‘Fierce Women’ takes on gender and racial inequality, moral injustice, and complexities of identity
A range of formidable and thought-provoking works give voice to critical issues in “Fierce Women,” a suite of exhibitions by women artists presented by the Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech. Spanning the latter part of the 20th century to the present, the work presented includes sculpture, prints, painting on paper, digital prints, and video, and is on view in all the center’s galleries.
“Fierce Women” opens with a reception from 5-7 p.m. in the Moss Arts Center’s Grand Lobby, located at 190 Alumni Mall, Blacksburg, Virginia.
Beginning with the historical precedent of the Guerrilla Girls, the exhibition continues with works by Jenny Holzer, then proceeds up to the present with a large-scale video installation by Marilyn Minter. Ranging from Holzer’s iconic LED signs to Chakaia Booker’s brazen rubber tire compositions and Rozeal’s cross-cultural mashups, these artists take on gender and racial inequality and the politics of identity, and address some of the many injustices surrounding power, morality, and corruption in the world.
“From Booker’s fiercely audacious sculptures to the Guerrilla Girls’ exposés of sexual and racial discrimination, the art by the five artists in this suite of exhibitions is formidable,” said the exhibition curator Margo Crutchfield, Moss Arts Center curator at large. “These artists take a stand. Their work speaks out. And they are fierce in not only their astute observations and critique of the status quo, but in giving voice to essential issues of our times.”
Jan. 30-April 25
Ruth C. Horton Gallery
Chakaia Booker cuts, bends, shreds, and transforms discarded rubber tires into commanding sculptural forms. Fiercely aggressive but also beautiful, Booker’s abstract works resonate as metaphors for strength, survival, endurance, and transformation. While Booker has an impressive history of large-scale sculpture, this exhibition focuses on her pedestal-sized works from museum collections and wall works from the artist’s studio.
Jan. 30-April 4
Francis T. Eck Exhibition Corridor
The Guerrilla Girls have zealously taken on the established art world in an ongoing campaign to expose sexism and racism in art institutions since 1985. Delivered with a fierce directness, scathing wit, and occasional humor, the group’s proclamations have taken the form of posters, flyers, billboards, banners, performances, and unauthorized public projections or installations. Presented in this exhibition is a selection of 15 of the Guerrilla Girls’ most iconic works.
Jan. 30-April 25
Miles C. Horton Gallery
Conceptual artist Jenny Holzer employs language as her primary medium. Her texts are provocative and thought-provoking statements that scrutinize the injustices and complex contradictions surrounding power, sexuality, war, morality, and corruption. Presented in the exhibition are four of the artists’ electronic LED signs featuring a selection of the artists’ iconic texts: “Truisms” (1977-79), “Survival” (1983-85), “Arno” (1996), and “Blue” (1998).
Jan. 30-Feb. 8
Ruth C. Horton Gallery
Marilyn Minter is renowned for her outstanding body of paintings, photographs, and videos that explore the complex and contradictory perceptions and experience of beauty and the female body in American culture. In her ongoing investigation of the beauty industry, Minter calls attention to the challenging and often conflicted predicament of women in our culture. Minter’s video “Smash” (2014) will be presented as a monumental video installation in the Moss Arts Center’s Cube. Additionally, iconic wall-mounted digital prints of “Smash” (2014), “Studs” (2005), and “Splish Splash” (2005) will be on view in the Miles C. Horton Jr. Gallery through April 25.
A related exhibition, “Marilyn Minter: Splash,” will feature an iconic billboard and two signature HD videos. Curated by Kevin Concannon, director of Virginia Tech’s School of Visual Arts, this will be on view from Jan. 29-Feb. 22 in the Armory Gallery.
Jan. 30-April 25
Sherwood Payne Quillen '71 Reception Gallery
Rozeal probes the complexities of identity in paintings and prints that draw on a myriad of cultural and artistic traditions, including ukiyo-e printmaking from Japan, Noh and Kabuki theatre, current Japanese Ganguro cultures, hip-hop, graffiti, and comic book motifs. The fantastical, stylized, and often ambiguous imagery in her paintings and prints comments on the appropriation of African-American cultural forms in the construction of identity across global cultures. This exhibition focuses on works from her “Afro-Asiatic Allegories (a3)” series.
The Moss Arts Center at Virginia Tech presents renowned artists from around the globe and from close to home, with a special focus on experiences that expand cultural awareness and deepen understanding. The center’s galleries and related events are free and open to the public.
The center will host a variety of lively, substantive, and evocative talks, discussions, and events in its galleries that explore women’s voices and themes within the exhibition, including women in art history, issues of representation and inclusion, and a series of events in celebration of the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage in America. A full schedule of these events is available online.
The Moss Arts Center offers many opportunities for students, faculty, and community members to engage with artists and their work. To arrange a group tour of the galleries contact Meggin Hicklin.
The Moss Arts Center’s galleries are regularly open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.–5:30 p.m., and Saturday, 10 a.m.–4 p.m. The center’s galleries and all related events are free and open to the public.
Parking is available in the North End Parking Garage on Turner Street. Virginia Tech faculty and staff possessing a valid Virginia Tech parking permit can enter and exit the garage free of charge. Limited street parking is also available. Parking on Alumni Mall is free on weekdays after 5 p.m. and on weekends.
If you are an individual with a disability and desire an accommodation, please contact Kacy McAllister at 540-231-5300 or email email@example.com during regular business hours at least 10 business days prior to an event.