Let Power Take A Female Form
Eugenia P. Butler
Corazon Del Sol
June 27 - August 8, 2015
Opening reception: Saturday June 27, 6-9 PM
This exhibition looks at a matriarchal lineage of three women in the same family. Grandmother, mother, and granddaughter, each deeply embedded in the Los Angeles art scene from its formative stage to present day, navigate matrices of power, inclusion, exclusion and access. With each generation, a narrative and through-line emerges of common traumas, common bonds, paradigms of womanhood, and how each disrupted those constructs through art. The title of the exhibition, LET POWER TAKE A FEMALE FORM, is taken from a drawing by Eugenia P. Butler. The provocation demands one to imagine a form of power absent of patriarchal, capitalist influence and evokes the question: What would power look like, feel like, smell like, taste like, if it took female form?
Eugenia Butler the elder (1922-2000), referred to by friends as Genie, ran a gallery in Los Angeles from 1968 to 1971. Her eponymous Eugenia Butler Gallery was the first conceptual art gallery in Los Angeles and was one of the first spaces to show early works by American conceptual artists, including James Lee Byers, John Baldessari, George Brecht, Stephen Kaltenbach, Joseph Kosuth, William Leavitt, as well as her daughter, Eugenia P. Butler. Genie also had connections with the European art world, which prompted collaborations with the Italian arts collective at Galleria del Deposito. She also presented the first American solo exhibition of Dieter Roth with his now infamous Staple Cheese (A Race), in 1970 in which 37 suitcases full of cheese were left to rot in her gallery over the summer.
Eugenia P. Butler (1947-2008), daughter of gallerist Eugenia Butler the elder, was a conceptual artist. The oldest of 8 children, she first showed in her mother’s gallery and achieved success at a young age, with inclusion in documenta 5 in 1972, curated by Harald Szeemann. Prolific in a career that spanned over 40 years, her works included conceptual thought pieces, drawing, painting, furniture and collaborative works and “dialogic sculptures” that created alternate ways of engagement outside traditional art world power structures. The most well known of these works are the three volume series The Book of Lies (I, II, III) and The Kitchen Table. Both pieces involved collaboration with a large number of artists in which the exchange and process were thought of as a conceptual sculpture.
Corazon del Sol grew up with art as part of her daily life and witnessed first-hand the effect of her mother and grandmother’s initial acceptance into and following exclusion from the art history cannon of Los Angeles. Equipped with a native education in the arts, her work is based in the conscious and unconscious psyche, and creates a new constellation to show that which cannot be discussed. Her grandmother and mother live on in her; she takes their strengths and carries them and their history forward.
If you have any questions please contact:
Mara McCarthy, Principal/Curator of The Box at [email protected] / 213 625 1747
Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/1383403938624826/
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