New York

Jacki Apple, Martha Wilson, and Nancy Kitchel

Martha Jackson West

In a large group show of “Conceptual” artists, the work of Jacki Apple, Martha Wilson, and Nancy Kitchel stood out. Recently, varying claims for women’s interests in art (not “understood” or denigrated by men) have been made. Often the emphasis has been on superficial connections to so-called womanly crafts (weaving) and “female” qualities (ephermeralness, fragility) or, dogmatically, on the difference of the feminine sexual perspective. What indeed intrigues me about these three women artists is their implicit (and sometimes explicit) questioning of what it means to be a woman, a questioning that naturally arises out of their exploration of self. The fact that these artists are women is not so much imposed on the work as intrinsic to it—a factor in their personal identity.

Apple’s Digging is a documentation of the excavation of “found” artifacts from a site and the reverse burying of

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