A.I.R. Pioneers

Portraits by Judy Cooper

November 4 - December 1, 2012

A.I.R. Gallery111
Front Street, Brooklyn, New York
Hours: Wednesday-Sunday: 11:00 am to 6:00 pm.
Nov. 4 through Dec. 2 , 2012

Gallery Onetwentyeight
128 Rivington Street, Lower East Side, Manhattan
Wednesday-Saturday: 1:00 to 7:00 pm; Sunday: 1:00-5:00 pm.
Nov. 9 through Dec.1, 2012

This exhibition of portraits honors the founders and very early members of A.I.R. Gallery for their role in establishing the first gallery of, by and for women artists in the United States. A.I.R. began in 1972 when a group of determined young women artists got together, renovated a small storefront space in Soho and hung their art on the walls. At that time, other galleries in New York largely ignored the work of women artists. Thankfully, these women’s efforts paid off. They immediately attracted a lot of attention by their boldness and by the quality of their work. Forty years later, the A.I.R. Gallery is still going strong. 

Though there were twenty original founders, several of them dropped out of the gallery in the first few years. They were immediately replaced by other women artists who stayed on through the formative years of the gallery. I have photographed all but one of the original twenty. I have included five others who came on board soon after the beginning of the gallery. They like to call themselves the A.I.R. Pioneers. Pioneers is in fact a good term to describe all of these women who have had such a profound and lasting influence on the status of women in the world of art. They boldly led the way for us to follow.

This exhibition features ten of my portraits of the Pioneers. One of the portraits is of Kazuko, the owner of this gallery who was an early member of A.I.R. She was the first pioneer that I photographed- in this gallery. Having this show in this gallery seems very, very fitting. A con-current exhibition of fourteen portraits is on view at A.I.R. Gallery, now located in Brooklyn. Both exhibitions will be up through the month of November, 2012. I am glad that these exhibitions are taking place in this, the fortieth anniversary year of the founding of A.I.R.

 Judy Cooper


You are invited to two shows of contemporary portraits of the women who founded A.I.R. Gallery in 1972, the first gallery of, by, and for women artists in the US.
The founders and early members of A.I.R. include many well known and influential artists. Cooper has photographed them in their studios to show that they are still successful, active and working. The subjects stand or sit facing the camera so that there is immediate contact between the subject and the viewer. The large size of the prints enhances the life-like quality of the portraits. Cooper wants the viewer to feel the dynamic presence of these important women.

Daria Dorosh and Nancy Spero, portraits on exhibit at A.I.R. Gallery
The shows will take place simultaneously in the month of November at A.I.R. Gallery in Brooklyn and Gallery Onetwentyeight in the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Fourteen portraits will be at A.I.R. Gallery. Onetwentyeight will show ten portraits and will include examples of work by some of the founders themselves.
The timing of these exhibitions coincides with the fortieth anniversary of the founding of the gallery in 1972.

   Judith Bernstein and Barbara Zucker, portraits on exhibit at Gallery Onetwentyeight
A book by the same title serves as a catalogue for the exhibitions and will be for sale at both galleries.

For further information on the exhibitions and galleries

128 Rivington St.
(bet. Essex & Norfolk)
NYC, NY 10002
212 674 0244

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