This group show at Koscielak features the work of ten artists, all women, who purportedly represent the frontlines of contemporary feminist art. The curator, Joanne Hinkel, has made a lot of the “dynamic spectrum” in which feminist art now takes place, but she inexplicably cleaves to personal history as the one enduring, unifying aspect of feminism’s artistic legacy. In doing so, this collection of “stories,” as Hinkel refers to the work, doesn’t offer anything new to counter the way that feminist art has been minimized or dismissed since the 1960s. This is a shame, because it elides three decades of art and scholarship by some of the most celebrated artists, historians, critics and curators of our time. The artists in the exhibition work, unsurprisingly, with issues of the body, autobiography, sexuality, and subjectification. Equally predictable are references to domesticity (Ke-Sook Lee’s crafting and Andrea Dezsö’s embroidery, which, while funny, looks a bit Renegade), spirituality (Abigail Pope’s “ghost” photography) and pregnancy (Sally Ko’s paintings). These issues remain relevant. But their execution has to take place at another level: Go Hard or Go Home. Have Hinkel and these artists seen Louise Bourgeois’ “Ode à L’Oubli,” Lisa Yuskavage or Sarah Lucas? To be fair, a couple of things stand out from the pack and get short shrift in this atmosphere: Jessica Hannah’s installation/performance “Showroom No. 6” is creepy and emotionally hideous in all the right ways; Stacia Yeapanis’ ongoing video project “My Life as a Sim,” in which her avatar is a 1970s feminist video-artist; and Emma McCagg, who can definitely paint. (Rachel Furnari)
Through July 31 at Koscielak Gallery, 1646 N. Bosworth Ave. 847-858-1540.