Maura Reilly is a curator and arts writer who several years ago coined the phrase ‘curatorial activism’. The term refers to organising art exhibitions in ways that give voice to those who have been historically silenced or omitted altogether and, as such, focus on work produced by women, artists of colour, non-Europeans and/or queer-identified artists.



In this lecture, Reilly will examine current art world statistics, with an eye toward sex ratios, and suggest strategies that might be used by curatorial activists to address these disparities. She will also refer to the Pop to Popism exhibition, where one of the curatorial objectives has been redressing the gender imbalance in the pop art canon.

The lecture will be followed by a screening of a recent interview she undertook with feminist icon Linda Nochlin, Emeritus Professor, Institute of Fine Arts at New York University, where the two analyse developments in curating feminism since Nochlin’s famous 1971 call to arms.



Maura Reilly has held positions at Griffith University in Brisbane and at the American Federation of Arts in New York. She is also the founding curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, where she conceived and launched the first American museum space dedicated exclusively to feminist art.

This event was held on 24 October 2014 at the Art Gallery of NSW, as part of the Pop to Popism exhibiton. The lecture was co-presented with the University of Sydney’s Sydney College of the Arts as part of the ‘Curating Feminism’ conference.

The lecture included a filmed interview with Linda Nochlin.