Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game
Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game brings together almost sixty years of Semmel’s groundbreaking paintings, including important institutional loans; a selection of her rarely-seen drawings and collages; and a robust grouping of her current work, which foregrounds the exhibition in her still active studio practice.
The exhibition will include approximately 40 paintings that show the remarkable continuity and assiduity of Semmel’s practice, and focus on four main themes—erotic abstraction; the self; expressive figuration; and photography and painting—that traverse five decades of work and reveal a strong counter narrative to the traditional telling of the history of painting in the United States from the late 1960s to today.
Semmel’s work reflects the ongoing struggle for women’s equal representation and power to make decisions about their own bodies and sexuality while centering female empowerment through the self. In Semmel’s own words: “I do not pretend to address the problems of all women in the world. My work is personal and I speak for myself. Women artists have to speak for themselves and then unite to fight the political fight.”
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Joan Semmel: Skin in the Game is made possible by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts. Generous support provided by the Green Family Art Foundation. Additional support provided by Linda Lee Alter, Jane and Casey Brandt, Howard Sacks and Vesna Todorović Sacks and Isabel S. Wilcox.
Generous support is provided by the Fund for Women and Art at PAFA: Championing Women Artists Since 1810: Emily and Mike Cavanagh, Ro and Martin King; the Alice L. Walton Foundation, Ralph Citino and Lawrence Taylor, Amy and R. Putnam Coes III, Marylin Fishman and James MacElderry, Sueyun and Gene Locks, John and Leigh Middleton, the Leslie Miller and Richard Worley Foundation, Maggie and Brien Murphy, Donna Ostroff and Carl Capista, P. J. Rosenau, Howard Sacks and Vesna Todorović Sacks; Jane and Casey Brand, Isabel S. Wilcox and an anonymous donor. Honorary members: Rina Banerjee, Njideka Akunyili Crosby, Audrey L. Flack, Marguerite Lenfest, Anne E. McCollum, Sarah McEneaney, Marsha and Jeffrey Perelman.
Special exhibitions are generously supported by Bill and Laura Buck, Robert E. Kohler and Frances Coulborn Kohler, the Lau Longsworth Charitable Fund, Dorothy and Ken Woodcock; Jonathan L. Cohen, Anne E. McCollum, Sandra Norcross, Linda Seyda and Robert Boris, and donors to the PAFA Annual Exhibition Fund.