Together & Apart | A Legacy of Abstraction: Detroit

June 8 - July 29, 2023
Installation Views
Press release
“Together and Apart” is the title of a short story by Virginia Woolf in which she explores artistic affinity between friends whose paths are parallel yet distinctly unique. The four artists in this exhibition work in the abstract – a style from which women have historically been excluded and under-recognized. While their mediums of choice vary from gestural painting to welded metal sculpture, the work presented exudes audacious power and challenges our traditions of both abstraction and femininity. 
Ansel, Del Giudice, Henriquez, and Tallmadge continue a trajectory that has roots in the first generation of American artists who started the abstract movement in New York City in the years following World War II. Like much of art history, the recognition and success of this movement was largely focused on men. There were, however, accomplished women artists who commanded attention and ultimately achieved success in their own right. Mary Gabriel’s 2018 book, “Ninth Street Women,” shined a light on a core group of women artists who were determined to achieve equal recognition. The practice of abstraction allowed for transcendence of borders, censorship, and – for women – gender.
The artists in Together & Apart present a diverse selection of painting and sculpture that addresses gender head-on. They explore concepts of identity, beauty, and sexuality through the use of glittering surfaces, saturated color, and overt references to the female form. While the viewer might acknowledge some historically recognizable elements in the work, there is a fresh, decidedly feminine approach shared by these four contemporary artists that prompts us to question our notions of what abstract art looks like and who can create it. 
Installation photos by PD Rearick