Collect art by Cheri Gaulke and support an exhibition!

Contemporary Editions is a fundraising project for Breaking in Two: Provocative Images of Motherhood. Contemporary Editions are limited edition prints and sculpture created as a unique way for collectors to advocate the value of women artists, mothers and artist mothers. On the occasion of this exhibition, these editions will be offered for a tax-deductible purchase of $350 each. To order my print and see other offerings go to

I contributed a limited edition print to this project and I’m really happy with how it looks. The colors are rich and it’s on gorgeous rag paper. The image is from a video project in which I had men and women in red high heels traipsing through natural environments such as streams, sand, dry brush, lava fields, and geo-thermal sites. This particular image was shot in Death Valley at Devil’s Golf Course.

Breaking in Two: Provocative Visions of Motherhood will feature a multi-cultural group of four generations, nationally and internationally recognized artist-mothers selected to represent the multi-faceted and changing realities of motherhood. The exhibition explores the intimate experience of the artist as mother, and the evolving image and place of the mother, which underwent huge transformations during the Women’s Movement of the late ’60s and ’70s. The exhibition curated by Bruria Finkel will be featured in a documentary by Sabine Sighicelli.

The participating artists include: Kim Abeles, Lita Albuquerque, Eleanor Antin, Michele Asselin, Jo Ann Callis, Joyce Dallal, Bruria Finkel, Magaret Garcia, Cheri Gaulke, Tierney Gearon, Judithe Hernandez, Channa Horwitz, Katherine Jacobi, Mary Kelly, Margaret Lazzari, Andrea Liss, M.A.M.A., Kim McCarty, Mary Linda Moss, Mother Art, Sandra Mueller, Pearls of Wisdom: End the Violence, Renee Petropoulos, Astrid Preston, Alison Saar, Betye Saar, Sola Agustsson Saar, Lezley Saar, Reva Santo, Sylvia Sher, Amy Shimshon-Santo, Elena Mary Siff, Doni Silver Simons, Linda Vallejo, June Wayne, Ruth Weisberg, Kim Yasuda and Shuang Zhang.

Breaking in Two is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980, a series of exhibitions initiated by the Getty that tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. This exhibition will take place February 11 – April 14, 2012 at Arena 1 Gallery, 3026 Airport Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90405. Stay tuned for more info about this show as the date gets closer.


The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art

I am pleased to announce the publication of a new book that includes work by Sue Maberry and me — The M Word: Real Mothers in Contemporary Art edited by Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klein (May 2011) from Demeter Press.

This important new collection has seven sections examining multiple aspects of mothering in contemporary art: History, Criticism, Theory, Artists’ Writings, Text/Image work, Interviews, and Visual Art. This stunning book includes full colour photographs and contributions from Mary Kelly, Susan Suleiman, Mignon Nixon, Jane Gallop, Margaret Morgan, Andrea Liss, Aura Rosenberg, Barbara T. Smith, Sherry Millner, Ellen McMahon, Renée Cox, Gail Rebhan, Marion Wilson, Judy Glantzman, Denise Ferris, Youngbok Hong, Patricia Cué, Monica Mayer, Cheri Gaulke, and more. Here’s what some scholars have to say about this book:

“The M Word puts the most hallowed and fraught life relationship of all into the center of visual culture. Working through feminist ambivalence about motherhood, this
collection offers a crucial corrective to the dearth of discussions about life choices and living tensions for creative women in art and art discourse. With a range of key feminist artists, art historians, and theorists addressing topics from Mexican feminist art collectives to the Holocaust and mothering to queer mothering, this book presents a range of rigorous thinking in textual and visual form. In The M Word, maternity, as a state, an ideology, an “image,” becomes the perfect pivot through which to examine women imagining ourselves into the sometimes incompatible roles of caring, care-taking, thinking, and making.”
—Amelia Jones, Grierson Chair in Visual Culture, Department of Art History and Communication Studies, McGill University

“The M Word is a welcome addition to the fields of both maternal and art historical studies. In their strong introduction, Myrel Chernick and Jennie Klein provide a smart
historical grounding for the intersections of mothering and visual art. The union of scholarly and narrative voices and the range of visual material included offer a compelling framework for this volume devoted to a significant and (always) timely topic.”
—Rachel Epp Buller, editor of Reconciling Art and Mothering

“The central importance of this title lies in the richness of the work collected together, and in particular in its creation of a political archive of feminist artwork that engages with the maternal. It will be a key book in the area of feminist art theory. The wonderful interview with Mary Kelly is an important piece of art historical documentation in
– Imogen Tyler, Senior Lecturer and Leverhulme Research Fellow, Sociology Department, Lancaster University

Consider ordering this book for your personal or institutional library. Let’s get some more images and writing about mothers in art into the art historical record! Here’s a link to the order form.

Cheri Gaulke on the Getty Blog…

Check out the article on the Getty’s Pacific Standard Time blog about the exhibition at LACE and my installation Peep Totter Fly.

The History of Performance Art at LACE: Los Angeles Goes Live by on October 11, 2011

“Also appearing in the front room is Cheri Gaulke’s Peep Totter Fly, a wall spotted with red high-heeled stilettos for men and women (sizes 5-16). Guests can check out a pair and wear them as they walk through the exhibit, and in essence, transform themself into a featured performer.”

About the LACE Installation

Quote from the L.A. Times Culture Monster by Sharon Mizota: “Although there are ten artists or collectives included in the show, only three of them have installed works in the gallery in any traditional sense. Cheri Gaulke’s installation greets viewers like a shoe store with only one choice—hot red high heels. The shoes are provided in most women’s and men’s sizes, and viewers are encouraged to wear them while walking around the gallery. Building on early performances that advanced a feminist critique of women’s footwear, Gaulke has also created a video loop of various people walking in the shoes across different natural terrains—mud, sand, rock, etc. It’s amusing and gets its point across—nature never planned for high heels.”

Cheri Gaulke in Two Pacific Standard Time Exhibitions

I am excited to tell you about two exhibitions that I am in — Doin’ It In Public and Los Angeles Goes Live. Both exhibitions are part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in LA 1945-1980, an unprecedented collaboration initiated by the Getty, that brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene. My openings are Tuesday, Sept. 27, 8-10 pm (with a performance at 8:30) at LACE in Hollywood and Saturday, Oct. 1, 4-7 pm at Otis College of Art and Design in West Los Angeles. Read on for more details and click on the links for locations.

The first is Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983, an exhibition, performance series and publication project that explores the histories and legacies of performance art. My new work, Peep Totter Fly (commissioned and presented by LACE as part of Los Angeles Goes Live: Performance Art in Southern California 1970-1983), is an interactive video installation and performance that revisits my 1970s and 80s critique of high heels. The installation will present gallery visitors with a wall of red high heels, available for wearing while viewing the rest of the exhibition. With sizes large enough for most men and women, this will give viewers an actual experiential challenge to their ideas about high heels. Centered on the wall is an evocative video that depicts high heels traversing natural environments, relating the objects present in the room to live and recorded performance.

To create this new work, I put together a team of young artists, many drawn from my association with Harvard-Westlake School where I am Head of Visual Arts. Nick Lieberman ‘11 assistant directed, Gabe Benjamin ‘11 edited the video, and Wiley Webb ’12 created an original score composed of natural and human sounds. To create the video, we traveled to a variety of Los Angeles locations, braved 115-degree temperatures in Death Valley, and strutted through the stark volcanic landscape of Iceland. At the exhibition opening, performers (including members of HW’s Scene Monkeys) will activate the installation with a performance that ventures into the streets of Hollywood and back again.

Peep Totter Fly opens Tuesday, September 27, 8-10 pm with the performance at 8:30 pm. The exhibition runs from September 27, 2011 through January 29, 2012 at LACE (Los Angeles Contemporary Exhibitions) in Hollywood.

In addition, costumes from a performance group I cofounded, Sisters Of Survival, will be on display as part of the exhibition Recollecting Performance curated by Ellina Kevorkian at LACE.

The second exhibition, Doin’ It in Public: Feminism and Art at the Woman’s Building comprises an exhibition, two scholarly publications, and series of public events that document, contextualize and pay tribute to the groundbreaking work of feminist artists and art cooperatives that were centered in and around the Los Angeles Woman’s Building (downtown L.A.) in the 1970s and 1980s. I will be showing two mixed-media installations that chronicle the work of two collaborative groups I cofounded – Feminist Art Workers (1976-81) and Sisters Of Survival (1981-85). Feminist Art Workers combined performance art with feminist education principles and its members included Nancy Angelo, Candace Compton, Cheri Gaulke, Vanalyne Green and Laurel Klick. Sisters Of Survival wore nun’s habits in the spectrum of the rainbow and created anti-nuclear performances and was comprised of Jerri Allyn, Nancy Angelo, Anne Gauldin, Cheri Gaulke and Sue Maberry.  Doin’ It in Public was curated by Meg Linton and Sue Maberry and will be on view October 1, 2011 through January 28, 2012 at the Ben Maltz Gallery, Otis College of Art and Design in West Los Angeles. The opening reception is Saturday, October 1, 4-7 pm.

Feminist Art Workers will be performing on October 16 at a symposium and reunion called Still Doin’ It: Fanning the Flames of the Woman’s Building.

I am deeply honored to be a part of these exhibitions that make visible some very important historical moments in my artistic life and the life of Los Angeles.