Words by Diana McClure / Photographs by Anders Jones

For a quick run-down of fabulous women of the 20th and 21st century, step into the first floor galleries of the Fisher Landau Center for Art in Long Island City, Queens. On view, is the exhibition, TIMOTHY GREENFIELD-SANDERS: The Women’s List - 50 Portraits & Film Projection.

Immediately, upon entering, a portrait of the art collector and the center’s founder, Emily Fisher Landau is to the right of the doorframe, and a young Hillary Clinton is to the left.

Known for his “photographic portrait lists”, Greenfield-Sanders has produced portrait series entitled: The Black List, The Latino List, and The Boomer List, all accompanied by film presentations featured at the Sundance Film Festival, on HBO and on PBS’s American Masters.

As in his previous list projects, The Women’s List images reflect a cross-section of well-known individuals involved in politics, entertainment, art, fashion, government and more.

Hillary Clinton’s portrait, taken as First Lady and shot in profile from the waste up in Greenfield-Sanders signature straight forward style, is the lead shot on a wall of seventeen black and white photographs.

With her smiling face turned toward the images that follow her, and a hand delicately placed across her heart, she appear to gently bow to all the women who have come before her, journeyed alongside her, and proven themselves to be pioneers in their chosen fields.

Serendipitously, although the exhibition opened in June 2016, Michelle Obama strikes a friendly knowing pose immediately to the right of Hillary; posthumously reminiscent of Michelle’s spectacular speech at the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Following Michelle, is Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotamayor, completing a powerhouse trifecta of current female leadership in the United States of America.

These initial three images show their subjects smiling, suggesting comfort and confidence in their public lives, a similar emotional temperament in photographs of Gloria Allred and Nancy Pelosi, also included in the exhibition.

However, the remaining images in the exhibition show closed lipped chanteuses, provocateurs, and change makers whose sensibilities suggest deep immersion in the current processes of their careers and lives. Serious minded women, who also entertain, perform, induce beauty or inspire deep thought. 

Along with a video projection that includes women speaking directly to the camera against the same grey backdrop as the photographic portraits, over thirty color photographs feature female icons including: singer/songwriter Alicia Keys, writer/producer Shonda Rhimes, fashion designer Betsey Johnson, scientist/entrepreneur Elizabeth Holmes, musician Patti Smith, activist Angela Davis, comedian Margaret Cho, and actor Rosie Perez.


(original blog post)