Five paintings from the Reassignments series in their original state, from left to right:  Varvara Stepanova, Alice Bailly,   Académie Moderne, Margaret Mellis, The Ab-eXX Movement     Scroll down to see higher-resolution images of these five paintings in their final state.

Five paintings from the Reassignments series in their original state, from left to right: Varvara Stepanova, Alice Bailly, Académie Moderne, Margaret Mellis, The Ab-eXX Movement

Scroll down to see higher-resolution images of these five paintings in their final state.

The Reassignments series addresses the continuing and shameful inequity in the distribution of scholarly attention with regard to gender, particularly as it obtains in the modernist period (roughly, 1890-1960). Each of the paintings in this series begins with the creation of an image suggested by some aspect of a given female abstractionist’s stylistic world. On completion of this stage of the image, the painting is nearly obliterated by a rough, carelessly (that is, disrespectfully) applied layer of opaque white. Then, somewhere on the surface of the obscured image, in an anonymous mid-century sign-painter’s style, the dull, clerical words “Re-assigned [sic] to: _________” are penned in, along with the name of one or another more or less relevant (but certainly far better known) male painter of the same period. Each finished painting memorializes (either as its title or in the form of an identifier embedded within the image) the (still insufficiently recognized) female artist (or artists) relevant to the image in its original state, along with her (or their) dates of birth and death.

Varvara Stepanova (1894-1958)

2018

Watercolor, oil, acrylic and plaster on canvas

36 x 48 inches

Margaret Mellis (1914-2009)

2018

Watercolor, oil, acrylic and plaster on canvas

36 x 48 inches

Alice Bailly (1872-1938)

2018

Watercolor, oil, acrylic and plaster on canvas

36 x 48 inches

The Ab-eXX Movement: Early Period (1938-1946)     

2018

Watercolor, oil, acrylic and plaster on canvas

36 x 48 inches

Académie Moderne (1920-1929)

2018

Watercolor, oil, acrylic and plaster on canvas

36 x 48 inches