Female In Focus with Juror Lisa Volpe

May 13 - June 13, 2020

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Index
Skinned Knees (from the Second Moment)
Toni Pepe
Juror's Award
Artist's Website
Index
The Builder
Jennifer Zwick
Director's Award
Artist's Website
Index
De-objectified
Leilani Bascom
Artist's Website
Index
Happy Hour
Lisa Beard
Artist's Website
Index
awkward child
Todd Bradley
Artist's Website
Index
Gerri, 2018 from the series Outcry
Whitney Bradshaw
Artist's Website
Index
Antique Skin 6
Judy Brown
Juror's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
Jess
Marie-Lisette Cropp
Artist's Website
Index
Morgan
Sharon Draghi
Artist's Website
Index
Jul-88
Diane Durant
Juror's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
The Conversation
Diane Fellows
Artist's Website
Index
Jamie's iPhone
Adair Freeman Rutledge
Artist's Website
Index
Passed from Generation
Beth Galton
Artist's Website
Index
Mom Masks
Amy Herman
Artist's Website
Index
0416.1542 Kona
Bootsy Holler
Artist's Website
Index
Abiding II
Tara Holmes
Artist's Website
Index
Kristine and Jennine, Saracens RFC
Stephan Jahanshahi
Artist's Website
Index
Satin
Lindsey Kennedy
Artist's Website
Index
Shadow on the beach
Kristin Kesting
Index
Golden Village
Sandra Klein
Artist's Website
Index
Daughter Of The Ether
Lotta Lemetti
Artist's Website
Index
Untitled
Rachel Liu
Director's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
Orchard House, Concord, MA
Lisa McCarty
Artist's Website
Index
The burden of a body
Jennifer McClure
Artist's Website
Index
Young Girl at Refugee Center, CDMX
Marilyn Montufar
Artist's Website
Index
Deity in Havana
David Obermeyer
Artist's Website
Index
Alba
Maiwenn Raoult
Director's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
Untitled - Annie at plate glass window
Tamara Reynolds
Artist's Website
Index
Late afternoon portrait with headscarf
Marcie Rich
Index
Crouched
Susan Richman
Artist's Website
Index
chelsea seattle 2018
Jenny Sampson
Artist's Website
Index
Pink Cardigan
Yisook Sohn
Juror's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
Recorded Breathe
Sarah Sudhoff
Director's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website
Index
Nicole W.
Donna J. Wan
Artist's Website
Index
Olivia
Sandra Chen Weinstein
Director's Honorable Mention
Artist's Website

Female In Focus

 

JUROR | Lisa Volpe

Lisa Volpe is the Associate Curator, Photography at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Before arriving in Houston, she was the Curator of the Wichita Art Museum where she oversaw all areas of the museum’s collection. Additionally, she held various curatorial roles at the Santa Barbara Museum of Art (SBMA), and fellowships at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art (LACMA) and the Cleveland Museum of Art.

 

JUROR’S AWARD | Toni Pepe
DIRECTOR’S AWARD | Jennifer Zwick
TRAVEL SCHOLARSHIP | $250 to be determined
HONORABLE MENTIONS | Rachel Liu, Sarah Sudhoff, Maiwenn Raoult, Yisook Sohn, Dianne Durant, Sandra Chen Weinstein, and Judy Brown

 

Juror’s Statement

 

What does it mean to be female? The simplicity of the question masks its importance. After all, there is a significant price to pay for getting it wrong in daily life: violence on one end of the spectrum, social marginalization on the other. Yet at various times, all women will get it ‘wrong’ because the boundaries of femininity are not only moving targets, but are also in the eye of the beholder. Gender, after all, is merely a method of distinction. It is a differentiation of symbols that a particular society assigns as masculine or feminine. It is not a naturally occurring variance, but an active, man-made effort to produce and maintain difference.

 

This assignment of gendered difference and symbolic meaning is perhaps most evident in the realm of art. As theorists Griselda Pollock and Laura Mulvey so brilliantly explained, in art, the female body is traditionally utilized as a sign, ripe for constructing meaning—the result of a long history in which women were mere tabula rasa upon which men could project their fantasies and messages. From the anonymous saintly figures, archetypes of virtue and fidelity, of the Renaissance, to Pablo Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, in which women, reduced to mere body parts, are reassembled for a modernist (male) eye, women have been treated as mere symbol for a masculine statement.

 

The work in “Female in Focus” opposes tradition by placing female subjectivity at the center, tackling the difficult question: “What does it mean to be female?” The 35 works of art in this exhibition were chosen from an exceptionally strong pool of entries. The artists featured embraced photography as a means of confronting the tangled definition of the feminine. While some of the photographs deconstruct tradition, others rethink cultural, biological, and psychological “female” spaces. They represent a broad definition of ‘female’ as a fluid grouping equally influenced by bodily experience as it is by psychology and contemporary life. Together, these works present a “Female in Focus,” characterized not exclusively by sex or difference, but by unending transformative possibilities.

 

Lisa Volpe

Associate Curator, Photography

The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston