BY PETER DORFMAN
Out of Easy Reach, an exhibit at the Grunwald Gallery of Art on the Indiana University campus, explores the theme of abstraction in different artistic media and, specifically, the distinctive approaches to abstract art taken by women of color.
Presented with support from the IU Eskenazi Museum of Art and the IU New Frontiers in the Arts and Humanities Program, the exhibit features 24 black and Latinx female-identifying artists. It includes more than 40 works created between 1980 and 2018.
“Of the 24 artists, four are what I’m calling the ‘anchors’ for the show,” says guest curator Allison Glenn. “They’re Maren Hassinger, Candida Alvarez, Barbara Chase-Riboud, and Howardena Pindell. They have been making art for a long time and have been teachers and mentors. They have inspired the 20 other artists—10 from Generation X and 10 who are considered millennials.”
Glenn, associate curator of contemporary art at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville, Arkansas, credits these 24 artists with “broadening our understanding of what abstract art is.”
The show also offers an appreciation of the female perspective on abstract art. “If you think about abstraction, you probably picture an artist like Jackson Pollock—somebody male who looks a particular way,” Glenn suggests. “Black or Lantinx women have different lived experiences that come through in their approaches to abstraction.”
The exhibit, which runs through November 14, is free and open to the public.