Originally published via Arte & Lusso platform, April 2,2021
New York welcomes a person once and forever; it creates an experience where an individual identity blends and twists in response to the multitude of surrounding cultures, beliefs, and values. These transcending and liberating experiences negate limitations, prejudices, and stereotypes. This is the reason why this city has been so nurturing for many generations of artists. The reinvention affects the way artists view themselves as well as the themes of their inquiries. Astounding array of exquisite women artists who have worked and continue to work in this city attests to the power of transformations they went through here and the city that still nourishes them. Artistic and public discussion on gender, femininity, feminism, body, nature of painting, and what/how/why women artists should be representing still goes on. Here are ten women artists who today work in New York, although it is hard to choose just ten when the list goes on and on. Presented artists are from different generations, racial backgrounds, they use different media and approaches, what unifies them is that they represent resonant achievements of women in the contemporary art, fully overcoming the macho-oriented past of New York AbEx school.
Brenda Goodman, Holding a Dream, 2016. Oil on wood, 59 x 45 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.
Brenda Goodman is a New York state-based artist who has been painting for more than fifty years. Originally born in Detroit, Michigan, she began her career in the early 1960s by attending a local art school and then becoming a part of the legendary Cass Corridor movement. This movement of 1960s-1970s ushered a renaissance in the contemporary art scene connected the Cass Corridor district of Detroit. Goodman earned her BFA from the College of Creative Studies, Detroit in 1965, from which she also received an honorary Doctorate of Fine Arts in 2017. In 1976, Goodman moved to New York City to continue her artistic practice and engaging with Abstract Expressionism. Her style is marked by the masterly handling of paint, ranging from thick impasto to innovative experimentation with fine lines and a variety of different textures achieved through application of unconventional tools. One of Goodman’s most notable series is Self-Portraits (1994-2011). In the series, Goodman extensively worked on portraying the striking emotional landscape mirroring the artist’s personal struggles. Over her long career, Goodman had more than forty solo shows and received many high honors. Today, her work continues to be relevant as she continues to reinvent herself through the years.
Samira Abbassy, Ode To All My Mothers, Oil on gesso panel, 60 x 34 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.
Samira Abbassy is an Iranian-born and New York City-based figurative painter who is most recognized for her series of oil and gesso paintings of humans, animals, and war. Abbassy’s family moved to the United Kingdom when she was just two years old. She received her BFA from the Canterbury College of Art and moved to New York City in 1987. In 1992, she cofounded the Elizabeth Foundation for the Arts Studio Program, a public program providing NYC artists with studio spaces. One of Abbassy’s most famous series works is Eternal War (2011) that she completed while being inspired by the visual language of Persian miniatures. In her series, the artist depicts the horrors of war and people destroying each other with vengeance, determination, and disregard to human costs. Over her long career, Abbassy’s works were acquired by the Metropolitan Museum, the British Museum, the British Government Art Collection among others. Her paintings have been shown internationally, including in the UK, the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. She is a recipient of numerous awards including the Pollock-Krasner Foundation award and the Joan Mitchell Foundation for Painting/Sculpture. Abbassy’s works transcend the present by engaging with timeless themes of guilt, truth, and the nature of humanity.
Le’Andra LeSeur, Still from Strange Fruit: An Ode to Trayvon, video, 3:30 minutes. Image courtesy of the artist
Le’Andra LeSeur is an interdisciplinary artist born in the Bronx, NY and currently based in Jersey City, NJ. By using video installation, photography, painting, and performance, LeSeur celebrates black female identity contemplating the dominating system that has consistently rendered a whole race invisible. She creates layers of meaning by incorporating her personal experiences as well as by addressing complicated history of this country. Her work was exhibited at Arnika Dawkins Gallery and Whitespace Gallery in Atlanta, GA, Microscope Gallery, Brooklyn, as well as featured in permanent and private collections. Among her many awards, LeSeur received the 2017 Contemporary Black Art award at Artprize 9 in Grand Rapids, MI for her piece, Searching,as well as 2018 Time-Based Category Award and Juried Grand Prize at Artprize 10 in Grand Rapids, MI for her piece, brown, carmine, and blue.
Dominique Fung, Exotic Fruit Haul, 2018. Oil on canvas, 72 x 60 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.
Dominique Fung is a figurative painter who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She received her BAA from Sheridan College Institute of Technology in Toronto, Canada. Fung’s work is marked by a unique visual language using Oriental motifs inspired by her Chinese heritage. Her style is a visual intersection between Surrealism and seventeen-century Dutch painting elements. In her body of work, Fung addresses opposition between man-made versus natural, erotic versus quotidian, traditional versus taboo. Exquisitely painted Chinese ceramic objects are placed among stylized bodies simultaneously defying and defining them. Fung’s works have been shown in many well-respected galleries in the United States and abroad, including Nicodim Gallery in Los Angeles, CA, Taymour Grahne, London, United Kingdom, Jeffrey Deitch, New York, USA, and many others.
Cristina BanBan, CIELITO, 2020. Acrylic on canvas, 14 x 11 inches. Image courtesy of the artist
Cristina BanBan is a Spanish artist who currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Banban received her BA in Fine Arts from the University of Barcelona in Barcelona, Spain. Inspired by neoclassicism, pop art, anime BanBan portrays oversized, strong, playful, sensual female bodies as a central subject matter in her work. While some features, like hands, dominate more than others, BanBan still manages to create well-balanced spaces that create their own logic. BanBan has been included in numerous solo and group shows with the galleries, like The Hole in (New York City. the USA), 1969 Gallery (New York City, USA), Stems Gallery (Brussels, Belgium), Richard Heller Gallery (Los Angeles, USA), 68 Projects (Berlin, Germany) among many others.
Katherine Bradford, Pool, Red Rim, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 60 inches. Image courtesy of the artist and CANADA Gallery
Katherine Bradford began her painting career in the early 1970s. While she was originally born in New York City, she moved to Maine with her family, raising twins. However, her life took a drastic turn in 1979 when she moved back to New York City as a single mother. Bradford’s desire to be closer to the contemporary art community led her to pursue MFA at SUNY Purchase in 1987. Her painting style is characterized as a fusion between figuration and abstraction. In Bradford’s recent works repeating iconographic elements are swimmers, flying figures as well as boats marked by the saturated color palette and abstracted forms. Bradford has an extensive list of awards and honors, including awards from John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation (2011), Joan Mitchell Foundation (2012), American Academy of Arts and Letters (2011, 2005), and Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2000). Throughout her career, Bradford had solo and group shows at Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth (solo), MoMA PS1, Brooklyn Museum, and many other art institutions and galleries.
Yevgeniya Baras, Untitled, 2016. Oil on canvas, 5 x 5 inches. Image courtesy of the artist
Yevgeniya Baras is an artist who lives and works in Long Island City, NY. Baras has a BA and MS from the University of Pennsylvania (2003) and an MFA in Painting and Drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (2007). Alongside the post-Soviet Jewish population, Baras’ family fled her native Russia two years after the collapse of the Soviet Union. Inspired by the metamorphosing powers of organic materials, Baras uses found parts of nature to create her three-dimensional canvases. In her almost painstaking works Baras engages with delineation of space, boundaries, layers, and internal/external landscapes. Baras had solo and group shows among others at the Landing Gallery in LA, Nicelle Beauchene Gallery in New York, Galerie Kornfeld in Berlin, The Pit in Los Angeles, and Outpost Gallery in Brooklyn. Moreover, she has been involved in curatorial work and co-founded Regina Rex Gallery (New York City, New York) and Bull and Ram (New York City, New York). In addition, Baras teaches at Rhode Island School of Design.
Lola Flash, Carrie, photograph. Image courtesy of the artist.
Lola Flash is a photographer based in New York City. “Working at the forefront of genderqueer visual politics for more than three decades, photographer Lola Flash’s work challenges stereotypes and gender, sexual, and racial preconceptions,” Flash talks about her work in the artist statement. The majority of her oeuvre has a deep focus on social activism and preservation of LGBTQIA+ legacy as well as protection of people of color. In her work, Flash uses portraiture on film as her major medium. While she lives and works in NYC, her works belong to the major art collections worldwide, including Victoria and Albert Museum (London, UK) as well as Brooklyn Museum (Brooklyn, NYC, USA) among others. Flash earned her degree from Maryland Institute (Maryland, USA) and her MA from London College of Printing (London, UK). In 2018, Pen + Brush (New York City, New York) presented her thirty-year retrospective Lola Flash: 1986 – Present, spanning three decades of Flash’s artistic practice.
Michela Martello, The Absolute Body, 2020. Acrylic, gesso, embroidery on vintage American sack, 80 x 78 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.
Michela Martello was born in Grosseto, Italy, but permanently moved to New York City in 1998. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in illustration from the Europe Institute of Design (Milan, Italy). After receiving her degree, she engaged with children’s book illustrations and published her designs in over thirty books. In 1993, she developed an interest in painting and exhibited in Milano and New York. After her move to New York City, she began researching a painter at Arturo di Modica’s studio. Throughout Martello’s career, she worked with different mediums from painting on fabric to completing mixed media collage on paper “the [bringing] traditional and contemporary influences of a variety of techniques, media, themes, and cultures to create art that achieves a universal language of aesthetics that merges centuries and crosses cultural bounds,” according to her statement. Her selected solo exhibitions include institutions, like Pen & Brush (New York City, NY), Trace Foundation, (New York City, NY), MAAM Museum (Rome, Italy), and many more. Among her many notable achievements, Martello’s work belongs to the private collection of Jerry Saltz, Soulangh Cultural Park, Children Museum of The Arts, permanent collection (Taiwan), MAAM Museum, Permanent collection (Rome, Italy), Andrea Soros collection, Emilio Bordoli collection, and Giovanni Bonelli collection.
Jule Korneffel, A sun, 2020. Acrylic, vinyl, gesso on canvas, 13 x 12 inches. Image courtesy of the artist.
Jule Korneffel was originally born in Celle, Germany, but now is a New York City-based painter. Reductive works of Korneffel speak to ambiguities and affections as well as certainties and shifts. Using affirming yellow, red, blue, green or more nuanced mauve or pink abstract mark-making on monochromatic canvasses Korneffel directly speaks of her human experience, but leaves space open for viewers to inhabit them for their own. Intertextuality is a term from a narrative theory comes to mind, rejecting a fixed meaning of any given sequence, but rather leaving it open for each new encounter. Korneffel completed her MFA at Hunter College in 2018 and received a diploma in Fine Arts from the Kunstakademie Düsseldorf in 2008 where she studied as a Masterstudent with Tal R. Her selected exhibitions include: Herkules Art Program, NY, Matjö BBK, Cologne, Germany; nqArt Historian Institute, Bonn, Germany; Autocenter, Berlin, Germany; Helpers Gallery, New York; ltd los angeles, Los Angeles; Spencer Brownstone in New York; a show in conversation with Mary Heilmann at Albada Jelgersma Gallery, Amsterdam, Netherlands and most recently at Claas Reiss in London.