The DART Board: Celebrating Women

By Peggy Roalf   Wednesday August 4, 2021


Wangechi Mutu: I Am Speaking, Are You Listening? | The Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco

I Am Speaking, Are You Listening? features Wangechi Mutu’s new hybrid busts, full-scale figural sculptures, films and collages—mythologies of Afrofuturism, posthumanism and feminism, in dialogue with notable European historical works from antiquity to Impressionism within the Legion of Honor Museum. Photos by Gary Sexton, courtesy of The Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco

Over the past two decades, Mutu, who calls both Nairobi and New York home, has created chimerical constellations of powerful female characters, hybrid beings, and fantastical landscapes. With a rare understanding of the power and need for new mythologies—the productive friction of opposites beyond simple binaries and stereotypes—Mutu breaches common distinctions among human, animal, plant, and machine. At once seductive and threatening, her figures and environments take the viewer on journeys of material, psychological, and sociopolitical transformation.

Mutu’s sprawling exhibition at the Legion of Honor, a museum built to showcase European art from antiquity through Impressionism, presided over by Auguste Rodin's The Thinker, aims to spur “a purposeful examination of art histories, mythologies, and the techniques of archiving and remembering.”

Wangechi Mutu: I Am Speaking, Are You Listening? Continues at The Legion of Honor Museum, San Francisco, through November 7. Info



Eva Beresin, Beware of the spirits that you call at M+B Gallery, Los Angeles 

Of this artist, Kenny Schacter writes, "The mundane daily occurrences of life, shopping, sharing meals and playing games together come across as funny-mostly by way of cartoonishly distorted, engorged hands, feet, and facial features. Yet lurking not too far underneath the surface, the images are imbued with a more melancholic notion of the absurd, grotesque, and forlorn….Above: Once the Genie Is Summoned, You Can't Put it Back in the Bottle, 2021

"Beresin brings to mind, more than any other artist for me, the works of Belgian painter James Ensor (1860-1949). Little-traveled in his lifetime, he dwelt in a bizarre, wildly colorful landscape, primarily peopled by those closest to him. Ensor's art was characterized by Los Angeles County Museum of Art director Michael Govan as conveying an acute sense of aggressive sarcasm and scatology, sentiment that equally applies to Beresin. Eva replaces the masks frequently featured in Ensor's works with everyday faces of her friends, family, and a potpourri of crazed looking animals resembling anything other than a state of flattery.

"Eva Beresin's paintings are equal measure seductive, hilarious and disturbing. While being lulled into a false sense of comforting entertainment, Eva hits us over the head after luring us in with her unparalleled, unbridled symbolically violent and unsettling imagery-nothing less than a thoroughly enjoyable horror show!"

Eva Beresin, Beware of the spirits that you call continues through September 3 at M+B Gallery, 612 North Almont Drive, Los Angeles, CA Info


Yunhee MinVitreous Opacities at Vielmetter Los Angeles

Vitreous Opacities presents new paintings on glass in which vibrant hues of acrylic paint mixed with enamel poured onto the glass surfaces, in both flat and standing works. Fixed onto the glass, the paint's impression of wetness is heightened to engender a sense of suspension, akin to the surface tension of liquid materials trapped in a glass slide.

The show’s title references an optical condition of ghost-like flutters in ones’ field of vision as a result of floating objects in the vitreous body of the eye. Similarly, the shapes of the paint applied to the surface of glass create an illusion of floating forms in space generating its own optics with the likeness of the eye’s lens. In Min’s works, she orchestrates pours and spills of wet paint on the slick glass surfaces to create a cacophony of complex contours, wild shapes, and shadows, bringing to mind the idea of “liquid intelligence” described by Jeff Wall as the relationship between natural forms, time, memory and means of representation.

Yunhee Min, Vitreous Opacities at Vielmetter Los Angeles; 1700 S Santa Fe Avenue, Los Angeles, CA Info




Finding a voice through isolation: Yuri Yuan: River Flows in You  at Alexander Berggruen Gallery, New York

Inspired by painters Lois Dodd and Alex Katz, Yuri Yuan streamlines her economy of shapes to employ abstract elements for metaphorical exposition. In speaking about her paintings, Yuri Yuan stated: “The interiority or landscape represents the psychology of the figure (or the artist), giving the audience space to contemplate and explore their own emotions.”  Above: Norwegian Wood", 2021; photo by Bryan Toro

When creating this work, Yuan says, she was reading writer and cultural critic Olivia Liang’s book The Lonely City, which explores and seeks to redeem loneliness as a social condition within the context of work by artists like Edward Hopper. In speaking about why Hopper’s work is often associated with loneliness, Liang cites the ability of “blank walls and open windows,” features of “paranoid architecture, […] to simultaneously entrap and expose.” 

Yuri Yuan: River Flows in You continues at Alexander Berggruen (1018 Madison Avenue, 3rd Floor, Upper East Side, Manhattan) through August 31.


Second Annual Women Celebrate Women exhibition | El Barrio’s Artspace PS109 
Opening reception Thursday, August 12, 6-9 pm

Curated by New York-based mixed media artist, teaching artist and jewelry designer, Yvonne Lamar-Rogers, the exhibition includes works by 71 local artists working in all disciplines to celebrate and honor diversity in New York’s female visual arts community. Lamar-Rogers says the mission of this year’s Women Celebrate Women exhibition is to celebrate and honor women of all backgrounds, quoting Black feminist playwright Ntozake Shange: “Where there is a woman, there is magic.”  Left: Peggy Roalf, SSP #8, 2021, one of three pieces by yrs truly in the show / @peggy.roalf

The public is invited to view the works at the beautiful El Barrio’s Artspace PS109, a previously abandoned public school building that was transformed into a community housing complex for artists. The circa-1899 landmark building offers beautiful space for the arts as well as important cultural programming in the East Harlem community. 

Second Annual Women Celebrate Women, opening Thursday, August 12, 6-9 pm, at El Barrio’s Art- space PS109, 215 E. 99th Street, New York, NY 10029. The exhibition will remain on view through August 25th. 
For more information about Women Celebrate Women and El Barrio’s Artspace PS109,
please email and You can also find them on Instagram @ylamarrogers and @elbarrios_artspace. 



Sophia Dawson,  Correspondence: The Installation, opens Wednesday, August 4 , in the SVA Flatiron Project Space

Born from her acclaimed art series “To Be Free,” artist, activist and SVA faculty member Sophia Dawson's book Correspondence is a collection of letters and ephemera from incarcerated members of the Black Panther Party and Black Liberation Movement. Curated in conjunction with The Bishop Gallery, this exhibition will feature select works from the  “To Be Free" series that explores, through portraiture, the stories of the 20+ remaining US-held political prisoners who were jailed for their activism in the black liberation movements of the 1960s and 1970s. Above: Sophia Dawson, portrait of Jalil Muntaqim  

In her work, Dawson attempts to humanize social justice issues through personal stories, raise each political prisoner’s profile in the mainstream, inspire, educate, inform and direct audiences to support political prisoners’ release in the United States. Since the project began in 2010, 11 political prisoners have been released, including the seven remaining members of the MOVE 9.

Sophia Dawson, Correspondence: The Installation, presented  by BFA Visual & Critical Studies continues through September 10. SVA Flatiron Project Space, 133/141 West 21st Street, NY, NY. Info


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