To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are highlighting The Large Wall Series: Commissions by Contemporary Women Artists, the Queens Museum’s series of site-specific installations on the 140-feet long by 45-feet high outside wall of the Panorama of the City of New York.
The Series started in summer 2015, when we commissioned Untitled, a work by Mickalene Thomas, an artist who questions and expands definitions about female beauty. Her crosshatched city-grid inspired work towered over the main atrium space and created a dazzling negative space effect.
Mickalene was followed by artist Mariam Ghani in spring 2016, whose Garden of Forked Tongues, a large-scale infographic was based on data of the endangered languages spoken in Queens. The piece was part of Nonstop Metropolis: The Remix, and was inspired by an essay from Rebecca Solnit’s (author of Men Explain Things To Me) influential text Nonstop Metropolis: A New York City Atlas.
In fall 2016, the Large Wall was a key component of our transformative exhibition Mierle Laderman Ukeles: Maintenance Art. Mierle Laderman Ukeles, a pioneering female artist who has been the unpaid, official Artist-in-Residence at the NYC Department of Sanitation since the late 1970s, covered the Large Wall with clocks that represented the work shifts of the sanitation workers in One Year’s Worktime II. Prints of which are now available for purchase.
The next iteration opens on April 9, when artist Anna K.E. takes over the Wall for her work, Profound Approach and Easy Outcome. Anna is creating a complex reflection on artistic production, feminism, power, and the role of institutions in her work. Among five visual elements affixed to the Wall, billboard-size photographic works will depict the artist in the galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, posing as characters in renowned master portraits by Otto Dix and Balthus. Anna’s work considers her own role in art history, fusing the question of male-dominated canons with her comically intuitive and gestural responses.
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