Trustman Art Gallery

Slyly Fractured

Photographs by Nancy Grace Horton

September 2 - October 1

September 2 – October 1

Simmons University presents Slyly Fractured, photographs by Nancy Grace Horton, from September 2 – October 1, 2015 at the Trustman Art Gallery, located on the fourth floor, Main College Building, 300 the Fenway in Boston. A reception from 5-7 PM. will be held on Thursday, September 10. The exhibit and reception are free and open to the public.

Nancy Grace Horton’s photographs capture constructed moments theatricalizing female gender roles influenced by contemporary American culture. We rarely see the entire figure or the before and after of the implied narrative. Yet, it is a narrative of aggression. The feminine appears unbound from the meekness and sexually submissive larger cultural role traditionally told, to one that hits back at these assumptions. Horton follows in the tradition of artists both male and female that portray woman’s sexual dominance – and by extension – actual power.

In Lawn Heels she uses feminized artifacts such as spiked heels that dominate a machine associated with men. Her brightly lit summer scene with a bare leg and foot sporting yellow high heels victoriously laid upon the “back” of a power mower echoes the king’s foot on the neck of the enemy battle imagery. Horton’s women are out of conventional control. We are voyeuristically peeping at them, but they seem aware of their audience, like Manet’s Olympia, whose challenging stare and forthright indication of her status as a sexual worker challenges the typical submissive plotline laid down by men.

The photos are amusing and provocative and draw important attention to the issue of human rights. Although these photos are a slice of Americana, that is portraying suburban white women, they remind us that even in many areas of our own country, women’s autonomy is under attack. In places all over the globe, from Texas to Afghanistan women are seeking self-determination. Her image, Independence, strands the viewer at crotch level, looking up at a tattooed woman’s torso who is flicking a lighter. Should women have say over their bodies, their minds? Horton makes clear that women don’t have to continue in the timeworn path.

The Gallery continues its Lunchtime Lecture Series on Wednesday, September 16 from 12:30-1:30 with a presentation by Professor of Philosophy & Women’s and Gender Studies Diane Grossman who will discuss Ain’t Misbehavin’: Popular Culture and the Feminine, followed by questions and conversation.

Trustman Art Gallery hours are 10 AM – 4:30 PM, Monday, Tuesday, and Friday, 10 AM – 7 PM on Wednesday and Thursday. The gallery is free, open to the public and wheelchair accessible. For more information, contact Kyle Mendelsohn at (617) 521-2268 or find us on Instagram.