 1989), Ilana Harris-Babou (b. 1991), Loie Hollowell (b. 1983), Maryam Hoseini (b. 1988), Hannah Levy (b. 1991), Catalina Ouyang (b. 1993), Anna Park (b. 1996), Erin M. Riley (b. 1985), LJ Roberts (b. 1980), Aya Rodriguez-Izumi (b. 1986), Aliza Shvarts (b. 1986), Astrid Terrazas (b. 1996), Tourmaline (b. 1983), Rachel Eulena Williams (b. 1991), Kiyan Williams (b. 1991), and Stella Zhong (b. 1993).

The twenty-six emerging artists were born in or after 1980, live and work in New York City, and will have not had a major solo museum exhibition in the United States as of March 1, 2022, aligning both with The Aldrich’s mission of representing the work of emerging artists and with Lippard’s original mandate for the 1971 exhibition. "This group of 26 emerging artists reflect the revolutionary advancement of feminist art practices over half a century and exhibit a diversity of experiences and a multiplicity of sensibilities united by a twenty-first century feminist expression that is inclusive, expansive, elastic, and free," said The Aldrich’s Senior Curator Amy Smith-Stewart, who curated the contemporary selection.

On view at The Aldrich from April 18 to June 13, 1971, Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists was organized by writer, art critic, activist, and curator Lucy R. Lippard. She viewed curating this landmark exhibition as an activist gesture. In its catalogue, she states: “I took on this show because I knew there were many women artists whose work was as good or better than that currently being shown, but who, because of the prevailingly discriminatory policies of most galleries and museums, can rarely get anyone to visit their studios or take them as seriously as their male counterparts.” With this exhibition, Lippard arguably founded feminist curatorial practice in this country.

52 Artists will survey this landmark exhibition, including works of art from the original exhibition and recreations of some of the more ephemeral pieces, and, if neither are available, related works from the same period. The exhibition will also include recent works by many of the original artists showing how their practices have evolved over the past fifty years. 52 Artists will also debut a commensurate group of twenty-six emerging artists living and working in New York City. By showing the original group alongside emerging artists of today, the exhibition will testify both to the historic impact of Lippard’s milestone exhibition and to the influence of her work, and the work of the original twenty-six artists she presented at The Aldrich, on a new generation of feminist artists.

Lippard’s original 1971 exhibition at The Aldrich was one of the first institutional responses to the issue of women artists’ invisibility in museums and galleries. More specifically, the show offered a rejoinder to the protests by the Ad Hoc Women Artists Committee (founded by Poppy Johnson, Brenda Miller, Faith Ringgold, and Lucy Lippard) over the absence of women in the Whitney Museum of American Art’s 1970 Sculpture Annual. Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists opened the floodgates to a host of other feminist exhibitions throughout the 1970s, signaling Lippard’s emergence as a visionary feminist curator and critic and marking the debut of many groundbreaking artists. 52 Artists not only celebrates this radical exhibition but underscores its ongoing influence on future generations of artists.

The exhibition is organized by The Aldrich’s Senior Curator Amy Smith-Stewart and independent curator Alexandra Schwartz, with The Aldrich’s Curatorial Assistant Caitlin Monachino.

A 200-page softcover book will accompany the exhibition. This significant catalogue will include new essays by Lippard, Smith-Stewart, and Schwartz, as well as rare historical documentation of the original exhibition, images, installation views, and checklists from both the 1971 and 2022 shows.

Links


Funders

Major support for 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone is provided by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

Generous support is provided by the Diana Bowes and Jim Torrey Commissions Fund, the Girlfriend Fund, the Robert Lehman Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wagner Foundation, and Friends of 52 Artists members: Ellen and Andrew Celli, Eric Diefenbach and James-Keith Brown, Linda and Michael Dugan, Rachel Carr Goulding and Peter Goulding, Agnes Gund, Pamela and David Hornik, Stephanie and Tim Ingrassia, The Kaleta A. Doolin Foundation, Miyoung Lee and Neil Simpkins, Kathleen O'Grady, and Talbott and Carter Simonds Foundation.

Additional support is provided by Bernard Lumpkin and Carmine Boccuzzi.

The catalogue for 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone is generously supported by the Eric Diefenbach and James-Keith Brown Publications Fund and the Girlfriend Fund.

Funders

Related Events

March 31, 2022 at 7:00 pm | Public Programs

Virtual ARTalk - 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone with Amy Smith-Stewart and Alexandra Schwartz

This ARTalk will focus on an exciting upcoming exhibition at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum, 52 Artists: A Feminist Milestone. This exhibition celebrates the fifty-first anniversary of the historic exhibition Twenty-Six Contemporary Women Artists, curated by acclaimed art critic Lucy R. Lippard which was presented at The Aldrich Contemporary Art Museum in 1971.

September 15, 2022 at 5:30 pm | Member Event

Drinks with the Director

Join The Aldrich’s Executive Director, Cybele Maylone, for a tour of the Museum’s current exhibitions followed by drinks on the terrace.

September 24, 2022 at 7:00 pm | Special Event

Aldrich Artists at the Table

Save the date for the return of Aldrich Artists at the Table, the Museum's annual farm-to-museum dinner in our Sculpture Garden.


Related Exhibitions

April 18, 1971, to June 13, 1971 |

Twenty Six Contemporary Women Artists



Top image: Merrill Wagner, Untitled, 1969. Courtesy of the artist and David Zwirner, New York.