In the wake of Paul Ryan’s promise to defund Planned Parenthood, the current political climate is not promising for women. In response, The Untitled Space art gallery has assembled work by 80 contemporary female artists expressing anger and defiance through their art. Uprise/Angry Women giveswomen a chance to artistically express their fears and frustrations about the sexist and discriminatory rhetoric brought to light by the impending administration. The show’s curator Indira Cesarine writes, “Right now, more than ever, women need to unify and work together to ensure that our rights, which were fought for with blood and tears for many decades, are not only assured, but continue to progress.”
The Untitled Space’s open call for Uprise/Angry Women received over 1,800 submissions from more than 400 female artists. The show's featured artworks range from the deeply conceptual to the outright grotesque. Laura Murray’s painting, Plug It Up, shows a woman’s hand inserting a tampon into the the barrel of a revolver, while Kristen Williams paints Donald Trump in a bikini onstage at a Miss America pageant.
For many of the younger participating artists, America’s political discourse has never felt more divisive or turbulent. Many artists feel as though their work is the safest and most constructive way of participating in the conversation, with hopes that they might empower others through their imagery. Artist Kristen Williams writes, “Painting allows me to say those things and convey ideas and concepts that I would not normally speak out loud. I can be bold and unapologetic in my paintings. […] My way of dealing with this anger is not to pick up a gun, not to fight physically, but to pick up my paintbrush and to put my feelings on canvas.”
The show is presented in partnership with the Era Coalition, a political organization fighting to pass the Equal Rights Amendment. A portion of the show’s proceeds will go to the coalition’s Fund for Women’s Equality, a charity working to “raise awareness on gaps in the law that leave women without legal recourse from sex discrimination, and developing educational resources on the need for a constitutional provision to protect and promote equal rights for women.”
Uprise/Angry Women opens at The Untitled Space in Manhattan on January 17, the week of the Presidential Inauguration, and will run until January 28. The gallery plans to hold a special event on January 22, the 44th anniversary of the Roe v. Wade case.
For more information about the show, head over to the gallery’s website.