New Maternalisms - Toronto


New Maternalisms - Toronto

Event Type




Curatorial Statement

New Maternalisms is a multi-pronged project conceived of by art historian, curator, and conceptual and performance artist Natalie S. Loveless in 2010.  It consists of three curated exhibitions (New Maternalisms in 2012, held at the Mercer UnionNew Maternalisms Chile in 2014, co-curated withSoledad Novoa, and held concurrently at the Museo de Arte Contemporáneo  and the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts in Santiago de Chile; and New Maternalisms Redux in 2016, held at the University of Alberta’s FAB Gallery), satellite events surrounding these (most notably the colloquium Mapping the Maternal: Art, Ethics, and the Anthropocene, co-organized with Dr. Sheena Wilson), an individual three-year artistic research project, Maternal Ecologiesand publications (both catalogues and critical writings).
The first New Maternalisms exhibition asked: Forty years after the intervention of feminist art, what is the experience of the daughters of that era who have become mothers? What are the discursive and material differences between early maternal artworks of the 1970s and those being produced in the first two decades of the 21st century? How might a return to the discourses that shaped the birth of feminist art help reshape how to think about the contours of political and activist art in today's cultural climate? Grounded in these questions, this exhibition brought together a group of artist who use performance to bring attention to the embodied, biological, and material enmeshment of early maternal practice in the context of feminist art theory and practice today.
This second iteration of New Maternalisms was a co-curation with the Chilean curator Soledad Novoa. It brought together North American and European artist (curated by Loveless) with Chilean artists (curated by Novoa) to stage an international conversation on the status of the maternal in contemporary art. These works reflect the expressed need of many artists to find creative ways to integrate their practices as mothers, artists, curators, writers and teachers. By taking seriously the need to create from local conditions and materials, these practices give visibility and value to motherhood in art and as art.
New Maternalisms Redux is the third and last in the New Maternalisms exhibition series (following Toronto 2012 and Santiago 2014). These exhibitions feature performance and project-based artists working with the maternal as a contemporary political and affective force. New Maternalisms Redux features five artists culled from the first two exhibitions, each of whom have been investigating the maternal, iteratively, for years. A three-day colloquium, Mapping the Maternal: Art, Ethics, and the Anthropocene, will be held in conjunction with the exhibition and include a number of prominent voices on feminist art and the maternal today (including Mary Kelly and Dr. Griselda Pollock as keynote participants). This colloquium, open to the public, brings crucial thinking on the anthropocene and anthropogenic climate change together with thinking on the maternal as metaphor, practice, and politics.


Lovisa Johansson
Marlene Renaud-B
Hélène Matte
Beth Hall and Mark Cooley
Masha Godovannaya
Gina Miller
Dillon Paul & Lindsey Wolkowicz
Victoria Singh
Alice de Visscher
Christine Pountney


Fri March 23rd - Sun March 25th



“New Maternalisms - Toronto,” Artist Parent Index , accessed July 19, 2024,

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