by Gabbe Grodin with Eileen Behnke, Caetlynn Booth, Patricia Brace, James Brittingham, Anna Bushman, Chris Camperchioli, Jackie Du, Erin Dunn, Derek Franklin, Erika Hickle, Rita LeDuc, Doug McLean, Alan Prazniak, Hanneline Røgeberg, and Michael Shoudt. (Video by Aaron Vague)

For my ‘problem piece’ in Hanneline Røgeberg’s “Painting and Practice” graduate seminar, I organized a Mason Gross Feminist Abstract Painting Happening on April 6, 2011. This project, in one way, was meant to highlight the absurdity in being nostalgic for 60s and 70s feminist art by attaching those tropes to my private painting practice; But also points out how easily histories, specifically art movements, vanish in a time when information is most commonly retrieved via brief google searches. At the time of this project, a google search of “feminist abstract painting” returned one unhelpful link.

In preparing for the event, emails were sent to the community of artists at my school (undergraduate and graduate students, faculty and even some alumni), calling for all willing feminists to bring a painting mode and material to be performed on 24 machine-primed 20 x 24-inch canvases that I pre-ordered. The only instructions for the participants (including myself) were to work together on every canvas, and to complete them all in under an hour. Besides the positive feedback I received from the participants about their experiences of working together and having pleasing-to-look-at detritus, but there is also now – however temporary – another place-holder in the virtual search for “feminist abstract painting”.