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Goodbye to Global Feminisms—Hello Ghada Amer!

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Art handlers and staff go over packing details and take down wall labels. To the right, two large crates filled with works ready to be shipped back to lenders flank the empty platform where Lee Bul’s Ein Hungerkunstler (2004) once stood.

This week marks the days when both Global Feminisms Remix and Pharaohs, Queens, and Goddesses are deinstalled from the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art. The Museum’s registrar, Katie Welty, and our expert team of art handlers have already finished moving objects from the Herstory Gallery, and started taking down numerous multi-media objects from the Global Feminisms Remix show, and readying the artworks to be shipped back to the international artists and lenders.

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An art handler uses craft tape to secure the wrapping on one of Tomoko Sawado’s photographs from the popular School Days series (2004).

While it’s always a little sad to see an exhibition deinstalled, and the galleries empty, I am very excited that our next exhibition, Ghada Amer: Love Has No End, will be open to the public in just a few short weeks—on February 16th!

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Ghada Amer in her studio in December 2007. Photo: Maura Reilly

I’ve been working on the Ghada Amer show for a few years now. It started as a book project with Gregory R. Miller & Co. that quickly turned into an exhibition. As I researched and wrote the main essay for the monograph I realized that the sheer breadth of Ghada’s work had never really been explored in an exhibition, abroad or in the U.S. Most exhibitions of Ghada’s work focus exclusively on her exquisitely embroidered paintings with erotic motifs for which she has become internationally renowned. But, for our exhibition, I decided that we should offer a survey of her work from 1988 to 2008, in order to showcase Ghada’s talents in other media, like drawing, sculpture, garden design, and installation. The exhibition also includes many works that have never before been exhibited in the U.S.–which is really exciting!

I took the photo of Ghada above a few months ago during one of my visits to her studio in Harlem. During the planning for our upcoming exhibition, I spent countless afternoons and weekends with Ghada looking for pieces to include in the show, and digging up some of her earliest works out of her personal archives. Some of the works featured in the exhibition have literally sat in her studio for decades, and will make their “debut” so to speak when the show opens next week!

Stay tuned for a slide show of highlights from the exhibition!