© COPYRIGHT 2016 Rebecca Klementovich

03.11.13 - GUERRILLA GIRLS, Soho, and the A.I.R gallery

As part of the history of woman, the GUERRILLA GIRLS a group of female artist protested in front the Soho
Guerrilla Girls were formed by 7 women artists in the spring of 1985 in response to the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition “An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture”, which opened in 1984. The exhibition was the inaugural show in the MoMA’s newly renovated and expanded building, and was planned to be a survey of the most important contemporary artists. [1]

In total, the show featured works by 169 artists, of whom only 13 were female. A comment by the show’s curator, Kynaston McShine, further highlighted the gendered bias of the exhibition and of MoMA as an institution: “Kynaston McShine, gave interviews saying that any artist who wasn’t in the show should rethink ‘his’ career.”[2] In reaction to the exhibition, the Guerrilla Girls staged protests outside of the museum.

The protests yielded little success, however, and so the Guerrilla Girls embarked upon a postering campaign throughout New York City, particularly in the SoHo and East Village neighborhoods

After this awakening of the lack of female representation in the art world, A.I.R. gallery was formed.
It was founded in 1972 with the objective of providing a professional and permanent exhibition space for women artists during a time in which the works shown at commercial galleries in New York City were almost exclusively by male artists. A.I.R. is an alternative means to exhibit women’s art. The gallery was originally located in SoHo at 97 Wooster Street, and is now located on 111 Front Street in the DUMBO neighborhood of Brooklyn.

A.I.R. is a non-profit organization that aims to show the diversity and artistic talent of women, to teach, to challenge stereotypes of female artists, and to subvert the historically male-dominated commercial gallery scene, with the overall hope to serve as an example for other artists who wish to realize their own art cooperative endeavors.

My proudest art day was showing at the A.I.R gallery adding to the acceptance of female artists world wide. Visit A.I.Rgorrila girls next time you are in the city.