Janice Gurney, Mary Scott and Arlene Stamp have been exhibiting — sometimes together, and more or less as painters — for more than two decades. In the last six years, they independently decided to reflect on strategies of citation and appropriation that were already entrenched in their practices. Each began to recycle, sample, and “cannibalize” her own earlier works.
Blind Stairs includes works dating from the early 1980s to the present. Since each artist incorporates traces of other persons (who may or may not be artists) in her production, this group mid-career retrospective avoids the tendency of solo retrospectives to separate artistic authorship from historical context. Instead, it offers a chance to explore patterns of affiliation and appropriation that indicate a particular artistic subjectivity. Arising from feminist and Conceptual art paradigms, this artistic persona appears to have more in common with the jazz ensemble than with the solitary figure of the painter.