Crystal Bridges is thrilled to announce that the museum recently acquired some exciting works by contemporary artists who were featured in the 2019 exhibition, Men of Steel, Women of Wonder (MOSWOW): Object of Curiosity, World Summit, and Landing from Super East/West Woman by Aphrodite Désirée Navab, and Wintered Fields by Jason Yarmosky.
Men of Steel, Women of Wonder (MOSWOW), an exhibition organized at Crystal Bridges, examines art-world responses to two of America’s favorite superheroes: Superman and Wonder Woman. After it closed on April 20, MOSWOW traveled to the San Antonio Museum of Art from June 21 to September 1, 2019. Men of Steel, Women of Wonder will open at the Addison Gallery in Andover, Massachusetts this Saturday, October 5 and will be on view through January 5, 2020.
Crystal Bridges acquired the three photographs pictured above from Aphrodite Désirée Navab. World Summit was given to Crystal Bridges as a gift by Navab, in honor of her brother Alexander Navab.
In this series of photographs from her Super East/West Woman series, artist Aphrodite Désirée Navab responds to Superman’s ability to fly. After fleeing with her family from the Iranian Revolution in 1979, the hero took on a new significance for her as she, too, lost her homeland. Reflecting on these points of connection years later, Navab created Super East/West Woman. As she describes:
“I first saw Superman in 1978, when I was seven years old with my family in Isfahan, Iran. The metaphor of flight left a profound impression on me. Particularly, his cape reminded me of the chador (Farsi for hijab) that my grandmother, Haj-khanom, wore. When the 1978-79 Islamic revolution began, we fled Iran as a family and never returned. I was never able to see my grandparents again. I identified with his irreparable loss of family and homeland. Years later in my art, I transformed the Superman of my childhood into a Super East-West Woman whose chador turns into a cape of agency.” – Aphrodite Désirée Navab
Navab visited Crystal Bridges during the exhibition’s opening earlier this year and spoke at the opening lecture with fellow MOSWOW-featured artist, Fahamu Pecou.
Artist Jason Bard Yarmosky painted his grandmother, who was living with Alzheimer’s at the time, in a costume reminiscent of Wonder Woman. He describes the painting and its meaning in his own words:
“Since the beginning of time we continue to seek comfort in a life we have little control over. Our culture loves superheroes, godlike figures that we tend to put on pedestals. We celebrate these iconic symbols impervious to harm. What we often overlook is another important dimension to their character-their vulnerability, a quality that makes us truly human. My grandmother was a wonder woman to me. Her heroic battle with Alzheimer’s Disease left her vulnerable. In my work Wintered Fields, I wanted to contrast her age and predicament with this symbolic costume to show both the heroism and vulnerability of the human condition.” – Jason Yarmosky
After MOSWOW’s final run at Addison Gallery, the acquired artworks (and Rosie the Riveter!) will return to Crystal Bridges. There are no immediate plans to put these artworks on view, but assistant curator and creator of MOSWOW, Alejo Benedetti, has stated that he is excited to incorporate the works into the permanent galleries in the future stating, “These four objects added so much to the MOSWOW exhibition and it’s thrilling to think about how Jason and Aphrodite’s works will prompt new conversations with the rest of the museum’s collection.”