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The 60s was the decade when an incredible number of women gallerists played major roles at the center of 20th century (and especially postwar) avant-garde activities, bringing to fruition projects by Robert Smithson, Walter de Maria and Michael Heiser that are now landmarks. The challenges that Virginia Dwan faced as a woman and feminist in an art world that had not yet defined the feminist position should provide a fascinating discussion.
Known primarily for her visionary art collecting (250 works from her collection destined to be given to The National Gallery in Washington, DC are currently on display in the newly-reopened East Wing), Virginia Dwan (born 1931) showed a legendary list of artists that included Robert Rauschenberg, Yves Klein, Ad Reinhardt, Joan Mitchell, Philip Guston, Sol Lewitt, and Andy Warhol among countless famous names– first at her Los Angeles gallery in the 1960s and later at the gallery she opened in New York. Less well-known, Dwan has her own artistic practice, and has dedicated the last three and a half years to documenting military graves in cemeteries across the United States in her book, Virginia Dwan: Flowers.
The only text in the book is the late Pete Seeger’s question, “Where have all the flowers gone?” Dwan will sign copies of her book at the reception after the close of the program.
Thank you to Virginia Dwan and Julia Robinson for their participation and to ArtTable member Gracie Mansion for helping organize this program.
|Image: Virginia Dwan in her gallery during a Franz Kline exhibition, Westwood, c. 1962, 2009 Photo courtesy of artnet|