Potent rebuttals against female stereotypes by women artists are front and center in this installation. Starting in the 1960s in the wake of the feminist movement, women artists rebelled against clichés—notably the image of the seductive Eve and the persistent proclamation of male power and genius. Still a pressing issue today, younger artists represent women and their work in visual refutations that range from punchy to lyrical. Male critiques of traditional gender roles are also on view: a version of a gay pioneer couple is included in a set of dinner plates, and a patchwork quilt dedicated to Glacier National Park deflates expectations of the great outdoors as an arena for male machismo.
Most of the works on display are a recent gift by Seattle artist Matthew Offenbacher and his wife Jennifer Nemhauser. Conceived as an artistic intervention that they call Deed of Gift, Nemhauser and Offenbacher are especially interested in gender issues and worked closely with curators at SAM on the selection of the works. The couple used funds from Offenbacher’s 2013 Neddy Award in Painting to generously purchase these works for SAM’s collection.
Woman Landing on Man in the Moon, 1971, Ann Leda Shapiro, American; born 1947, watercolor on paper, 20 × 14in. (50.8 × 35.6cm), Gift of Matthew Offenbacher and Jennifer Nemhauser with funds from the 2013 Neddy Award in Painting, 2015.2.3. © Ann Leda Shapiro