Double Solitaire: A Conversation with Sylvia Plimack Mangold and Joan Semmel
Solitaire artists Sylvia Plimack Mangold and Joan Semmel discuss their work with exhibition curator Helen Molesworth, formerly chief curator of exhibitions at the Wexner Center, now the Maisie K. and James R. Houghton Curator of Contemporary Art at the Harvard University Art Museums.
The Solitaire exhibition brings together work by three artists who came of age aesthetically in New York in the 1960s and painted in a representational manner even while the art world seemed to turn its back on that kind of art-making. (The third artist is the late Lee Lozano.)
Sylvia Plimack Mangold (b. 1938) paints the boundaries of her studio and home: the intersecting edges of floorboards, walls, and mirrors; the overlapping forms of trees outside her window. Joan Semmel (b. 1932) reinvents the nude in radically cropped images of single female figures (often herself) or couples engaged in heterosexual encounters. Both have subsequently been claimed as feminist artists, even though many feminist artists of the period disavowed painting as hopelessly outmoded. Come hear their perspectives on their own work, on feminism in the art world, and on creating art on their own terms.
Oil on canvas
54 x 66 inches
Courtesy Joan Semmel
The Locust Trees, 1987–88
Oil on linen
30 x 40 in.
Collection Grace and Laurance Hoagland, Woodside, California