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This fall, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund (RBF) will present its first exhibition in the gallery at the new David Rockefeller Creative Arts Center at Pocantico (DR Center). Inspired Encounters: Women Artists and the Legacies of Modern Art explores ideas of intergenerational influence and innovation among visual artists working in a range of practices. It will be on view from October 1, 2022, through March 19, 2023.
Comprised of 43 artworks, the exhibition pairs pieces by a dozen groundbreaking women artists of the postwar period with new commissions of contemporary art presented publicly for the first time. It draws primarily from the permanent collection of modern art at Kykuit, the former Rockefeller family home that now operates as a historic house museum on The Pocantico Center campus. The house, as well as the art collections, were bequeathed to the National Trust for Historic Preservation by Nelson A. Rockefeller in 1979.
“The DR Center is the first temporary exhibition gallery at Pocantico, offering us new opportunities to activate the historical collections beyond the period rooms in which they are preserved in amber, so to speak,” says Katrina London, manager of collections and curatorial projects at the RBF. “With this show, we aimed to highlight the diverse stories and voices of brilliant women who relentlessly pursued artistic success despite the discrimination they faced.”
Artists Sonya Clark, Maren Hassinger, Elana Herzog, Melissa Meyer, Fanny Sanín, Barbara Takenaga, and Kay WalkingStick were invited to visit Pocantico and asked to respond to the museum and grounds with artwork for the exhibition. The result is a series of inspired encounters that frames the modern art of the postwar period as relevant, generative, and open to myriad creative possibilities.
“We wanted to identify the ways in which contemporary women artists have both upheld and upended the ideas put forth in the period of high modern art,” said Consulting Curator Jeremiah William McCarthy, formerly of the National Academy of Design, who co-organized the exhibition. “This was a natural partnership because, unlike other academies, the National Academy of Design has welcomed women students since its inception in 1825 and is led today by a woman president.”
Artists in the Exhibition
• Anni Albers (Berlin, Germany 1899–1994 Orange, CT)
• Mary Bauermeister (Frankfurt, Germany 1934)
• Lee Bontecou (Providence, RI 1931)
• Louise Bourgeois (Paris, France 1911–2010 New York, NY)
• Mary Callery (New York, NY 1903–1977 Paris, France)
• Elizabeth Catlett (Washington D.C. 1915–2012 Cuernavaca, Mexico)
• Valerie Clarebout (Surrey, UK 1908–1982 Norfolk, MA)
• Sonya Clark (Washington, D.C. 1967)
• Dorothy Dehner (Cleveland, OH 1901–1994 New York, NY)
• Lin Emery (New York, NY 1926–2021 New Orleans, LA)
• Marisol Escobar (Paris, France 1930–2016 New York, NY)
• Grace Hartigan (Newark, NJ 1922–2008 Baltimore, MD)
• Maren Hassinger (Los Angeles, CA 1947)
• Elana Herzog (Toronto, Canada 1954)
• Louise Kruger (Los Angeles, CA 1924–2013 New York, NY)
• Melissa Meyer (New York, NY 1946)
• Louise Nevelson (Pereiaslav, Ukraine 1899–1988 New York, NY)
• Fanny Sanín (Bogotá, Colombia 1938)
• Barbara Takenaga (North Platte, NE 1949)
• Lenore Tawney (Lorain, OH 1907–2007 New York, NY)
• Wendy Taylor (Stamford, UK 1945)
• Kay WalkingStick (Syracuse, NY 1935)