We are honored to have Judith Brodsky as juror for our Fifth National Monotype/Monoprint Juried Exhibition. Judith K. Brodsky is a Distinguished Professor Emerita (1978-2001) in the Department of Visual Arts at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. She is the founder of the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper. The RCIPP, established by Brodsky in 1986, was renamed the Brodsky Center in her honor in 2006. Brodsky is also the co-founder of the Rutgers University Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities, the only one of its kind in the United States.
In 1986, Brodsky established the Rutgers Center for Innovative Print and Paper as a center for artists to create new work using traditional printmaking and hand papermaking techniques as well as experimental techniques including digital technology, video, and three-dimensional imaging. As one might surmise from the fact that she was one of the founders of the American Feminist Art Movement, she was interested in the intersection of art and social change. Thus she established the mission of the BCIE to work with culturally diverse artists on the periphery such as artists of color, women artists, artists from countries other than Western Europe. As various groups moved from the periphery to the center of cultural activity, the BCIE shifted its residencies to help new groups of artists to make their voices heard. During the last three decades, the BCIE played an important role in the transformation of a white male dominated art world into a global, ethnically and gender mixed one through its activist policies of promoting the artists with whom it worked as well as enabling these artists to create new work. At times, the acquisition of a work of art by an artist of color or a woman artist was the first acquisition by a museum or private collector of such work. In addition, the success of the Brodsky Center is a testament to the particular vitality and relevance of the printed image in the contemporary world of visual reproduction.
“I think visual images can be something like novels. The invisible experiences that control the visual world are more significant than the visual world itself.”
Brodsky has also earned acclaim for her art: provocative print installations, etchings, and collaged images. Her own attraction to printmaking comes from its physicality, she says. The sketching, etching, and transferral involved in the medium constitute a whole-body procedure that “becomes almost meditative” and provides a deep connection to her work: “There’s no part of you that’s not involved in the process.” For Brodsky, beautiful art isn’t necessarily about prettiness—it’s frequently about much deeper things. “That’s been true of my work every since I entered maturity as an artist,” she says. “I think visual images can be something like novels. The invisible experiences that control the visual world are more significant than the visual world itself.” More than 100 museums and companies now house her pieces in their permanent collections, including the Library of Congress, London’s Victoria and Albert Museum, Berlin’s Stadtmuseum, and the Fogg Museum at Harvard.
Her last series was titled Memoir of an Assimilated Family, consisting of over 100 etchings based on old family photographs. Her current series is The 20 Most Important Scientific Questions of the 21st Century, featured in the 2017 Scientific American article “The Art of Science” and the 2016 Harvard Magazine article “Beauty From Disarray,” is a science fiction-like response to a New York Times list from 2003. “My responses to the questions are often ironic,” Brodsky says. “I’m trying to go beyond the literal question to find an intuitive response that will suggest the limitation of the question itself. The paradigms of knowing the world shift dramatically from era to era. I’m trying to reach beyond the contemporary paradigm in each case to find some cosmic image that will undermine the specificity of the question. I want viewers to go away thinking about the impact and importance of scientific questions in their lives and in the future of the world — about space, about the origins of the universe, about climate, about gender and sexuality, about the extension of life and what it means.”
Click here to view a slide show of Brodsky’s “The Twenty Most Important Scientific Questions of the 21st Century” print series.
With her background in the feminist art movement as the president of the Women’s Caucus for Art, the founder of the Coalition of Women Artists’ Organizations, and the co-founder of The Feminist Art Project, Brodsky has organized and curated many exhibitions and written extensively about the feminist art movement and prints. She was a contributor to the first comprehensive history of the American women’s movement in art, called The Power of Feminist Art, published in 1994 by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. She is the co-author of The Fertile Crescent: Women Artists from the Middle East, published in 2012 by DAP; and the author of Basil Alkazzi, An Odyssey of Dreams, published by Scala Arts, 2013 in conjunction with the traveling exhibition of his work that she curated and organized. In addition, she has written many journal articles and catalog essays for the exhibitions she has curated. Other recent exhibition co-curated by Brodsky include How American Women Artists Invented Postmodernism; Eccentric Bodies, and Passage to New Jersey: Women Artists of the South Asia Diaspora in Our Midst; and Faith Ringgold: A Fifty Year Retrospective. A current curatorial project for Brodsky is the organization of the 25th anniversary exhibition of the Brodsky Center, which is scheduled to open at the New Jersey State Museum in 2019. The planning of this exhibition is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and will include a catalogue and website. In addition, she has just finished a book documenting women who are leaders in the arts, which will come out in spring 2018.
The Monotype Guild of New England’s Fifth National Monotype/Monoprint Juried Exhibition at The Art Complex Museum in Duxbury, MA will showcase works of art from our members and artists throughout the country, revealing the diverse range of traditional and innovative techniques being used in creating monotypes and monoprints today.
Online submissions for our Fifth National Monotype/Monoprint Juried Exhibition will be accepted starting November 6, 2017 thru midnight on February 15, 2018. For more information, please visit www.mgne.org/5thnational or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
[Header Image Credit: Judith K. Brodsky, How does the Brain Work?, 2011, Etching colle, 36 x 48 inches. Rutgers University Center for Women in the Arts and Humanities. https://cwah.rutgers.edu/programs/mary-h-dana-women-artists-series/40-years-of-women-artists-at-douglass-library/virtual-exhibit/#B]