Press Room

NMWA Presents Summer 2013 Exhibitions, Programs and Events

May 14 2013

WASHINGTON—The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) is pleased to announce summer exhibitions and programming related to the special exhibitions Bice Lazzari: Signature Line, American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s and Awake in the Dream World: The Art of Audrey Niffenegger.


Bice Lazzari: Signature Line
May 10–September 22, 2013

As part of 2013—Year of Italian Culture in the United States, an initiative organized by Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Embassy of Italy, Washington, D.C., this exhibition presents a selection of 25 paintings and drawings from Archivio Bice Lazzari in Rome. Lazzari (1900–1981), one of Italy’s most revered modern artists, was discouraged from studying the figure in art school in the 1910s because of her gender. She ultimately became a renowned designer and artist, and in the mid-1930s, turned her attention to abstraction. Using pencil, ink and pastel, Lazzari drew lines (often over washes of soft color) to form poetic compositions that resemble graphs, maps and—representative of her lifelong passion for music—musical staffs and notes.

Making her Mark: Publishers’ Bindings by Women
May 10–November 1, 2013 in the Library Research Center
Open Monday–Friday, 10 a.m.–12 p.m. and 1–5 p.m.
In the 19th century, book publishers developed new binding methods to respond to the desires of an increasingly educated general public. One of these shifts was using cloth to bind books instead of the more expensive leather or the less resilient paper bindings that had been used in the past. Several decades after this switch to cloth, when crafters were still the primary designers of bookbindings, professional artists began to get involved and make their marks in the field. In the later part of the century Sarah Wyman Whitman led the way for the artists—particularly women artists—creating designs for publishers’ bindings. Displayed in this exhibition are book designs by artists Sarah Wyman Whitman (1842–1904), Margaret Neilson Armstrong (1867–1944) and Amy M. Sacker (1872–1965).

American People, Black Light: Faith Ringgold’s Paintings of the 1960s
June 21–November 10, 2013

Before originating the African American story quilt revival in the 1970s, Faith Ringgold (b. 1930) painted bold images in response to the Civil Rights and feminist movements. Her unprecedented exploration of race and gender in America is revealed through 45 rarely-exhibited paintings. In expressive figurative works and text-based compositions inspired by African design, Ringgold reflected on tensions between racial groups, the expansion of African American cultural and political movements, and momentous social events that shaped the 1960s.

Awake in the Dream World: The Art of Audrey Niffenegger
June 21–November 10, 2013

A fantastic, strange and mysterious world, real and imagined, is featured in this mid-career retrospective of artist and bestselling author of The Time Traveler’s Wife, Audrey Niffenegger (b. 1963). Book art, works on paper and paintings—239 pieces in total—reflect her captivating narrative talent and her explorations of life, mortality and magic. Three sections of the exhibition present Niffenegger’s artist’s books, her self-portraits and her confrontations with darker corners of the human heart and mind—dreams, fantasies and the hopeless struggle with what Shakespeare called “this bloody tyrant, Time.”

New York Avenue Sculpture Project: Chakaia Booker
On view through March 2014

Internationally renowned sculptor Chakaia Booker (b. 1953) is the second artist for the New York Avenue Sculpture Project, the only public art space featuring changing installations of contemporary works by women artists. Organized by NMWA, the Sculpture Project is a collaboration between the museum, the Downtown DC Business Improvement District (BID), the DC Office of Planning and other local agencies. The four sculptures are located in the median of New York Avenue between 12th and 13th streets. Based in New York, Booker works almost exclusively with recycled tires that are cut, shaped and folded, then woven into dynamic, highly textured sculptures. Her large-scale works fuse ecological concerns with explorations of racial and economic difference, globalization and gender.

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