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An Art Book - Negar Ahkami, Kelly Baum, Judith K. Brodsky, Ferris Olin, Gilane Tawadros, Nil Yalter

November 14, 2012

Program Locations:

Stephen A. Schwarzman Building, Margaret Liebman Berger Forum

FREE - Doors open at 5:30 p.m.

Judith K. Brodsky and Ferris Olin, co-directors, Rutgers University Institute of Women and Art, curators and authors of The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art and Society, along with two of the contributors of essays to the book, Gilane Tawadros, founding director of the London-based Institute for International Visual Arts, and Kelly Baum, Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Princeton University Art Museum; and two of the artists featured in the book, Nil Yalter, a Paris-based artist of Turkish heritage and Negar Ahkami, an artist of Iranian descent born and living in the United States discuss the complex social, political, theological and historic issues that shape the status of Middle East women in Middle East countries and the diaspora as expressed through their art.

13 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.Sigalit Landau, Dancing for Maya (left to right, top to bottom), 2005. Three-channel video, 16:13 minutes. Courtesy of the artist.The Fertile Crescent: Gender, Art and Society (Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art) presents the work of 24 contemporary women artists of Middle East heritage who examine matters of gender, homeland, geopolitics, theology, and the environment through painting, video, photography, sculpture, film, performance art, and multi-media. These artists challenge Western stereotypes of Middle East women, while acknowledging existing social and theological restrictions that have caused many of them to leave their homelands. The book is edited and with text by Judith K. Brodsky and Ferris Olin, with additional essays by Margot Badran, Kelly Baum and Gilane Tawadros. The authors in this volume address transnationalism, the artists’ sense of unease about the world today, and their responses to the political uprisings and events in their countries of origin. The book also addresses the historic and contemporary impact of Middle East culture on black Africa and South Asia. The book is published in conjunction with a fall 2012 multi-venue exhibition at Rutgers and Princeton Universities and the Princeton Arts Council/Paul Robeson Center for the Arts, among other locations.

Copies of the book are available for purchase and signing at the event.

 Emma Cleary, Courtesy of the Leila Heller Gallery, New York, and the artist.Negar Ahkami, Hot and Crusty, 2011. Acrylic and glitter on gessoed panel 36 x 48 inches. Photo credit: Emma Cleary, Courtesy of the Leila Heller Gallery, New York, and the artist.Negar Ahkami received a BA in Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures from Columbia University, 1992, and an MFA in Fine Arts from School of Visual Arts, 2006. New York-based, she is represented by Leila Heller Gallery (formerly LTMH), New York. She has had solo shows in New York with LTMH and LMAK Projects in Brooklyn, and a two-person show at Miki Wick Kim Gallery in Zurich. She has participated in numerous group exhibitions in New York, i.e., Iran Inside Out (Chelsea Museum of Art), The Seen and the Hidden: (Dis)Covering the Veil (Austrian Cultural Forum), and Firewalkers (Stefan Stux Gallery). Her work has been featured in The New York Times, ARTnews and other publications. Residencies and fellowships include a Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Workspace Residency, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Artist in the Marketplace, and the Jentel Artist Residency in Wyoming.

Kelly Baum, BA, Art History, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and MA and PhD, University of Delaware, 2005, is the Haskell Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Princeton University Art Museum. From 2002 to 2007, she was Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art, Blanton Museum of Art, University of Texas at Austin; and from 2008 to 2010, she was the Locks Curatorial Fellow for Contemporary Art (Princeton University Art Museum). Her exhibitions include Carol Bove, 2006; Jedediah Caesar, 2007; The Sirens’ Song, 2007; Transactions, 2007, all at the Blanton Museum; Nobody’s Property: Art, Land, Space, 2000–2010 and Doug Aitken: Migration (empire), both at Princeton University Art Museum, 2010. Her essays have appeared in October, Art Journal, The Drama Review, and PUAM’s Record. Baum received an Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts Curatorial Research Fellowship in support of the 2013 exhibit New Jersey as Non-site.

 Bill Orcutt, Courtesy of Alexander and Bonin, New York.Mona Hatoum, Round and Round, 2007. Bronze, 24 x 13 x 13 inches. Photo credit: Bill Orcutt, Courtesy of Alexander and Bonin, New York.Judith K. Brodsky is Distinguished Professor Emerita, Department of Visual Arts, Rutgers University; Founding Director of the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper renamed the Brodsky Center in her honor; Co-founder and Co-director with Ferris Olin of the Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art; and The Feminist Art Project, a national and international program to promote recognition of the esthetic and intellectual contributions of women artists. Herself one of the founders of the feminist art movement in the United States, she was a contributor to the first comprehensive history of that movement, called The Power of Feminist Art. An artist in her own right, her work is in permanent collections worldwide including the Library of Congress, the Victoria & Albert Museum, and the Stadtsmuseum, Berlin. Brodsky presently serves on the boards of the New York Foundation for the Arts, and the International Print Center New York.

Ferris Olin is a Professor Emerita at Rutgers University and the Co-founder and Co-director of the Rutgers University Institute for Women and Art and The Feminist Art Project. She is curator with Judith K. Brodsky of the Mary H. Dana Women Artists Series at Rutgers founded in 1971 by Joan Snyder. Recent publications with co-author Brodsky include: Stepping out of the beaten path: Feminism and the Visual Arts; SIGNS, A Journal of Women in Culture and Society 2008; and Eccentric Bodies: The Body as Site for the Imprint of Age, Race, and Identity. With Brodsky, Olin created the Women Artists Archive National Directory (WAAND), a digital directory to archives of the papers of women artists in the US since 1945.  Among the exhibitions she and Brodsky have curated are a 50-year retrospective of Faith Ringgold’s work, 2009 and How American Women Artists Invented Postmodernism, 1970-1975 in 2005.

Parastou Fourouhar, Freitag (Friday), 2003. Aludobond, Four panels each 66 7/8 x 33 7/8 inches. Courtesy of the RH Gallery, New York, and the artist.Parastou Fourouhar, Freitag (Friday), 2003. Aludobond, Four panels each 66 7/8 x 33 7/8 inches. Courtesy of the RH Gallery, New York, and the artist.Gilane Tawadros, internationally-recognized curator and writer, was founding director of London’s Institute of International Visual Arts (InIVA), setting its distinctive artistic and intellectual agenda through an innovative program of exhibitions, publishing, education, multimedia and research. Anticipating new trends and developing new models of working, she established InIVA as a ground-breaking visual arts organization which redefined the parameters of internationalism, cultural diversity and research; InIVA is acknowledged as a pioneer in its field, “changing the landscape of contemporary art.” nationally and internationally. She has curated numerous exhibitions, including at the Venice Bienniale and the Brighton Photo Biennial and as a contributing curator to the Guangzhou Triennial. Among her books are Changing States: Contemporary Art and Ideas in an Era of Globalisation (2004) and Life is More Important Than Art (2007). Tawadros is currently preparing an anthology of her own writings with the working title, The Sphinx Contemplating Napoleon.

Nik Yalter, The AmbassaDRESS, 1978. Installation (Lavin dress, video, sixteen gelatin silver prints, thirteen drawings, one monotype). Courtesy of the Galerie Hubert Winter Vienna.Nik Yalter, The AmbassaDRESS, 1978. Installation (Lavin dress, video, sixteen gelatin silver prints, thirteen drawings, one monotype). Courtesy of the Galerie Hubert Winter Vienna.Nil Yalter of Turkish descent, has lived in Paris since 1965. She participated in the French counterculture and revolutionary movements of the late 1960s, immersing herself in debates on gender, the status of Turkish migrant workers, and other sociopolitical issues. A pioneer in the French feminist art movement of the 1970s, Yalter experimented with drawing, photography, video, and performance art. In 1974, she created the early feminist art classic The Headless Woman (Belly Dance). In this video, only the abdomen of the eponymous belly dancer can be seen on which a statement urging sexual rights for women is inscribed. Recent solo exhibitions include Nil Yalter: Fragments of Memory, Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna, 2011; 20th Century / 21st Century, Galerist, Istanbul, 2011; and Nil Yalter: 1970–1980, Galería Visor, Valencia, 2012. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Tate Modern, Istanbul Modern, and Centre Pompidou among others.

In its fourth year the program series An Art Book, initiated and organized by Arezoo Moseni, is a celebration of the essential importance and beauty of art books. The events showcase book presentations and discussions by world renowned artists, critics, curators, gallerists, historians and writers.