Marisol's "Women's Equality" in the online exhibit “Seen & Heard: The Art of Empowerment"

Online Exhibit: Saturday, May 9, through Sunday, September 6

Hosted by: Figge Art Museum, 225 West Second Street, Davenport IA

Currently Installed in the Figge Art Museum’s second-floor orientation gallery, the Davenport venue's new exhibition Seen & Heard: The Art of Empowerment will be available for online viewing from Saturday, May 9, through Sunday, September 6.

Drawn from the Figge’s collection, Seen & Heard: The Art of Empowerment features works by 13 women artists – including Marisol, Grace Hartigan, Louise Nevelson, Lee Krasner, and Alison Saar – who asserted their artistic empowerment despite social and cultural barriers. In addition to empowering themselves, several of the artists on view give voice and visibility to the marginalized through their artistry.

The featured artists have created innovative and significant bodies of work, and have also tenaciously pursued artmaking for decades, determinedly brought their creative visions to life and forged innovative methods and techniques. One such artist was Louise Nevelson, a creative force who went decades before receiving recognition. An outstanding example of her wall assemblages, Nevelson's 1984 piece Moon Zag III is on display in Seen & Heard. A number of the artists also created work concerning women’s experiences, establishing that it was a subject deserving visibility and recognition. Other artists created work that brought attention to societal injustices and traditionally marginalized groups – among them Carrie Mae Weems, who probes the racial, social, and, cultural inequities in art history through her 2001 piece Not Manet’s Type. Whether pursuing individual or communal agency, the artists featured here have contributed to a more inclusive environment in the art world and beyond.

While opportunities and representation for women have improved, there is still gender disparity in the art world. According to a 2018 study by cultural economist Clare McAndrew, only a third of solo exhibitions in museums and galleries feature women artists while major museums demonstrate even lower figures. The Figge is working to help change those numbers, and the museum's second-floor orientation gallery will be installed with works by women artists until at least May of 2021.

Figge Assistant Curator Vanessa Sage says, “We are proud to present these dynamic artworks from the museum collection, including several recent acquisitions. While issues of inequality and representation remain prevalent in the art world, the Figge is dedicated to better representing the world in which we live and the artists who are an essential part of it.”

Seen & Heard: The Art of Empowerment will be available for online viewing from May 9 to September 6, and can be seen by visiting FiggeArtMuseum.org.

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