Romancing the Mirror

December 4, 2020 - June 20, 2021

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The group exhibition Romancing the Mirror showcases a new generation of women artists. Although developing in different directions, these artists have in common the masterful, yet playful, use of different techniques employed with freedom and ease, to present an inherently female sense of self and way of looking at the world.

 The artists featured, painters Frances Goodman, Jenna Gribbon, Hayv Kahraman, Tschabalala Self, and sculptors Diana Al-Hadid, Karen Lamonte, and Nevine Mahmoud, take themselves, their lives and environments, as narrative subjects, while at the same time challenging classical depictions and definitions of the female in the history of art.


Profile_Diana Al-Hadid

Diana Al-Hadid

Diana Al-Hadid (b. 1981) was born in Aleppo, Syria and currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. Her interest in process has led Al-Hadid to explore materials such as fiberglass and polymer gypsum, a modified form of the mineral used in plaster and wallboard.

Profile_Frances Goodman

Frances Goodman

Frances Goodman (Johannesburg, South Africa, 1975) received her MA in Fine Arts from Goldsmiths College at the University of London, England in 2000. In her multimedia work, Goodman explores definitions of female identity found in popular culture, expressing the aspiration, desire and anxiety that intertwine in its consumption, often using unconventional materials associated with female vanity. 

Profile_Jenna Gribbon

Jenna Gribbon

Jenna Gribbon (b. 1978) lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. She received her MFA from Hunter College in New York. Much of her work is focused on the female nude; playing on historical gender roles, she highlights the voyeuristic aspect, so often associated with the female nude. 

Profile_Hayv Kahraman

Hayv Kahraman

Hayv Kahraman (b. 1981) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Originally from Baghdad, Iraq, her family were forced to flee the country during the first Persian Gulf War in 1990. Art became a way of emphasizing her own story and cultural displacement as a refugee, highlighting the ways in which she felt required to conform to Eurocentric ideals. 

Profile_Karen LaMonte

Karen LaMonte

Karen  LaMonte (New York, 1967) graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1990 and lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic. Although she uses a wide range of media in her work, from ceramic, bronze and iron, to alabaster, paper and marble, it is her sublime glass sculptures depicting the human form that have become internationally renowned. 

Profile_Nevine Mahmoud

Nevine Mahmoud

Nevine Mahmoud (London, 1988) lives and works in Los Angeles, CA. Following a BFA from Goldsmiths College, at the University of London, England, she received her MFA from the University of Southern California in Los Angeles in 2014. Mahmoud emphasizes playful contradictions to create a sense of tension between the viewer and her often overtly sensual works. 

Profile_Tschabalala Self

Tschabalala Self

Tschabalala Self (Harlem, NY, 1990) is a New Haven-based artist who received her MFA from Yale University in 2015. Self's work is intrinsically related to her sense of identity, and her exploration of the iconographic significance of the Black female body in contemporary culture. 

Hello There

Staff Profile Ylva Rouse

Ylva Rouse

Senior Curator

Ylva Rouse joined MOCA in May 2019 from New Orleans, where she moved in 2007 to launch Prospect.1, the citywide international arts triennial founded by Dan Cameron in order to bring positive attention to New Orleans following hurricane Katrina. She served as the Deputy Director for Curatorial Affairs for the organization until 2017, when she would lead the implementation of its fourth edition, Prospect.4. as Interim Director. Prior to her tenure at Prospect, Rouse worked as Curator in Madrid, Spain, working with artists such as John M. Armleder, Jenny Holzer, Liam Gillick, Alex Katz, or Tatsuo Miyajima. During her years as Exhibitions Curator at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, she organized touring retrospectives of work by among others Robert Ryman, Gerhard Richter, Agnes Martin, Richard Serra and Joan Miró, as well as serving as Project Director for the seminal exhibitions El Jardin Salvaje (The Savage Garden) at the Caixa Foundation and Cocido y Crudo (The Cooked and the Raw) at the Reina Sofia Museum. Rouse holds a B.A. in Music and Art, and Master Studies, from New York University.

With the firm belief in art as a force for change, she has been active throughout her career curating and writing about art. She has immersed herself in the communities where she has lived, both as advisor and collaborator, participating in diverse arts projects and initiatives with local organizations, community centers, and universities; always in pursuit of spreading the understanding and enjoyment of the modern and contemporary arts and to bring awareness of the importance of nurturing the creative spirit, both as individuals and as community.