A Radical Voice: 23 Women, Installation view, Southampton Arts Center, Photograph by Katy Hamer, 2018

The Hampton’s are usually a summer destination, yet art is happening at galleries and institutions year-round.  This winter, a perfectly timed exhibition curated by Janet Goleas titled, “A Radical Voice: 23 Women” was on view. Featuring a diverse group of female artists, each with their own aesthetic, Goleas chose work, that could be described as a celebration of a genderless practice: art making.  Providing space and a thoughtful eye, A Radical Voice was just that, voices in the Southampton Arts Center, speaking through a dynamic visual language.

Zina Saro-Wiwa, “The Invisible Man,” 2016, giclee print on archival paper, Southampton Arts Center, Photograph by Katy Hamer, 2018

Working in a variety of media, the work peppered the expansive galleries. Hanging sculpture by Lisa Hein, painting by Erika Renee and photography and a video by Zina Saro-Wiwa all stood out, optically different but each with a strong graphic component. Whether abstract painting, conceptual sculpture or performative photography, the women each make notations that are angular if organic, singular yet universal. The body is present even, such as in the case of Hein and Renee, absent. Something that stood out with these three in particular, was their use of color. Relying on forms to define space, they each delved into formalism in their own way.

In a time when sexual harassment, the #metoo movement and Time’s Up have all been so prevalent in the media, it’s important to remember that a venue -whether virtual or actual- has been provided. Today, it’s rare to see a group show with a focus solely on male artists since for years, most group exhibitions featured only men. This is no longer the case, but women have traditionally had a more difficult road on the path to success. This exhibition was proof of the artists who are not only pushing forward but making strides.

Lisa Hein, “Breeder,” 2016, Handles and chain, A Radical Voice: 23 Women, Southampton Arts Center, Photograph by Katy Hamer, 2018

If you were to shout without words, what would it look like? This is something that the curator seemed to take into consideration, giving voice to silence. In filling a room with art, we must remember that even when quiet, there are voices speaking. Within the strokes of a brush, choosing a particular found object for a sculpture, or even arriving at a performative gesture decisions have been made and purpose manifested most likely through the failure that came before. Silence is indeed golden and in an exhibition honoring women, possible to hear even if through eyes only.

Erika Renee, “Oh Hell No,” 2014 mixed media on canvas 56″x 48″, A Radical Voice: 23 Women, Southampton Arts Center, Photograph by Katy Hamer, 2018

“A Radical Voice: 23 Women” was on view until March 25th, 2018. Artists included Olive Ayhens, Amanda Church, Martha Clippinger, Connie Fox, Regina Gilligan, Tamara Gonzales, Jacqueline Gourevitch, Lisa Hein, Priscilla Heine, Hilary Helfant, Elana Herzog, Alice Hope, Laurie Lambrecht, Judith Linhares, Erika Ranee, Judy Richardson, Bonnie Rychlak, Toni Ross, Drew Shiflett, Jeanne Silverthorne, Zina Saro-Wiwa, Jude Tallichet, and Almond Zigmund.


Katy Diamond Hamer, Brian McGibbon, Janet Goleas, 2018

Katy Diamond Hamer is the Founding Editor of Eyes Towards the Dove a platform on contemporary art and culture. She writes for several print and online publications and has done public speaking on numerous occasions. For more of her writing and art life travels, follow her on Instagram @katyhamer