It couldn't have been anticipated when scheduling the 14 month, 10 global city tour of the Annie Leibovitz "Women" exhibition, which began in January 2016, that the New York City stop in mid-November to mid-December would come at a time when the celebration of women was most needed. But when I went to experience the installation and looked around the space dedicated to the exhibit at the former Bayview Correctional Facility (and future home of The Women's Building) on the west side of Manhattan, I could sense the open admiration and respect for Leibovitz and her work, and their celebration of the diversity and individuality of the specific subjects of the photos and of women more generally. The photograph prints informally posted on one wall, and the digital photo slideshows progressing across three separate large screens on as many walls of the room effectively immersed us all in images of intelligence, strength, resilience, individuality, community, beauty, and achievement. As I watched the images on the screens I also observed others in the scattered folding chairs taking in these silent testimonies, and in particular noticed the two women pictured here, who I assumed to be grandmother and granddaughter. I was struck by the mutual admiration of the work between these related generations, the loveliness of their shared experience, the confidence of the granddaughter and the warm incline of her head to better communicate with her grandmother, and the elegant upward tilt of the grandmother's head in admiration and respect. The background image of Narelle Brennan with her daughters Sarah and Briana echoed and immortalized the same sense of love that was so clearly evident between the two women in attendance.
I've thought of this exhibit and this work and these women quite a lot over the last few days and weeks. I'm celebrating this. I'm celebrating this respect and admiration of women.
Current and Upcoming Shows:
"Water" artUNPRIMED at addo. 7 Main Street, Sag Harbor, NY
Through February 5th
"From The Archives: A Group Photography Show" Ilon Art Gallery, New York, NY. Through March 4th