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Des Moines Art Center exhibition focuses on issues of labor in This Woman's Work

Posted on Thursday, June 14, 2018

For Immediate Release
Contact: Barbara Briggie-Smith
Tel: 515.271.0343
Email: bbsmith@desmoinesartcenter.org

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Des Moines Art Center exhibition focuses on issues of labor in This Woman’s Work

DES MOINES, IOWA (June 2018) – On Friday, June 29, the Des Moines Art Center will open This Woman’s Work, which will be on view through October 7, 2018, in the John Brady Print Gallery.

This exhibition explores images of women working through prints from various decades and centuries. Throughout art history, the female body has been a primary subject, presented in painting, sculpture, and photography as a vehicle for idealized beauty, grace, and desire — most often by white, heterosexual male artists. The lives of real women, from the models who posed for such artists, to the servants who worked in their homes, the merchants and sex workers they encountered in their daily lives, and even the mothers who raised them, only rarely appear in art and even then usually demonstrating romanticized versions of the labor actual women undertake.

Occasionally though, via artists of unique sensitivity or through the creations of women artists themselves, we are afforded more genuine images of working women and the diverse experiences they have to offer.

This Woman's Work is organized by Curator Laura Burkhalter.

About the Des Moines Art Center

Recognized by international art critics as a world-class museum in the heart of the Midwest, the Des Moines Art Center has amassed an important collection with a major emphasis on contemporary art. The collection’s overriding principle is a representation of artists from the 19th century to the present, each through a seminal work. This accounts for an impressive collection that ranges from Edward Hopper’s Automat to Jasper Johns’ Tennyson, Henri Matisse’s Woman in White, Georgia O’Keeffe’s From the Lake No. 1, Francis Bacon’s Study after Velásquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, Bill Viola’s Ascension, and Cecily Brown’s Half-Bind.

The Art Center’s physical complex marries with the collection for a totally integrated experience. The collection is housed in three major buildings, each designed by a world-renowned architect – Eliel Saarinen, I. M. Pei, and Richard Meier. With the exception of special events, admission to the museum is free.

In September 2009, the John and Mary Pappajohn Sculpture Park opened in Des Moines’ Western Gateway Park. Philanthropists John and Mary Pappajohn have provided funding for and donated 28 sculptures by internationally acclaimed contemporary artists to the Des Moines Art Center. The collection of sculptures by such artists as Louise Bourgeois, Deborah Butterfield, Willem de Kooning, Olafur Eliasson, Keith Haring, Ellsworth Kelly, Jaume Plensa, Richard Serra, Joel Shapiro, and Mark di Suvero, is the most significant donation of artwork to the Art Center in a single gift in the museum’s history. The Pappajohn Sculpture Park was created in collaboration with the Pappajohns, the City of Des Moines, the Des Moines Art Center, and numerous corporate and private donors.

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