A Change in Art


The Art Wolf Gallery presents The Female Gaze: 7 Contemporary Women Artists in Sculpture, Painting, Photography and Ceramics

Rebirth by Osiris Zuñiga

West Hollywood’s Pacific Design Center, the iconic red, green and blue building designed by Cesar Melli that anchors L.A.’s Design District, hosts a surprise this month. On display now through April 15th on the 6th floor of its blue building—tucked in amongst its to-the-trade-only showrooms—is The Female Gaze, an arresting art show highlighting the work of seven contemporary female artists. Presented by experiential gallerist Yael McShane Wulfhart of The Art Wolf Gallery, the show is designed to shine a spotlight on sculpture, painting, photography and ceramics by women. “The Female Gaze is a world where all the images of women are by women,” says Wulfhart, pointing out that art has traditionally been dominated by male artists and the male viewpoint. “Almost every image we see of women is art directed, photographed, produced, and written by men.”

Ruby’s Road by Sofia Andreas Peters

To walk through the glass doors on the top floor that formerly led to Jean de Merry’s showroom is to enter a space that aims to tell a different yet equally arresting story. From the vibrant mixed-media self-portraiture of multi-hypenate Justina Blakeney, to Osiris Zuñiga, who inflates, braids, and weaves steel with astonishing dexterity to the compelling sculptures of Susanna Speirs Ali, a pioneering woman professor in the male-dominated field of metal arts, the provocative prints by photographer Sofia Andreas Peters (who won’t be graduating UCLA until next year), the captivating pottery by Jamaican-born artist Lois Samuels, the consuming images captured by Dopez and the soothing nostalgic familiarity of the scenes captured by LaReina Holsopple‘s supple brushwork, The Female Gaze dedicates a full room in this sprawling space to each oeuvre of the work of these contemporary women artists, presenting a complete and enthralling portrait of their singular and engrossing stories.

This is the world as Wulfhart would like to see it, for a change. “The world is 90% male artists. I am not looking for equality. I want a world that is 90% women,” she proclaims. In these rooms, she’s brought that dream to life, creating a world that is 100% female artists. “One woman said, after seeing the paintings of Justina Blakeney, that she felt better about her body. As a feminist gallerist, I can ask for nothing more.” Certainly, this is a world that is worth disappearing into—and dreaming about.

Queen J by Justina Blakeney