Alexis HUNTER & Jo SPENCE
Richard Saltoun Gallery announces a two person exhibition of works by Alexis Hunter and Jo Spence, bringing together important and rarely seen feminist work from the 70s and 80s. Hunter's series of Xeroxes and photographs are displayed alongside a selection of Spence's Phototherapy works. These illustrate Spence's commitment to the therapeutic capabilities of photography, and offered a way to reframe memory through a process of restaging personal experiences. The exhibition is an opportunity to view two artists work that have been hugely influential to the development of feminist art in the UK.
This is the first solo exhibition of Hunter's work in the UK since her exhibition at Norwich Gallery in 2006 and follows Spence's major retrospective at SPACE and Studio Voltaire in London, in 2012. Although both Hunter and Spence came from radically different backgrounds, training in painting and photography respectively, each have brought new critical rigor to the genre of photographic portraiture; utilizing role-play, re-enactment and story telling to interrogate forms of self representation within broader debates around the depiction of the female body.
Active at a time when women artists were underrepresented in the art world, Hunter and Spence used their work to act out personal traumas and shift gender assumptions and cultural stereotypes. Both used art as a tool for active social and cultural change, often utilizing the look of amateur snapshot photography - the camera became an instrument of democratic action.
The exhibition has been curated by George Vasey and will be accompanied by a catalogue with commissioned writing from Beth Bramich, Nina Wakeford and Louisa Lee that will explore the influence of Alexis Hunter and Jo Spence to a current generation of artists, writers and academics. There will be a screening on the 26th of September alongside the exhibition to coincide with the Fitrovia late in September.
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