No. 554: Andrea Bowers, Suzanne Lacy

Episode No. 554 of The Modern Art Notes Podcast features artists Andrea Bowers and Suzanne Lacy. 

The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles is presenting a retrospective of Bowers’ work. The exhibition reveals how Bowers has combined her artistic practice with activism. Both focus on structural inequities, elevating and celebrating the work of activists trying to create a more just nation and world, and tying present day struggles to historical movements such as the global labor movement. The show features about 60 works reflecting Bowers’s use of many media, including drawing, installation, video and sculpture. “Andrea Bowers” was curated by Connie Butler and Michael Darling. After debuting at the MCA Chicago, it’s on view at the Hammer through September 4. The excellent exhibition catalogue was published by DelMonico Books in association with the two museums. Indiebound and Amazon offer it for $40-60. 

On the second segment, our 2019 conversation with Bowers’ sometime-collaborator, Suzanne Lacy. The program was recorded when the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts jointly presented the retrospective “Suzanne Lacy: We are Here.” The exhibition explores Lacy’s roots in early conceptualism and her emergence as a pioneer of what has become known as social practice, the use of community organizing and media-focused strategies to prompt events and discussions. The exhibitions are on view in San Francisco through August 4.

Suzanne Lacy is best known for her ambitious Three Weeks in May (1977), a project that exposed the extent of reported rapes in Los Angeles. It was the first of Lacy’s large-scale works that addressed violence against women and that revealed Lacy’s strategies for melding art and organizing practices.

Links and images to artworks Lacy discusses are at Episode No. 393.

Air date: June 16, 2022.

Andrea Bowers, Disarm Rapists (Original illustration, “Disarm Rapists/Smash Sexism,” by Betsy Warrior, 1971), 2017

Andrea Bowers, I Am Nature: Champion International Clearcut; West Flank of the Cabinet Mountain Wilderness, 2013.

Andrea Bowers, Memory of the Paris Commune Revised to Equal Work Deserves Equal Pay (Illustration by Walter Crane), 2013.

Andrea Bowers, Triumph of Labour, 2016.

Installation view, Andrea Bowers, Letters to an Army of Three, 2005, at the MCA Chicago.

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