NATURE/NURTURE

March 4 - June 27, 2020

ABOUT THE EXHIBITION: 

March 4 – June 27, 2020

Presented at 1315 MASS MoCA Way, North Adams, MA

Ferrin Contemporary is pleased to present Nature/Nurture, a group exhibition of twelve contemporary female artists invited to explore the influence of gender and its impact on their practice.

This timely exhibition explores these ideas that range from direct interpretations of the natural world to more abstract notions, such as the construction of gender and the endowed role of women within their personal and professional careers. Works in clay range in form from individual vessels to composed still lifes and figural and abstract sculpture.

Gallery director Leslie Ferrin chose a group of twelve female artists whose works and careers provide a range of diverse perspectives related to age, cultural identity and work being done in contemporary ceramics. Considering the impact that the #MeToo movement is having on all professions, Ferrin asked the artists to pause and reflect on the role gender plays in their artistic practice and to consider the nurturing experiences that have shaped them.

Ferrin writes, “A renewed awareness and galvanizing commitment for change is surging through American cultural and academic institutions, organizations and businesses of every sort, exposing the crying need for structural change; specifically, the advancement of equality for artists of all genders and elimination of sexual harassment, wage discrimination and other forms of sexism that continue to affect the lives of women, transgender and non-binary individuals. As part of the movement to reverse and rebalance with new priorities and opening doors, it is crucial to offer opportunities to artists who have been historically marginalized.”

Nature assigned these artists, who identify as female, on a given path, whereas nurture is an accumulation of experiences, influences and impact with both positive and negative results on personal and professional lives. Seen as a whole, this group of twelve women artists who live and work throughout the USA, is representative of the rising tide of professional opportunities for women artists. While significant earnings and advancement gaps remain, a course correction is underway through the increasing number of gender and culturally specific exhibitions. As priorities shift for museum collections, educational public programming and private collectors, these efforts to course-correct are bringing recognition to artists previously overlooked and undervalued and to undocumented legacies. Nature/Nurture seeks to contribute to and further this recognition.

Inspired by the important work of Judith Butler and Helen Longino, the artists in the show were invited to explore the influence of ‘Nature/Nurture’ within their practice. The work ranges from more direct interpretations of the natural world, to more abstract notions, such as the construction of gender, and endowed role of women.

“Possibility is not a luxury; it is as crucial as bread.”
― Judith Butler, Undoing Gender, 2004

“Nature/Nurture” Installation View, with Anina Major, 2020.

MORE ON NATURE/NURTURE

NATURE/NURTURE was curated in conjunction with FORERONT2020: Women in the Visual Arts, Symposia and Exhibition, which was Postponed due to Covid-19. Directed by CYNTHIA-REEVES, this initiative was in collaboration with Ferrin Contemporary, The Artist’s Book Foundation and The Studios at MASS MoCA. Exhibitions featuring women artists were planned to take place throughout the MASS MoCA campus.

PRESS & FEATURES:

VIEW THE EXHIBITION

ONLINE PROGRAMMING:

ZOOM/ONLINE PROGRAM | Women in Ceramics with Garth Johnson at Everson Museum of Art – Friday, May 15, 2020.

SELECTED ARTWORKS