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Mónica Mayer, “Cartel para una mesa redonda sobre arte feminista” (1976 ) (courtesy the artist)

The artists Magali Lara and Mónica Mayer were both born in Mexico City in the 1950s, coming of age in the 1970s and assimilating the politics of feminist movements in Mexico and beyond into their work. Today, both women remain very active, making extremely distinct bodies of work: while Lara’s practice is very much rooted in abstract painting and printmaking, Mayer’s tends to feature elements of interactivity, performance, and social practice.

“I was already a feminist and a feminist artist,” Mayer recently told NPR when her piece “El Tendedero/The Clothesline Project” — conceived in the late 1970s in response to street harassment — was shown at the National Museum of Women in the Arts. “So I decided to go toward what was important to me, which was public harassment and how much I disliked harassment in public transport.”

Magali Lara, “Tijeras” (1977), artist’s book, 23 pages, 50.4 x 35.5 cm (courtesy the artist)

Now, both artists are featured in the landmark exhibition Radical Women: Latin American Art, 1960–1985 at the Brooklyn Museum, and they will speak at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts on Friday, May 4 as part of the ongoing Latin American Forum program created in collaboration with the Institute of Studies on Latin American Art. At Friday’s talk, moderated by art historian and writer Carla Stellweg, Lara and Mayer will reflect on the enduring importance of feminism to their respective practices, and provide historical context about the political and artistic situations in Mexico that fueled their early work. (For those who can’t make it to the IFA, the event will be livestreamed.)

When: Friday, May 4, 6:30–8:30pm
Where: NYU Institute of Fine Arts (1 East 78th Street, Upper East Side, Manhattan)

More info at the Institute for Studies on Latin American Art.

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Benjamin Sutton

Benjamin Sutton is an art critic, journalist, and curator who lives in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His articles on public art, artist documentaries, the tedium of art fairs, James Franco's obsession with Cindy...