Critical Dialogue: Mothers of Invention: The Feminist Roots of Contemporary Art

Jun 26, 2024 10AM-12PM

Schermer Meeting Hall

10am – 12pm  |  Book signing to follow

Join us in this exciting conversation between writers and curators Eleanor Heartney, Helaine Posner, Nancy Princenthal and Sue Scott, who will be discussing their book, Mothers of Invention: The Feminist Roots of Contemporary Art. Contributing to the dialogue is multimedia installation artist Ann Hamilton, one of the book’s subjects.

Mothers of Invention is the third in a series of books about women artists created by these four acclaimed writers during their twenty-year collaboration. This new volume articulates the links that bind feminist ideas to the evolution of contemporary art. Digging deep into four crucial practices, the authors illuminate how the feminist revolution sparked an artistic revolution as well. They demonstrate how feminist ideas like mutualism, impurity, corporality and return to the handmade laid the groundwork for current conceptions of performance, craft, abstraction, and ecofeminism.  This vital conversation delves into the perspectives of pioneering women artists who shook up a rigid art establishment and planted the seeds for today’s vibrant art world.

The Critical Dialogue program at Anderson Ranch seeks to engage the community in a lively discussion about contemporary art and art making. Artists, curators and other creatives lead these conversations, inviting a broad audience to join in and take a closer look at art’s power to change the world. This program is free and open to the public. 


Ann Hamilton

Ann Hamilton is a visual artist internationally acclaimed for her large-scale multimedia installations, public projects, and performance collaborations. Born in Lima, Ohio, she received her MFA in sculpture from the Yale School of Art. Ann is a Distinguished University Professor in the Department of Art at The Ohio State University.

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Eleanor Heartney

Eleanor Heartney is Contributing Editor to Artpress, Editor at Large for the Brooklyn Rail and former Contributing Editor to Art in America and has written for Artnews, Artnet, Art and Auction, the Washington Post and The New York Times. Heartney was the 1992 recipient of the College Art Association’s Frank Jewett Mather Award and was honored in 2008 by the French government as a Chevalier dans l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres.  Her books include Critical Condition: American Culture at the Crossroads,Postmodernism, Postmodern Heretics, Doomsday Dreams, and Art and Today. Heartney is past President of AICA-USA, the American section of the International Art Critics Association.

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Helaine Posner

Helaine Posner is Chief Curator Emerita of the Neuberger Museum of Art, SUNY, Purchase College, Purchase, NY. She is the author of monographs on the artists Kiki Smith, Louise Fishman, and, most recently, Donna Dennis: A Poet in Three Dimensions, and co-author of After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art, The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium, and Mothers of Invention: The Feminist Roots of Contemporary Art. She was Curator of the MIT List Visual Arts Center, Cambridge, MA, and United States Co-commissioner for the 48th Venice Biennale.

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Nancy Princenthal

Nancy Princenthal is a New York-based writer whose book Agnes Martin: Her Life and Art received the 2016 PEN/Jacqueline Bograd Weld Award for Biography. She is also the author of Unspeakable Acts: Women, Art, and Sexual Violence in the 1970s and Hannah Wilke, and her essays have appeared in monographs on Doris Salcedo, Robert Mangold, Willie Cole and Gary Simmons, among many others. A longtime Contributing Editor (and former Senior Editor) at Art in America, she has also written for The New York Times, Hyperallergic, Bomb, Apollo and elsewhere. Princenthal has lectured widely, and taught at Bard College, Princeton University, Yale University, and the School of Visual Arts.

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Sue Scott

Sue Scott is an independent curator and writer living in New York City. She was Adjunct Curator of Contemporary Art at the Orlando Museum of Art from 1989 to 2008 and founder and director of  Sue Scott Gallery in New York. She is co-author of the award-winning book After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art and of The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium (Prestel, 2007 and 2013) with Eleanor Heartney, Helaine Posner and Nancy Princenthal. The third book in this series, Mothers of Invention: The Feminist Roots of Contemporary Art is published by Lund Humphries (2024).

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Jun 26, 2024 10AM-12PM

While You're On Campus

The Ranch Cafe Building


The Ranch Café

The Ranch Café is closed to the public from October through May. The Café offers a wide variety of freshly made food and beverage options during select months of the year.

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ArtWorks Store

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an exhibition at the Patton-Malott Gallery


Patton-Malott Gallery

This gallery space on the Anderson Ranch campus is home to contemporary and rustic ranch architectural elements and provides the backdrop for rotating exhibitions throughout the year.

Gallery Hours (October – May):

Monday – Thursday, 10AM-3PM

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