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THE UN-HEROIC ACT Representations of Rape in Contemporary Women’s Art in the U.S.

curated by Monika Fabijanska

September 4 – November 2, 2018
opening reception: September 12, 5:30-8:30 PM
symposium: October 3, 5-9 PM
gallery hours: Monday-Friday 10-6

Suzanne Lacy, Three Weeks in May Recreation, 2014, paper, ink ©1977. Suzanne Lacy. Courtesy of the artist

The Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery
John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY
860 Eleventh Avenue (btw 58th & 59th Street), New York, NY 10019
Admission free


The Un-Heroic Act is a concentrated survey of works by a diverse roster of artists representing three generations which aims to fill a gap in the history of art, where the subject of rape has been represented by countless historical depictions by male artists, called ‘heroic acts’ by Susan Brownmiller. The curator’s research shows that rape constitutes one of central themes in women’s art, and the aim of the exhibition is to analyze its rich iconography in all mediums: drawing, painting, sculpture and installation, photography, video, film, new media, performance, and social practice. The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalog.

ARTISTS: Yoko Ono, Ana Mendieta, Senga Nengudi, Suzanne Lacy, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Carolee Thea, Guerrilla Girls, Jenny Holzer, Kathleen Gilje, Angela Fraleigh, Natalie Frank, Jennifer Karady, Sonya Kelliher-Combs, Andrea Bowers, Ada Trillo, Kara Walker, Roya Amigh, Naima Ramos-Chapman, Bang Geul Han, and Guerrilla Girls BroadBand.

Roya Amigh, the coerced contact. Courtesy of the artist

The exhibition is organized by the Anya and Andrew Shiva Gallery, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, CUNY. Generous funding for the exhibition is provided by the Affirmation Arts Fund and Sarah Peter. Public Programming Artists’ Fees are made possible by the Elizabeth A. Sackler Museum Educational Trust. The catalog is made possible by Barbara Lee Family Foundation. Additional support was provided by Sigmund A. Rolat, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Ruthie Rosenberg, and Francis J. Greenburger. The Un-Heroic Act is a sponsored project of the New York Foundation for the Arts.

Naima Ramos-Chapman, And Nothing Happened, 2016, color digital film, 16 min © 2016. Naima Ramos-Chapman. Produced by MVMT. Courtesy of the artist

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