Assigned to present a ‘problem piece’ in Hanneline Røgeberg’s “Painting and Practice” graduate seminar, I chose to organize a Mason Gross Feminist Abstract Painting Happening which took place on April 6, 2011. This project, in one way, was meant to highlight the absurdity of my desire to attach the markers of 60s and 70s feminist art to my private painting practice; But also points out how easily histories, specifically art movements, vanish in a time when information is most commonly retrieved via brief google searches. At the time of this project, a google search of “feminist abstract painting” returned one unhelpful link.
In preparing for the event, emails were sent to the community of artists at my school (undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and even some alumni), calling for all willing feminists to bring a painting mode and material to be performed on 24 machine-primed 20 x 24-inch canvases that I pre-ordered. The only instructions for the participants (including myself) were to work together on every canvas, and to complete them all in under an hour. Besides the positive feedback I received from the participants about the experience of working together and the pleasing looking productions from our assembly line, there is also now – however temporary – another place-holder in the virtual search for “feminist abstract painting”.