Arts / Performing Arts

See The Modern’s Sensational ‘Women Painting Women’ Brought to Choreographed Life This August

Alexandra Farber, a Principal Dancer With Texas Ballet Theater, Will Debut a New Work Inspired By the Exhibit

BY // 08.08.22

When Alexandra Farber, choreographer, visual artist, and a principal dancer at Texas Ballet Theater, was approached to create a third performance for the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth, she was a bit short on time. The artist, who’s also in the midst of planning her wedding, originally planned to do a compilation of highlights from her past pieces to coincide with the current exhibit: “Women Painting Women.”

“Then I saw the exhibition,” Farber recalls. “I knew I had to do something new.”

On view through September 25, 2022, “Women Painting Women” puts the evocative works of 46 female artists spanning the past 50 years front and center. The powerful — and lauded — exhibit offers a rarely seen alternative to the male gaze in a museum, but it also works to broaden the boundaries of what it means to be a woman.

“The point of the show is about the inclusive ways women paint women,” Modern Art Museum chief curator Andrea Karnes told PaperCity when the exhibit opened in May. “The pivotal narrative is how these artists use the conventional portrait of a woman as a catalyst to tell another story outside of male interpretations of the female body.”

Women – Chief Curator Andrea Karnes stands at the entrance to The Modern’s new exhibit. Photo by Courtney Dabney.
Chief Curator Andrea Karnes stands at the entrance to The Modern’s new exhibit. Photo by Courtney Dabney.

“Women Painting Women” features approximately 50 portraits, but three, in particular, caught Farber’s eye. For her brand new piece, Three Portraits, the choreographer drew movement inspiration from Marilyn Minter’s Red Flare, Alex Heilbron’s Labor of Thought, and Lorna Simpson’s Black Darkness. To bring it to aural life, she set the pieces to songs by three of her favorite female artists: Feist, Regina Spektor, and Roniit, the last of which Farber discovered during the early days of the pandemic.

Farber, who also recently received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Maryland, incorporates her studies into the pieces, which are typically abstract.

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“People can probably pick out their own story watching the piece,” Farber explains. “What interests me is what you take away from the piece. It could be totally different from what I originally intended, but in a way, that is what I intended.”

Catch Alexandra Farber’s 30-minute performances (starting at 1:30 pm) on Saturday, August 20, and Sunday, August 21. Learn more at themodern.org

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