Women’s Work, Radical Voices, 23 Artists

An exhibition of living and working female artists who have been fierce in protecting the time they spend in the studio
Almond Zigmund has been using an automatic drawing technique with collage to explore new ideas in her artwork. Some of these will inform the installation she plans for “A Radical Voice: 23 Women” at the Southampton Arts Center.

Long before time was up or people were saying “me too,” women in creative fields spent decades and even centuries fighting to have their voices heard and their output seen. The East End is rife with stories of female visual artists, in particular, carving out time for themselves to create while balancing career, family, and often the promotion of their artist husbands. 

“A Radical Voice: 23 Women” is an exhibition of living and working female artists who have been fierce in protecting the time they spend in the studio, according to Janet Goleas, who serves as curator of the exhibition opening on Saturday at the Southampton Arts Center.

“It’s not a show you see out here often,” she said, speaking of the group, which consists of artists she has known for years and others who were new to her “who are deeply, deeply involved in their own studio practice.”

She said she took advantage of the nonprofit institutional setting to push the show’s parameters and exhibit art “that is not necessarily commercially viable or sellable.”

Almond Zigmund is one of the artists who will bring new work to the show. She has recently returned to the studio after a period of devoting much of her energy to a full-time job at the Watermill Center. “One of the reasons, I took the job was to get some distance from how I was working,” she said. And then leaving the job gave her a chance to start fresh. 

She began exploring ideas with drawings and collage, “almost like automatic drawing, not thinking too much, something like gesture studies.” The ideas that have come out of that process will serve as the inspiration for a wall installation treating “the wall and the space in front of the wall as one big picture plane . . . with collage elements of cardboard and vinyl, light elements,” and paint. 

Ms. Zigmund does not usually work this way. In exploring previously how environments and space affect our perceptions, “I’ve labored over materiality and fabrication,” sometimes leading to overdesign. “Now, I’m trying to free myself of that yoke to be spontaneous with materials and the installation, and not plan everything out.” Assembling the art in the space rather than preplanning it in the studio will be a “radical experiment for me,” and “working in this way makes the possibility of failing much higher . . . and that can be just as interesting to see.”

Other artists whose work will be on view include Olive Ayhens, Amanda Church, Martha Clippinger, Connie Fox, Regina Gilligan, Tamara Gonzales, Jacqueline Gourevitch, Lisa Hein, Priscilla Heine, Hilary Helfant, Elana Herzog, Alice Hope, Laurie Lambrecht, Judith Linhares, Erika Ranee, Judy Richardson, Bonnie Rychlak, Toni Ross, Drew Shiflett, Jeanne Silverthorne, Zina Saro-Wiwa, and Jude Tallichet.

Ms. Goleas, an artist herself, said she planned to bring the artists together in a somewhat freeform way. “The thing I like to do is develop a conversation between the artworks. Some artists will have one piece, some will have five or six.” She said everyone has put together a slightly different configuration of their work. “I see the visitor’s eye and mind bouncing around the room among these different voices,” some slow and methodical, and others explosive and electric. “I can’t wait to see what happens.” 

There will be a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. on Saturday. The show will remain on view through March 25.