A Phillips Woman on Women Artists: Lauren Griffin

In honor of Women’s History Month and The National Museum of Women in the Arts #5WomenArtists challenge, we’re highlighting some of the spectacular women on our staff and the female artists who inspire them.

Lauren Griffin, Membership Associate

Lauren Griffin photo

Lauren Griffin, Membership Associate

Do you have a favorite woman artist from The Phillips Collection, or a favorite female artist whose work has been on display at the museum?
LG: My favorite woman artist in the museum is hands-down Arlene Shechet. As a ceramicist I appreciate her experience and expertise. It takes years of practice and experimentation to make work that looks so effortless. Her glaze treatments are amazing.

Shechet installation photo_lee stalsworth

Installation view of Arlene Shechet: From Here On Now. Photo: Lee Stalsworth

Who is your all-time favorite female artist? Do you remember the first time you saw her work? How does she inspire you?
LG: My favorite female artist of all time? That’s impossible to commit to, as there is such a breadth of work by women in the world, I can’t possibly pick just one! An artist who really inspires me is Tara Donovan. I had seen her work in completed form before, and had always been blown away by how she transformed everyday objects into amazing installations. While I was working at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, I was fortunate to observe the install of her work Untitled, affectionately called “the cloud sculpture.” I had only ever seen her finished work, so watching the sculpture evolve day by day, from individual Styrofoam cups and hot glue, to an undulating hive on the ceiling blew my mind. It was the first time I had the opportunity to watch an artist complete an installation on-site in a museum stetting, and when it was completed, I had a new respect for the labor and time Donovan puts into her works. She would mount a section of the sculpture, come down the scissor lift, look at it, go back up, change it, repeat. It’s easy to get discouraged as an artist when you are in the middle of making a work, you feel like you’ll never get to a result you’ll be happy with despite all your edits. Watching Donovan go through the process of revision to create an amazing finished work reminded me that all artists go through that process, even the ones in museums.

Name five women artists:
Juliana Huxtible
Andrea Bowers
Kathy Butterly
Shirin Neshat
Jenny Holzer

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