A writer and artist in the physical world, where she is known as Núria Vives, Xirana presents Women Artists XVI-XIX, intended to both showcase the work of ten female artists from the 1500s through to the early 1800s. In particular, the exhibit is intended to illustrate “the difficulties they had to deal with to be recognised as professional artists”.
The ten artists in question are presented with a portrait by Xiranna, together with (for the most part) 2 of their paintings. The critique they faced is designed to be evidenced by the male silhouettes passing comment in speech bubbles.
However, how representative the comments are to critiques the artists may have faced is perhaps questionable. For example, the idea that Élisabeth Sophie Chéron was unknown as a painter in her lifetime is hard to reconcile with the fact that while alive, she was acclaimed as a gifted poet, musician, artist, and academicienne. I found myself having similar niggles around the presentation of several of the other artists as well (notably Mary Beale and Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun – with the latter, it is not unfair to say many artists, regardless of gender, depended upon the patronage of royalty and / or the rich). The flip side to this is the controversy of accreditation of Judith Jans Leyster’s work is pretty on-the-nose. As such, in lieu of notes from Xirana outlining her view on how these artists faced prejudice, I would suggest taking time to Google them and draw your own conclusions.
Across the hall, Nabrej Aabye presents a series of his vibrant paintings, split between those created in the physical world and those that appear to have originated with images captured in Second Life, all of which are framed by a story mounted on the wall in alongside the entrance to his display space.
These are all remarkable paintings, a good number abstract in nature, but all alive with colour and depth. Alongside of the abstract are portraits suggestive of an origin within Second Life (Recto Verso and The Architect), while also to be found in the mix are animal studies, two of which also appear to have their roots in SL (The Elephants’ Dance and Refugees).
The final exhibit is a 3D installation by Betty Tureaud, which appears untitled. I’m note entirely sure how to view it myself so, and without wishing to appear in any way dismissive, I leave to visitors to define it for themselves.
Note: there are three further art displays on the gallery’s lower level for February; I’ll be returning to them in an upcoming article.
- La Maison d’Aneli (Virtual Holland, rated: Moderate)