Abortion is Normal exhibition features Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Barbara Kruger and more

The New York show which opens today features personal responses by 40 artists to law changes regarding women’s reproductive rights in the US, with all proceeds going to Planned Parenthood.

9 January 2020


An exhibition featuring world renowned artists opens today at New York’s Eva Presenhuber gallery, each personally responding to changes in the law and growing threats to women’s reproductive rights in the US. Abortion is Normal aims to raise awareness of the issues as well as funds for Planned Parenthood, with artists such as Cindy Sherman, Nan Goldin, Barbara Kruger, Viva Ruiz, Catherine Opie and Judith Bernstein taking part.

The curators Jasmine Wahi and Rebecca Pauline Jampol explain in a statement that, while not all the artists have necessarily had an abortion themselves, “the underlying thread of this exhibition is that abortion and reproductive health affects everyone”. This latest, and so far largest, iteration of the ongoing series of Abortion is Normal exhibitions is an urgent call to action at a time when legal abortion in the US is facing serious threats. 58 restrictive laws affecting women’s rights have already passed since January 2019 in the US, and the landmark 1973 ruling in Roe vs Wade – which federally sanctions the right to choose – is in jeopardy of being reversed.

The events, put together by not-for-profit arts initiative Project for Empty Space – which is co-directed by curators Wahi and Jampol – hopes to offer “an inclusive and empathetic entry point” to the conversation around abortion, hence the title of the show.

“The intention of this series is not only to spread the message that exercising choice and embracing body autonomy is a right; but also, to create a space for camaraderie through participation. Many components of Abortion is Normal are interactive, and invite visitors to have ownership and autonomy in the conversation.”

Abortion is Normal opens at Eva Presenhuber today until 18 January, and at Arsenal Gallery on 21 January until 1 February. Work will be available to view and purchase through Artsy and Downtown for Democracy is sponsoring the show.

The full list of participating artists is: Allison Janae Hamilton, Ameya Marie, Amy Khoshbin, Andrea Chung, Arlene Shechet, Barbara Kruger, Betty Tompkins, Carroll Dunham, Catherine Opie, Cecily Brown, Chloe Wise, Chris Myers, Christen Clifford, Cindy Sherman, Delano Dunn, Dominique Duroseau, Elektra KB, Fin Simonetti, Grace Graupe Pillard, Hank Willis Thomas, hayv kahraman, Jaishri Abichandani, Jane Kaplowitz, Jon Kessler, Jonathan Horowitz, Judith Bernstein, Judith Hudson, Laurie Simmons, Louise Lawler, Lyle Ashton Harris, Marilyn Minter, Michele Pred, Mika Rottenberg, Nadine Faraj, Nan Goldin, Natalie Frank, Rob Pruitt, Ryan McGinley, Sarah Sze, Shirin Neshat, Shoshanna Weinberger, Sojourner Truth Parsons, Sue Williams, Suzy Lake, Tatyana Fazlalizadeh, Viva Ruiz, Wangechi Mutu, Xaviera Simmons, Walter Robinson, and Zoe Buckman. The poster design (below) is by Chantal Fischzang and Rebecca Pauline Jampol.

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Viva Ruiz: Thank God For Abortion. Via Project for Empty Space.

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Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, now overseeing the website’s daily editorial output. Contact her with stories, pitches and tips relating to the creative industries on jb@itsnicethat.com.

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