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Plating the Intimate as Political

For Immediate Release

Contact: TheWomensArtLeague@gmail.com

Vagina China Artists Set to Close their Exhibit with a Salute to the Feminist Artists Before Them

The Women’s Art League will hold a Closing Ceremony Sunday, February 9

(3:30 - 7:30pm), for their feminist art project “Vagina China” currently on display at Seidel City in Boulder, CO. Also showing, a continuous screening of The Famous Women Dinner Service: In Conversation with Contemporary Art by The Yale Center for British Art

Filmed at the Brooklyn Museum, this recently released short film, The Famous Women Dinner Service: In Conversation with Contemporary Art explores the connection between three bodies of work spanning almost a hundred years: The Famous Women Dinner Service, The Dinner Party and Vagina China. The first two works address the lack of information about the women in history while leaving a trail of substance for future artists to follow, while the last, Vagina China, focuses on current issues that impact women today—and bares it all.

Vagina China is a large scale feminist art project presented by The Women’s Art League and founded by Julie Maren and Joy Alice Eisenhauer. Launched in October, 2016 on the eve of electing our first female president, Vagina China set out to celebrate women by creating a commemorative set of “White House Vagina China” with cast vulvas in the center. The plates are both works of art, and an entry point into larger cultural conversations, exploring current issues that impact women today. Vagina China embodies a new approach to collective artistic by promoting body positivity and helping women experience a deeper connection with their bodies and feel empowered.

For more information go to VaginaChina.org

100 YEARS OF CERAMIC PLATES AS FEMINIST ART FORM

The earliest, The Famous Dinner Service, is a long-lost, groundbreaking work of feminist art by British artists Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, both members of the famously bohemian Bloomsbury Group. Completed between 1932 and 1934, this major proto-feminist work featuring portraits of famous women from history only recently became available to the public in 2018.

The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago made between 1974 and 1979. Widely regarded as the first epic feminist artwork, functions as a symbolic history of women in civilization. Structured through the history of western civilization, each epoch is presented by a woman, in a layered view of a dinner party, where artistic images of vaginas are on plates with names written on the runners.

The Vagina China project was influenced by The Dinner Party and considers Judy Chicago the project’s “Godmother.” Vagina China involves multiple unique collections of ceramic plates displayed on a wall, some referencing classical pottery and all adorned with cast vulvas. Each set raised awareness about issues impacting women today—from periods to pleasure, from sex trafficking to social activism.

All three art projects take the domestic object — the plate — and amplify it to this incredible scale.

So, the lineage comes into focus. Artists Bell and Grant created something totally unexpected with their commissioned dinner set. As a second wave feminist, Chicago created a powerful and feminine symbolic order. As 2020 marks the centennial of the passage of the 19th amendment, The Women’s Art League casts the body itself. Collectively they offer the potential of collaborative art projects to offer powerful alternative histories of women’s history and bodies themselves.

For more information go to VaginaChina.org

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We thank these organizations for their financial support through community arts grants.
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 All rights reserved © 2017 by The Women's Art League. Photography by Dona Laurita