“Making Their Mark: Women Artists Move Into the Mainstream, 1970–85”

Cincinnati Art Museum

This traveling exhibition contains a dizzying array of closely clustered paintings, sculptures, photographs, documented performances, and environmental projects ranging from Elizabeth Murray’s explosive, semi-abstract shaped canvases to Catherine Murphy’s tightly-painted, carefully observed, still windows on the world; from Lynda Benglis’ glistening metal wall bows to Nancy Holt’s solstice-framing raw concrete drums in the desert; from Sandy Skoglund’s eerie nightmares to Audrey Flack’s languid daydreams; and from Ana Mendieta’s self-inflicted ritualistic wounds to Faith Ringgold’s lovable, life-sized, stuffed dolls in mourning. Making sense of the period surveyed and of women’s contribution to it proves difficult. But that, of course, is a sign of the show’s success.

With 186 works by 88 women, “Making Their Mark” accurately reflects the chaotic and energetic art scene of the ’70s and

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