Names

“NAMES”, a solo exhibition by Ruth Wolf, addresses gender politics as it concerns education, equal pay, and healthcare. Women’s issues from events as diverse as the Taliban attack on Malala Yousafzai to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act to today’s headline of women’s homelessness, and Sheryl Sandberg's book “Lean In” bring focus to women’s need to take leadership roles in society.

Wolf chose “the 72 Virgins” as her vehicle to explore and discuss this concept. The 72 Virgins, objects of femininity perceived as naïve, have been eroticized and marked as rewards. This installation changes their status from a conjoined group into authentic individuals with singular identities, names and stories.

The installation consists of 72 portraits on canvas. Like an archival portrait gallery that gives a family history, this portrait gallery presents women who share an essence and who share a spirit and in doing so form a family of their own.

Wolf says, “As an artist working today, I feel it is necessary to speak about the world I live in, to put a focus on what art can say and help others see alternatives. My intent is to educate, challenge and inspire.”