Challenging the "Women’s Work” Stereotype: Mikyung Kim, Eva Petric, Eozen Agopian
For Immediate Release:
Paris Koh Fine Arts(201 Bridge Plaza N. Suite 1, Fort Lee, NJ) is happy to present Challenging the “Women’s Work” Stereotype: Mikyung Kim, Eva Petric, Eozen Agopian, an exhibition comprising fabric works, assemblages, installations and small sculpture from April 6th to 28th, 2023 with an opening reception on April 6th from 6-8 PM.
It may seem that women today have caught up to the male social standard but this is not the case; women are still associated with child rearing, breastfeeding, housework and are often paid less in the marketplace. This renders them invisible in a world where they are not seen for their own talents but rather as supporters of children and men. Moreover, no matter if they have a job outside the home, they are expected to continue fulfilling their maternalistic roles at home, something that has frustrated their longing for recognition.
This exhibition is dedicated to the women who engage in art that by many is referred to stereotypically as ‘women’s work’ because it is made by hand, contains a lot of detail, and for the most part is created with soft materials like fabrics associated with the home. Such prejudicial terms have been applied to the work of women like Eozen Agopian who sews or embroiders her fabric constructions. Agopian who received her MFA degree from Pratt Institute and has shown in global venues for the past 30 years, is a mid-career artist whose works evince her mature style. She started as an abstract painter but soon enriched her pieces by adding threads with which to express fluidity, through layers of fabric left-overs she collated. She was inspired by the sewing and embroidering she did as a youngster with her friends. Speaking to these methods referred to as “women’s work” Agopian says “my work can be seen as tribute to those women workers in the garment industries who fought for their rightful place and protested against horrendous working conditions in the needle trade.”
Eva Petric searches for the underlying similarities informing nature that connect everything seen and too microscopic to see. This multi-media artist who has had over 75 solo exhibitions globally, is based both in New York and Vienna, and works in such media as photography, video, performance, installation and music. Inspired by NASA and ESA images of galaxies and stars as well as medical slides, she creates assemblage installations using embroideries and transparent fabrics that convey an ethereal statement synonymous to intergalactic scenes. Petric’s Earthling 5 depicts a colorful Idrija lace network comprising a human body/cocoon encased by thick plexiglass. This work is a small 11”x5” signed limited edition based upon the similar but much larger 9x5 meter installation presently installed at the altar of the beautiful Gothic St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna, Austria. Petric’s oeuvre, combines spiritual and astrological ideas into works conveying issues of contemporaneous social import such as space travel, ecology, medical discovery and the place of humanity, and specifically women within a greater sphere.
Mikyung Kim’s work shows moments of her life when things are changing. Change to Kim especially during the phase when it is in flux, contains mysterious power. Her installations portray these changing phenomena through the layering of her panels as well as the seriality of her circular motifs. Moreover, her stratified materials such as resin, and pigments, are juxtaposed against varying brushstrokes to produce complex environments of calendar-like imagery. Seriality read in this context is synonymous to Kim’s diary-keeping of the monthly menstruation cycle. Her continuous project begun when she conceived her child in 1993 is akin to the pregnancy cycle marked by hormonal changes. She uses the fingerprint motif to take her pulse and gauge her breath which is another form yet for documenting physical changes. The fingerprints at first glance appear similar in shape, size and color but, when viewed up close, they actually alternate in appearance depending on the pressure she has applied, amount of material she used, and her hand movements.
When looking at the art of these women, it behooves us to ask about their working conditions, personal lives and struggle to achieve recognition. Today sexism still prevails both in the creative arts and more widely albeit, femininist-thinking men and women have made great efforts toward its demise. Nevertheless, one has to wonder about the progress allotted to women especially when reading Virginia Woolf’s essay “A Room of One’s Own” - a century later - that advocated women’s right to economic self-sufficiency and a space in which to be creative.
FOR MORE INFORMATION:
the curator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paris Koh Fine Arts, email@example.com 201 724 7077
Mon, Tue - by appointment only
Wed - Sat: 11 am – 6 pm Sun: Closed