GAYLE KABAKER: POWER + JOY
July 26 – August 26, 2023
Pen + Brush is excited to announce the July 26th opening of Power + Joy, a solo exhibition in our downstairs gallery showcasing the work of Gayle Kabaker, as seen in the book Vital Voices. Here, the artist’s process and womanhood loom large. Works tackle subject matter like placemaking, simplicity for simplicity’s sake, and a woman in dialogue with herself and nature. Kabaker makes space for women to be alone here, owning and showcasing that solitude is a necessary part of her own practice.
Unabashedly painting women, Kabaker celebrates women at various stages of life and through varying degrees of intimacy. In the works on view, Kabaker combines elements of more traditional painting techniques with printmaking and even digital work sans the conceptual barriers that often accompany such a combination. The resulting body of work is one that not only glorifies women as subject matter but asserts their power in society, as well. Depicting a single woman at peace with herself, or amongst flora and fauna, capturing a domestic scene of joy between a mother and child, or showing a glimpse of women bathing are some history’s most traditional, iconic, and typecast scenes for “women painters”, so much so that by the mid-twentieth century women artists often avoided such subject matter completely. Kabaker’s willful desire to revisit these scenes in 2023 embodies choice.
On the surface of each work, Kabaker asserts the power and joy of carving out space for the self, turning more canonized views of feminism on their head and re-embracing the gaze of the mother, grandmother, daughter, and most prominently—the woman, sitting with herself.
This exhibition pulls from across Kabaker’s bodies of work including illustrations, figure and water paintings and drawings and will feature her renowned portraits from the book project Vital Voices: 100 Women Using Their Power to Empower.
On the occasion of Gayle Kabaker’s exhibition Power + Joy, Pen + Brush is honored to work with Stacey Yael of Visible Women who will curate a series of talking circle’s that will explore women’s empowerment and agency. These prevalent ideals are deeply engrained in Pen + Brush’s history, the foundation of Visible Women and Kabaker’s portraits for the Vital Voices book project.
The first talking circle will take place on opening night July 28th, 6-8pm in in the midst of this summer’s media blitz around the Greta Gerwig Barbie Movie (exploring a more multifaceted view of femininity), let’s get together for a live talk among real women about “THE ART OF POWER”. This epic talking circle features: Gayle Kabaker (8 time New Yorker cover artist), Alyse Nelson (Co-founder, President & CEO of Vital Voices, a global non-profit organization that invests in women leaders who are solving the world’s greatest challenges), Ariela Suster, (founder of fashion brand, Sequence Collection) and Dawn Delikat, Executive Director of Pen + Brush.
About Pen + Brush:
Pen + Brush is a 129-year-old publicly supported not-for-profit organization fighting for gender equity in the arts. P+B provides a platform to showcase the work of female identifying and non-binary artists and writers to a broader audience with the ultimate goal of effecting real change in the marketplace. We encourage and mentor emerging professionals and aim to expose the stereotypes and misconceptions that perpetuate gender-based exclusion, lack of recognition and the devaluation of skill that is still experienced by women in the arts.
About the artist:
Gayle Kabaker is an award-winning painter, writer, and visual storyteller. Kabaker studied at the Academy of Art in San Francisco and began her career as a freelance illustrator. Her narrative and empathetic paintings of women have been featured as cover images for the New Yorker eight times since 2012.
Pen + Brush is open to the public, as well as private groups, Tuesday – Saturday from 12pm to 6pm. We are located on East 22nd Street, between Broadway and Park Avenue South, and our gallery is accessible.
For general requests contact Parker Daley Garcia, Art Director and Curator, at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling (212)475-3669 ex.2792