On April 3, the Myhren Gallery hosted a VIP event around the Female Gaze exhibition, which was attended by many influential women in our community. The event (and show itself) is part of a year-long initiative to promote women artists — an initiative led by RedLine’s current show, “She Crossed the Line,” which features trailblazing contemporary female artists in five exhibitions throughout the year.
A prominent artist highlighted in “The Female Gaze” is Hung Liu, a Chinese-American artist who immigrated to the United States during the Cultural Revolution. Liu is presently a professor at Mills College in Oakland, California. She came to DU for a series of class workshops and presentations, and spoke at the VIP event this past Thursday at the gallery. Much of Liu’s work is inspired by a collection of photographs of everyday people lost to memory and the past. Her large-scale portraits are often marked by diluted tear-like drips — a rejection of her academic training in China. In her gallery talk, she spoke of the many road blocks she has had to overcome during the course of her career. While her work has been recognized with much acclaim now (her paintings are featured in the Met, the National Gallery, and the LACMA, to name a few), she openly acknowledged the hard work and multiple hurdles she had to overcome to get where she is today. She was both inspiring and humble in her brief talk, and spoke warmly of the other women artists in the exhibition, some of whom were personal friends. Liu, along with many of the artists in the show, is clearly part of a larger community of women who work collaboratively to challenge the traditionally male-dominated art world.