In recent years, podcasts have been launched by a number of arts institutions and businesses, with everyone from the Museum of Modern Art to Sean Kelly Gallery getting in on the action. Now the Getty Center in Los Angeles is expanding its efforts in the field, with the debut of its second audio offering: Recording Artists: Radical Women.
The podcast devotes each of its six episodes to a different woman artist of the 20th-century: Alice Neel, Lee Krasner, Betye Saar, Helen Frankenthaler, Yoko Ono, and Eva Hesse. Episodes, which incorporate little-heard audio interviews from the Getty archives with the artists recorded during the 1960s and 1970s, last about 40 minutes.
“As a grouping I was hoping that, even though they’re all really big names, the sum might be greater than the parts,” Molesworth told ARTnews of the six artists she chose to concentrate on. She added that “different aspects of their different lives and careers prismatically deal with the really complicated nexus of issues [relating to] what it means to be a woman and an artist simultaneously.”
For the project, Molesworth looked through more than 1,000 interviews and oral histories in the archives of the Getty Research Institute over the course of eight months, focusing on the collections of feminist art critics Cindy Nemser and Barbara Rose. (The Getty initially contacted Molesworth about the possibility of a podcast after it had digitized audio materials from Nemser and Rose.)
Molesworth built out the structure of the podcast from there, “importantly inviting people to listen to the audio with me and to think about some of the ideas that are perennial about being a woman and being an artist,” she said. The episodes include discussions of the work and lives of the chosen artists between Molesworth and art historians, cultural critics, and contemporary artists.
The segment on Alice Neel, for example, features commentary from artists Moyra Davey and Simone Leigh, while the episode dedicated to Betye Saar includes activist and onetime gallery owner Linda Goode Bryant and art historian Marci Kwon. Also on offer are conversations about Yoko Ono with contributors like Sanford Biggers and Catherine Lord, and words from art historian Darby English and artist Mary Weatherford on Eva Hesse.
“This was a big effort on both my part and the Getty’s part,” Molesworth said.
What’s next on the horizon for Molesworth? She’s organizing an exhibition of paintings by the late Noah Davis set to open at David Zwirner in New York early next year, and a group exhibition, titled “Feedback,” for Jack Shainman’s Kinderhook, New York outpost next summer.
Recording Artists: Radical Women can be found on the Getty’s website, Spotify, iTunes, and other listening services.