Gender Scrambling at the Victoria Gallery and Museum
The University of Liverpool’s Victoria Gallery and Museum (VGM) presents LINDA STEIN: Gender Scrambling, an exhibition of work by American artist Linda Stein (b. 1943) which investigates and inverts gender roles and stereotypes.
The free exhibition, on until 2 September 2023, features 26 prints from Linda Stein’s series of the same name plus one of her metre-high Knight Adagio sculptures and her film short Running (2008).
Stein is a New York born feminist artist. Ever since the 1960s, she has been devoted to the LGBTQ+ and feminist movement through her artistic practice. Working in everything from drawings, paintings, prints and collages to large sculptures, she explores themes of gender, power, persecution, and heroism.
In 2001, Stein was caught up in the 9/11 attack on New York and was forced to flee her Tribeca home and studio, leaving her displaced for almost a year. This sense of panic and helplessness was enduringly traumatic, leaving an indelible imprint on Linda which has emerged through her subsequent artworks.
Linda makes visual a world where men wear dresses and women wear armour so the lines of gender become blurred into androgyny. She encourages the oppressed ‘other’ to be their own superheroes and fight their own battles. Themes of protection and valour in the face of bullying and struggles for social justice are integral to her work.
Linda Stein said: “My goal as an artist is to use my art to transform social consciousness and inspire activism for peace, equality and diversity. With my androgynous forms and pop-culture icons, I invite the viewer to seek diversity in unpredictable ways, to ‘try on’ new personal avatars and self-definitions.”
The artworks displayed in LINDA STEIN: Gender Scrambling are part of the University of Liverpool’s permanent art collection and were generously gifted by Mr Raymond C. Learsy in 2022. This is the first time they have been shown. The exhibition at the VGM runs concurrently with a major retrospective of Linda Stein’s career at the Konstmuseet i Skövde, Sweden called Androgynous Protection: A Linda Stein Retrospective (22 April – 10 September 2023).
The exhibition is curated by Dr Amanda Draper, Curator of Art & Exhibitions, University of Liverpool.
More about the VGM
The Victoria Gallery & Museum (Ashton Street, L69 3DR) is open Tuesday to Saturday, 10am – 5pm and admission to the exhibition is free. For further information visit: https://vgm.liverpool.ac.uk/ or follow the VG&M on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook.
Image credit: Gender Scrambling 776: Astaire, Rodgers (limited edition archival print) by Linda Stein. © Linda Stein