Best Group Exhibition - 2010
"Set to Manual" at Girls' Club
There are those who complain that art in the postmodern world is too often soulless and mechanical. Then there are those who offer alternatives. Fortunately, the women who run the 4-year-old Girls' Club fall into the latter camp, as demonstrated by this smart, sassy show featuring such "name" artists as Tara Donovan, Annette Messager, Beatriz Monteavaro, Gean Moreno, Carol Prusa, Rosanna Saccoccio, Kiki Smith, and Jessica Stockholder. The idea was to emphasize the human touch by showcasing "Works in Diverse Media Characterized by Intense Hand Manufacture," as the exhibition's awkward subtitle put it. More than 30 artists came through with art that fit the bill, ranging from installations and sculptures to drawings and paintings and everything in between, including video. Not all of those artists are female, even though the gallery specializes in women artists and the theme lent itself to work traditionally associated with women. And almost as a rebuke to local galleries whose shows rarely last a month, Girls' Club keeps its exhibitions up a full year, giving the art plenty of time to seep into the local community's consciousness.