"The Guerrilla Girls Are Still Relevant After All These Years," by Jennie Waldow, Hyperallergic
CLAREMONT, Calif. — When I first saw the work of the Guerrilla Girls in high school, I had a similar reaction as when I first read Linda Nochlin’s “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”: ashamed that something so obvious had to be laid out for me. Of course, societal norms prohibited women from pursuing their artistry to the fullest extent possible in the past, but now, I’d thought, things were different: female artists had solo shows at major museums, and powerful women worked as gallerists, curators, journalists, and tastemakers. But there’s something about seeing the black-and-white numbers presented by the Guerrilla Girls, usually in the form of accessible posters, that’s eye opening and enraging. It’s one thing to have a gauzy concept of past wrongs and present progress, quite another to know just how much the status quo is still upheld today.
Guerrilla Girls: Art in Action at the Pomona College Art Museum, curated by Benjamin Feldman, a Pomona senior and the Josephine Bump ’76 curatorial intern, is a small but potent look at the confrontational posters and publications created by the feminist group. Started in 1985 by an anonymous cluster of critics, artists, academics, and museum workers, the Guerrilla Girls have made a long career of critiquing the art world’s male- and Caucasian-centered focus. While the exhibition would benefit from wall labels dating each poster, its setting in an academic context has undoubtedly exposed many students to the continuing existence of troubling imbalances in museums, galleries, and publications.