Blurring Boundaries:

The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936 – Present

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The Robert C. Shields American Series is an annual event which shares, with our regional audience, the rich art history and culture of our nation. Represented in these exhibitions are many of the key artists and artistic movements responsible for creating an American art legacy. This will be the 13th year we have offered this series and it continues to gain momentum and respect in the community for the rich visual perspectives it offers on American art.

An awe-inspiring celebration of an intergenerational group of artists—one that is both comprehensive and long overdue—Blurring Boundaries: The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936 – Present highlights the indelible ways in which the women of American Abstract Artists have, for more than eighty years, shifted and shaped the frontiers of American abstraction.

The hierarchy of distilled form, immaculate line, and pure color came close to being the mantra of 1930s modern art—particularly that of American Abstract Artists (AAA), the subject of a new exhibition entitled Blurring Boundaries: The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936 – Present. From the outset—due as much to their divergent status as abstract artists as to their gender—women of American Abstract Artists were already working on the periphery of the art world. In contrast to the other abstract artist collectives of the period, where equal footing for women was unusual, AAA provided a place of refuge for female artists. Through fifty-four works, Blurring Boundaries explores the artists’ astounding range of styles, including their individual approaches to the guiding principles of abstraction: color, space, light, material, and process.

More than eighty years after its founding, AAA continues to nurture and support a vibrant community of artists with diverse identities and wide-ranging approaches to abstraction. In celebration of this tradition, Blurring Boundaries: The Women of American Abstract Artists traces the extraordinary contributions of the female artists within AAA, from the founders to today’s practicing members. Included are works by historic members Perle Fine, Esphyr Slobodkina, Irene Rice Pereira, Alice Trumbull Mason, and Gertrude Greene, as well as current members such as Ce Roser, Irene Rousseau, Judith Murray, Alice Adams, Merrill Wagner and Katinka Mann.

Blurring Boundaries: The Women of American Abstract Artists, 1936-Present was organized by The Clara M. Eagle Gallery, Murray State University, Murray, KY and the Ewing Gallery, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN and is toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

Image Credits:
Katinka MannRed Yellow Polaroid, (detail), 1982, Polaroid print. Courtesy of the artist. Laurie Fendrich#18 2016, (detail), 2016, Conté on Arches. Courtesy of the artist. Joanne MatteraSwipe II, (detail), 2016, oil and wax on 300 lb. Fabriano. Courtesy of the artist. Rhia Hurt, Pretty in Peach,(detail), Reflecting Pool Series, 2018, acrylic and watercolor on paper.Courtesy of the artist.

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