Bailey Doogan: Selected Works 1971-2005
Two Collaborative Exhibitions
Tucson Museum of Art
A 35-year retrospective of Tucson artist Bailey Doogan's provocative body of work was presented from September 2005 – February 2006 with concurrent exhibitions at the Tucson Museum of Art and the Etherton Gallery. TMA's exhibit featured Doogan's 1971-1998 work while the Etherton Gallery showed her 1993-2005 work. The exhibition also featured a major catalog with accompanying essays by performance artist and writer Joanna Frueh; art critic Lucy Lippard; art historian Mary Garrard; artist May Stevens; and TMA's Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art Julie Sasse.
Well-known for her command of many media, artist Bailey Doogan's work does not embrace one style, one medium or the repeated concerns of a singular subject matter. Throughout her career Doogan has addressed conventions of female beauty, issues of aging, and the mutable landscape of being. Speaking through the layers of the customary representations of the nude as an art form, Doogan continued to expand her repertoire of imagery so that beauty and the language of the body became synonymous at any age.
Doogan's sometimes tongue-in-cheek investigations, based in her interpretations of the ambiguous self as it is defined by language, are realized in serial investigations. Derived from two series of drawings and paintings, one of the series consists of full figure self-portraits that explore, in the artist's words, "self-examination on a personal and implied national level." From the 1970s into the 21st century, Doogan's art tells the stories of women's lives from their animated faces to the details of their aging bodies. While some have seen her explicit depictions of aging bodies as unappealing or controversial, for Doogan her imagery arose from compassion. As she said, "For me, skin is beautiful because it is a luminous diary of experience."
Doogan's body of work also includes film and three-dimensional constructions. Her animated film, SCREW, A Technical Love Poem, has won numerous awards and has been previewed in festivals nationally and internationally. At once technically masterful, bantering and ironic, her oeuvre is a powerful resource for the relevant discourse of our time.
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