Portraits by Judy Cooper
November 4 - December 1, 2012
Front Street, Brooklyn, New York
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Nov. 4 through Dec. 2 , 2012
128 Rivington Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Wednesday-Saturday: 1:00 to 7:00 pm; Sunday: 1:00-5:00 pm.
Nov. 9 through Dec.1, 2012
This exhibition of portraits honors the founders and very early members of A.I.R. Gallery for their role in establishing the first gallery of, by and for women artists in the United States. A.I.R. began in 1972 when a group of determined young women artists got together, renovated a small storefront space in Soho and hung their art on the walls. At that time, other galleries in New York largely ignored the work of women artists. Thankfully, these women’s efforts paid off. They immediately attracted a lot of attention by their boldness and by the quality of their work. Forty years later, the A.I.R. Gallery is still going strong.
Though there were twenty original founders, several of them dropped out of the gallery in the first few years. They were immediately replaced by other women artists who stayed on through the formative years of the gallery. I have photographed all but one of the original twenty. I have included five others who came on board soon after the beginning of the gallery. They like to call themselves the A.I.R. Pioneers. Pioneers is in fact a good term to describe all of these women who have had such a profound and lasting influence on the status of women in the world of art. They boldly led the way for us to follow.
This exhibition features ten of my portraits of the Pioneers. One of the portraits is of Kazuko, the owner of this gallery who was an early member of A.I.R. She was the first pioneer that I photographed- in this gallery. Having this show in this gallery seems very, very fitting. A con-current exhibition of fourteen portraits is on view at A.I.R. Gallery, now located in Brooklyn. Both exhibitions will be up through the month of November, 2012. I am glad that these exhibitions are taking place in this, the fortieth anniversary year of the founding of A.I.R.
You are invited to two shows of contemporary portraits of the women who founded A.I.R. Gallery in 1972, the first gallery of, by, and for women artists in the US.