Baxter St at the Camera Club of New York and the National YoungArts Foundation is pleased to present Bodies of Work, a group show curated by Corinne Botz that considers maternal experiences, with works by contemporary artists Marina Berio, Patty Chang, Lenka Clayton, Jamie Diamond, Nona Faustine, Alison Elizabeth Taylor, and Cao Yu. The artworks are stylistically diverse and incorporate a range of approaches, exploring inter-related themes including the body, time, politics, love, attachment, and separation. Normative and coherent ideals of motherhood are challenged, and the maternal is considered as a vital political force.
There has been a surge of artworks, books, and articles about motherhood over the past few years. To paraphrase a recent Paris Review article by Lauren Elkin, motherhood is finally being taken seriously in wider arts and a canon of motherhood is beginning to take shape. The subject of motherhood is urgent in the current political climate where there is a need to guarantee women control over their bodies. Women have begun to speak more candidly about health issues and biological processes that have in the past been cloaked in secrecy. Recent news articles have revealed bias against pregnant women and mothers in the workplace, and in spring 2018 the United States stunned the world when it declined to back a seemingly uncontroversial resolution to support breastfeeding in underdeveloped countries. For much of art history the subject of mothers were represented by men. Earlier generations of female artists often chose a career over motherhood or steered clear of explicitly addressing motherhood in their work because it was dismissed.
In this exhibition, maternal experiences, both overtly and obliquely, are transmitted into works that challenge preconceptions about being a mother and artist, while acknowledging the continued lack of resources and obstacles. The artists in Bodies of Work contribute something new to representations of motherhood, and offer an opportunity to delve deeper into the multiplicities that shape us.
Corinne May Botz is a Brooklyn-based artist whose work engages with themes including space, gender, trauma and the body. Her published books combining photography and writing include The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death (Monacelli Press, 2004) and Haunted Houses (Monacelli Press, 2010). Botz’s photographs have been internationally exhibited at such institutions as the Brooklyn Museum; Museum of Contemporary Photography; De Appel; Turner Contemporary; Bellwether Gallery; and Benrubi Gallery. Her work has been reviewed in numerous publications such as The New York Times, The New Yorker, Foam Magazine,Hyperallergic, Bookforum, and Time: Lightbox. She has held residencies at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture; Atlantic Center for the Arts; Akademie Schloss Solitude; Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and Mana Contemporary. Botz is the recipient of both the New York Foundation for the Arts and the Jerome Foundation grants. She is on the faculty of International Center of Photography and John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY). Botz is represented by Benrubi Gallery in NYC.
About the YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program
This exhibition is the culmination of the second year of the YoungArts | Baxter St Residency Program. Baxter St invites emerging lens-based artists to apply for the residency that provides alumni of the YoungArts Program living in New York City the opportunity of a two month residency with workspace accessibility at Baxter St, access for one month to darkrooms at the International Center of Photography, an artist stipend, and mentoring sessions with 2-3 Art Advisory Committee members. The commencement of the residency results in a two week solo show at Baxter St. As a resident in this program, artists will gain hands on experience, be counseled and supported by specialists in their field of study and work closely with Baxter St in order to present a solo show, which for most residents will be their first exhibition.
The National YoungArts Foundation (YoungArts) was established in 1981 by Lin and Ted Arison to identify and nurture the most accomplished young artists in the visual, literary, design and performing arts, and assist them at critical junctures in their educational and professional development. Through a wide range of annual programs, performances and partnerships with some of the nation’s leading cultural institutions, YoungArts aspires to create a strong community of alumni and a platform for a lifetime of encouragement, opportunity and support.