[H]osted at New York’s disruptive gallery The Untitled Space, Secret Garden is an exhibition exploring female sexuality. Inspired by the 1973 seminal work My Secret Garden by sex positive feminist author Nancy Friday, the show charts the modern history of women and sex, deconstructing taboos, considering the longtime absence of the female gaze from porn, photography and sexual history and assessing art’s contribution to a new chapter in the sexual liberation movement.
Featuring works from pioneering feminist artists including Betty Tompkins and Joan Semmel through to the progressive, arresting work of emerging artists including Signe Pierce and Leah Shrager, Secret Garden is both an emphatic celebration of female sexuality and a challenge to society’s stubborn persistence that women must be judged by their sexual behavior. Erotic, alternative and urgent, this a vital show in times when progress has been halted by a tragic and threatening return to conservatism and the political right.
“I feel it is an important time to present an exhibition of female artists who are resisting oppressive structures and climates by championing sex positive feminism. With the new political right, we have ushered in a conservative era, which attempts to challenge many liberties we have grown accustomed to including women’s reproductive rights and the legality of birth control. The importance of censorship-free, sexually liberated art has regained significance as women today continue to battle for equality and freedom of expression.” – Indira Cesarine, Curator