OPEN Noon - 6pm
Many artists use portraiture to question oppressive norms surrounding how women are seen, categorized, and expected to behave. They draw attention to, and push back against, constricting social expectations and norms.
Erica Lord, (b. 1978) Native-Looking, 2005 PhotographCollection of the Anchorage Museum, 2012.8.1
This photograph is part of the artist’s series titled The Tanning Project, which addresses issues of racial and cultural identity and contemporary feminism. In Native-Looking, Athabascan/Iñupiaq/European/Japanese artist Erica Lord emphasizes the impossibility of fitting within colonial stereotypes. She sees her work as part of “an evolution of new ways to demonstrate cultural identity beyond the polar ideas that exist within a strictly two-worlds discourse."
Alison Bremner, (b. 1989) Wat’sa with a Pearl Earring, 2014 Giclee printCollection of the Anchorage Museum, 2019.7.4
Tlingit artist Alison Bremner’s Wat’sa with a Pearl Earring is a digital collage of Johannes Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring—a canonical work in Western art history—and a Tsimshian otter mask. In Tsimshian mythology, land otters often take the form of beautiful women, appearing to unsuspecting men to steal them away. By juxtaposing these two artworks, Bremner pushes back against the male gaze while playfully commenting on the exclusion of Northwest Coast art from the art historical canon.
Carol Crump Bryner, (b. 1945) Self Portrait, 1985 Oil on canvas Collection of the Anchorage Museum, gift of the artist, 1991.5.1
Anchorage-based artist Carol Crump Bryner is known for her contemplative still lives of interior spaces. In this self-portrait, the artist poses wearing an apron she was given for Mother’s Day. Against the background of a blank canvas, the frills and flowers of the apron stand out. A tension arises between this symbol of domesticity and Bryner’s confident gaze.
iiu Suisraja Broom, 2010 Ink print On loan from the artist
Finnish photographer iiu Susiraja creates unflinching self-portraits, often incorporating household items in her compositions. She positions her body and props in unexpected ways, suggesting endless creative possibilities in seemingly mundane circumstances. Susiraja says, “I find inspiration when having a moment of rest on the couch. I am thinking of different objects in my mind. The most important matter is what kind of feelings objects generate.”
iiu Suisraja, (b. 1975) Bagfeet, 2010 Ink print On loan from the artist
Lori Blondeau, (b. 1964) The Lonely Surfer Squaw, 1997 Ink print On loan from the artist
Cree/Saulteaux/Métis artist Lori Blondeau poses in a fur bikini with a Styrofoam surfboard. Inspired by surfing movies of the 1960s and 70s she watched as a child, Blondeau reinvents herself as the lonely surfer squaw. Taking on the dominant aesthetics of mainstream media culture, Blondeau appropriates and transforms the pin-up girl trope. Often using humor to address challenging subject matter, she reclaims the word “squaw”—an epithet used against her as a child.