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Organic Matters — Women to Watch 2015

July 27, 2015 by Mary

Developed in collaboration with the National Museum of Women in the Arts’s national and international committees, the exhibition series increases the visibility of artists who are working in innovative ways within a variety of creative communities.

Women to Watch is presented every two to three years and features emerging and underrepresented artists from the states and countries in which the museum has outreach committees. Each exhibition focuses on a specific medium or theme chosen by NMWA’s curators.

Organic Matters, the fourth installment in NMWA’s Women to Watch exhibition series, explores the relationships between women, nature, and art. The connection between women and nature has a long history, one that is fraught with gendered stereotypes and discriminatory assumptions. The contemporary artists highlighted in Organic Matters build upon and expand these pre-existing conceptualizations by actively investigating the natural world, to fanciful and sometimes frightful effect. Collectively, their work addresses modern society’s complex relationship with the environment, ranging from concern for its future to fear of its power. Through a diverse array of mediums, including photography, drawing, sculpture, and video, these artists depict fragile ecosystems, otherworldly landscapes, and creatures both real and imagined.

The exhibition features works by Dawn Holder (Arkansas), Jennifer Celio (Southern California), Andrea Lira (Chile), Françoise Pétrovitch (France), Jiha Moon (Georgia), Goldschmied & Chiari (Italy), Lara Shipley (Greater Kansas City Area), Rebecca Hutchinson (Massachusetts), Mary Tsiongas (New Mexico), Rachel Sussman (Greater New York Region), Mimi Kato (Ohio), Ysabel LeMay (Texas), and Polly Morgan (United Kingdom).


Polly Morgan, Systemic Inflammation, 2010
Taxidermy and steel, 130 x 113 x 113 cm
Photography by Tessa Angus

“Taxidermy is an ultimately futile effort to harness nature; it allows us to manipulate and control the body of an animal in a way we would struggle with, or, in my case, would not wish to in life. Seeing these birds outside of, but harnessed to, the cage presents a paradox: who is free, passenger or bird?”—Polly Morgan

Organic Matters — Women to Watch 2015, June 5–September 13
National Museum of Women in the Art
1250 New York Ave NW
Washington, D.C. 20005