Despite decades of postcolonial, feminist, anti-racist and queer activism and theorizing, the art world continues to exclude ‘Other’ artists – those who are women, of colour and LGBTQ. Indeed, the more closely one examines the numbers, the more glaring it becomes that white, Euro-American, heterosexual, privileged and, above all, male artists continue to dominate the art world. The fight for gender and race equality continues apace.
Focusing on themes of feminism, race and sexuality, Curatorial Activism examines the pioneering exhibitions that have broken down boundaries and demonstrated that new approaches are possible, from Nochlin’s ‘Women Artists’ at the LACMA in the mid-1970s to Martin’s ‘Carambolages’ in 2016 at the Grand Palais in Paris. By exposing both the disparities and inclusive solutions, Reilly addresses the urgent need in the contemporary art world for curatorial strategies that provide alternatives to exclusionary models of collecting and display. In so doing, she provides an invaluable source of information for current thinkers and, in a world dominated by visual culture, a vital source of inspiration for today’s ever-expanding new generation of curators. Lucy Lippard, the renowned activist and early champion of feminist art, contributes a foreword.