The Visible Vagina

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Pussy, 2009 Thread Painting 24 X 24 © Robert Forman 2009
When We Talk About Rape, 2009 Oil + Gold Leaf On Mylar 10 7/8" X 14 7/8" © 2009
The Visible Vagina

24 West 57th Street
10019 New York
January 27th, 2010 - March 20th, 2010
Opening: January 27th, 2010 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM

212 582 3201
Tue-Sat 11-6



January 6, 2010 Contact: Dana Martin




January 28 – March 20, 2010

Opening receptions:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010, 6‐8 pm at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art

Thursday, January 28, 2010, 6‐8 pm at David Nolan Gallery


THE VISIBLE VAGINA is an exhibition jointly organized by Francis M. Naumann and David Nolan. It is scheduled to open at Francis M. Naumann Fine Art (24 West 57th Street) and at David Nolan Gallery (527 West 29th Street) on January 28, 2010. Both shows will run concurrently, ending on March 20, 2010.

As the title of the exhibition suggests, the show is designed to make visible a portion of the female anatomy that is generally considered taboo―too private and intimate for public display. If shown at all, this part of a woman’s body is usually presented in an abject fashion, generally within the context of pornography, intended, in almost all cases, for the exclusive pleasure of men. The goal of this exhibition is to remove these prurient connotations, implicit even in works of art, ever since the pudendum was prudishly covered by a fig leaf. This gesture of false modesty, it should be noted, was devised and enforced entirely by men (not only in case of classical sculpture, but also in the Bible, in which, immediately after their disobedience in the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve cover their genitalia with fig leaves). Indeed, until recently, virtually all depictions of the frontal nude female figure were made by men, but as this exhibition will demonstrate, that has changed dramatically in recent years.

The catalogue for THE VISIBLE VAGINA will trace this motif in art history from prehistoric to modern times. It includes an introduction by the exhibition organizers, as well as a highly informative and provocative essay by Anna C. Chave, Professor of Contemporary Art and Theory at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York. Inspiration for both the show and its catalogue came from Eve Ensler’s The Vagina Monologues, a stage play that premiered off‐Broadway in 1996, and was followed by various productions throughout the world (it appeared as a book in 1998). Ensler gave voice to countless women worldwide, honoring the complexity and mystery of their sexuality, basically encouraging them to consider their vaginas as powerful and expressive components of their physical selves, something not to be ashamed of, but to be proudly protected as an assertive and positive manifestation of their being. The idea for this show came from realizing that there was no better group to give vision to this goal than artists, many of whom had already incorporated imagery of the vagina in their works. Because of Ensler’s pioneering work in this field, the catalogue is dedicated to her, and proceeds from its sale shall be donated to V‐Day, the organization she founded to end violence against women and girls throughout the world.

The following is a list of the artists whose work will be included in the exhibition (as well as a number whose work is only reproduced in the catalogue): Magdalena Abakanowicz, Ghada Amer, Beth B, Judie Bamber, Tracey Baran, Nancy Becker, Hans Bellmer, Mike Bidlo, Louise Bourgeois, Robert Brinker, Judy Chicago, Carol Cole, Maureen Connor, Gustave Courbet, Tee Corinne, John Currin, Sarah Davis, James Dee, Jay Defeo, Jim Dine, Leo Dohman, Marcel Duchamp, Carroll Dunham, Tracy Emin, India Evans, John Evans, Valie Export, Robert Forman, Neil Gall, Kathleen Gilje, Guerrilla Girls, Nancy Grossman, Barbara Hammer, Jane Hammond, Mona Hatoum, Stanley William Hayter, Sandra Vásquez de la Horra, David Humphrey, Paul Joostens, Pamela Joseph, Mel Kendrick, Elisabeth Kley, Jeff Koons, Mark Kostabi, Shigeko Kubota, Zoe Leonard, Sherrie Levine, Lee Lozano, Henri Maccheroni, Chema Madoz, Réné Magritte, Gerard Malagna, Man Ray, Robert Mapplethorpe, Marcel Mariën, André Masson, Sophie Matisse, Ana Mendieta, Allyson Mitchell, Cathy de Monchaux, Vik Muniz, Wangechi Mutu, Gladys Nilsson, Yoko Ono, Pablo Picasso, Chloe Piene, Richard Prince, Daniel Ranalli, Oona Ratcliffe, Niki de Saint‐Phalle, Katia Santibanez, Peter Saul, Naomi Savage, Egon Schiele, Carolee Schneemann, Mira Schor, Michelle Segre, Tom Shannon, Cindy Sherman, James Siena, Laurie Simmons, Kiki Smith, Julie Speed, Nancy Spero, Betty Tompkins, Kiyoski Tsuchiya, Johm Tweddle, Tabitha Vevers, Douglas Vogel, Robert Watts, Hannah Wilke, Terry Winters, Beatrice Wood.

PANEL DISCUSSION: David Nolan Gallery will host a panel discussion on the exhibition with the featured artists on Saturday, January 30 from 2‐4 pm at 527 West 29th Street.

Francis M. Naumann Fine Art specializes in the art of the Dada and Surrealist periods, as well as a selection of contemporary artists whose work displays related aesthetic sensibilities.

Gallery Hours: Tuesday through Saturday: 11:00 AM – 6:00 PM.

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