Published On: Thu, Jul 30th, 2015

Ida Applebroog: Empowering Women

Applebroog is one of the pioneering artists of the feminist movement.

ida applebroog

As you enter the Hauser & Wirth Gallery in Chelsea’s 18th Street spacious space, the visitor is faced with a stunning image of military-like women in a midst of a “military” parade. Not every army will have their women soldiers marching mostly naked with a heavy hat on their heads and long, leather, high-heeled boots on their legs. But Ida Applebroog‘s army of women does. Ms. Applebroog, in her 80s, still feels strongly about empowering women and it hardly matters what it takes to make it happen. After all, she’s one of the pioneering artists of the feminist movement.


Marching Women - Ida Applebroog


The seven oversized panels marching canvas leads the visitors right into the large open space where the viewer is not sure whether she entered a set design, theater stage or a gallery exhibit. Large banner-like vertical canvasses hanging from the very high ceiling create a maze-like feeling. One can wander around and enjoy the graphic, somewhat pornographic, images as they approach the wondering souls with a straightforward sensation. No one is being shy here to expose the inner or the outer self. The “people” hovering about are in conversation in a world of their own, creating an atmosphere of “The Ethics of Desire, ” in accordance with show’s title.


Installation Ida Applebroog


The audience is invited to take a role, whether by sitting on the chairs or playing hide and seek between the banners. A row of chairs installed at the beginning of the exhibition with small drawings painted on them hint to the fact that you’re entering a theater space if you wish to look at it that way. This is a very unique way of her displaying so many issues she has been dealing with in her art over five decades. Human relationships, women’s sexuality, violence, politics and all with a touch of comic while always focusing on fashion. Ida Appelbroog was born in the Bronx, NY in 1929. She lives and works in SoHo NYC.

ida applebroog Chair

She was first discovered in the mid-1970s as she returned to NYC from Chicago, wherehicago where she studied at the art institute. She was very quickly recognized by her simplified human forms with bold outlines. In other words, she created her people to march and speak for her in her own style and they continue to do so in NYC and around the world.

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