REVOLT, THEY SAID.
a project by Andrea Geyer. 2012 - ongoing
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BIOGRAPHIES OF WOMEN NAMED / LAST NAMES IN ALPHABETICAL ORDER
Claire Zeisler (1903–1991) was a noted American fiber artist who expanded the expressive qualities of knotted and braided threads, pioneering larges cale freestanding sculptures in this medium. Zeisler studied at the Chicago Institute of Design (formerly the New Bauhaus) in the 1940s with Eugene Dana and at the Illinois Institute of Technology where she was taught by Russian avant-garde sculptor Alexander Archipenko and Chicago weaver Bea Swartchild. In the 1950s she created flat weavings using a traditional loom, but by 1962 she began making freestanding, three-dimensional fiber sculptures using a variety of techniques. She had her first solo exhibition at the Chicago Public Library in that year, at the age of 59. It was followed by an exhibition of her weavings and selections from her collection at the Renaissance Society at the University of Chicago. But it was after her inclusion in Woven Forms, a seminal exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York City in 1963, and her introduction to knotting at the New York studio of Lili Blumenau that she became a celebrated innovator in fiber sculpture. She perceived that knotting, although then used mostly in third-world countries and by sailors, could free her from the geometric and two-dimensional limitations of the loom and would allow her to work in three dimensions. Zeisler’s work was presented in retrospective exhibitions in the Art Institute of Chicago (1979) and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1985).

Marguerite Zorach (1887–1968) was an American Fauvist painter born in California. She was one of few women admitted to Stanford University in 1908 but completed university in France. She attended the Post-Impressionist school La Palette during which time she befriended Gertrude Stein and Alice B. Toklas. She exhibited in the 1910 Société des Artistes Indépendants, the 1911 Salon d’Automne, as well as the 1913 Armory Show in New York. Zorach was one of the avant-garde artists collected by influential patrons Katherine Dreier and Abby Rockefeller and was known to be one of the early advocates of American Modernism. She was also a founding member of the New York Society of Women Artists, as well as a member of the Society of Independent Artists. Her home served as a gathering place for many artists in New York, including popular art-world figures Gertrude Käsebier and Marianne Moore.

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