March is Women's History Month
feminism and feminist art - Especially since the late 1960s, when the feminist art movement can be said to have emerged, women have been particularly interested in what makes them different from males — what makes women artists and their art different from male artists and their art. This has been most prominent in the United States, Britain, and Germany, although there are numerous precursors to the movement, and it has spread to many other cultures since the 1970s.
Feminists point out that throughout most of recorded history males have imposed patriarchal (father-centered) social systems (in which they have dominated females). Although it is not the goal of this article to recount the development of feminist theory in full, the history of feminist art cannot be understood apart from it. Feminist theory must take into account the circumstances of most women's lives as mothers, household workers, and caregivers, in addition to the pervasive misconception that women are genetically inferior to men. Feminist art notes that significant in the dominant (meaning especially Western) culture's patriarchal heritage is the preponderance of art made by males, and for male audiences, sometimes transgressing against females. Men have maintained a studio system which has excluded women from training as artists, a gallery system that has kept them from exhibiting and selling their work, as well as from being collected by museums — albeit somewhat less in recent years than before.
Here is a notice posted by the Guerrilla Girls (founded in 1985, a New York based group of otherwise unnamed women "artists, writers, performers and film makers who fight discrimination") in a list they published in 1989:
The Advantages of Being a Woman Artist:
Working without the pressure of success.
Not having to be in shows with men.
Having an escape from the art world in your 4 free-lance jobs.
Knowing your career might pick up after you're eighty.
Being reassured that whatever kind of art you make it will be labeled feminine.
Not being stuck in a tenured teaching position.
Seeing your ideas live on in the work of others.
Having the opportunity to choose between career and motherhood.
Not having to choke on those big cigars or paint in Italian suits.
Having more time to work when your mate dumps you for someone younger.
Being included in revised versions of art history.
Not having to undergo the embarrassment of being called a genius.
Getting your picture in the art magazines wearing a gorilla suit.
Feminist art history must be considered as part of this discussion. Its proponents have demanded that women's arts from all cultures, of all periods, be included in studies and exhibitions of art. In 1971 Linda Nochlin (American, contemporary art critic) wrote a landmark article, "Why Have There Been No GREAT Women Artists?" giving tremendous momentum to feminist scholarship concerning women in the arts. Numerous histories of women artists were published in the 1970s, and several others have appeared in the years since then.
Before the late 1960s most women artists, struggling to participate in the male-dominated art world, had overwhelming disincentives to put feminist meanings into their work, and sought to de-gender their art. Often, on the basis of appearance alone, their work could not be identified as woman-made. Several countercultural movements arose simultaneously with feminism in the 1960s. At this time the United States experienced social upheaval coming with the Civil Rights Movement, the Vietnam War, economic prosperity, the arrival of oral contraceptives, reforms in the Catholic Church, nostalgia for the presidency of John F. Kennedy, and experimentation with psychotropic drugs. Many other countries experienced social unrest of various kinds during this period. Some gender issues have been of interest to both male and female artists. Although feminist art has arisen more from the concerns of artists of one gender, and some of those concerns are sexual in nature, more often than not feminist issues have been about women's power in arenas of which sexuality (reproductive acts and roles) is an important part.
Feminist art sometimes poses or confronts such questions as:
Although feminist artists have shown great interest in the depiction of nude figures (both male and female), few feminist artists have shown interest in creating erotic work. Nancy Burns, professor of political science at U of Michigan, differs with this assertion. She points to, "Carolee Schneeman fuses project. Tee Corrinne photography, Katie Niles - Jill Posener - Emma Bee Bernstein - I could go on...." (From a November 28, 2008 email message Burns sent to the author.)
Burns takes further exception to the construction of this page: "It's really a problem to set up a list of artists that are 'feminist' when the only thing all of them share is a vagina - these kind of assumptions of lumping women together simply because they're women is everything that's wrong with feminist thinking today. [See a note regarding Agnes Martin below.] This is also why the Guerrilla Girls' bedside companion is terrible. Most pages simply state whether or not an artist is a lesbian - what does her sex life have to do with her art? Why all biography and no substantive analysis of their actual work? Also there are many male artists that would call themselves feminist artists. Are they not allowed to care about gender issues because they have penis?" Indeed!
Examples (all women artists — some strongly feminist, some very little):
This page is a work in progress.
Please email the author with comments / suggestions.
Sofonisba Anguissola (Italian, c. 1530-1625), Self-Portrait, c. 1555, oil on parchment, 3 1/4 x 2 1/2 inches (8.2 x 6.3 cm), Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. The artist holds a medallion inscribed in Latin around the rim: "The maiden Sofonisba Anguissola, depicted by her own hand, from a mirror, at Cremona." Inside the circle is a cryptogram whose entwined letters are included in the name of Anguissola's father, Amilcare. The meaning and original purpose of this enigmatic portrait remain a mystery. See Baroque, circle, mirror, oval, self-portrait, and miniature.
Sofonisba Anguissola, The Artist's Sister Minerva Anguissola, c. 1564, oil on canvas, Milwaukee Art Museum, WI.
Sofonisba Anguissola, Profile Portrait of a Young Woman, oil on canvas, 68.5 x 52.5 cm, The Hermitage, St. Petersburg.
Lavinia Fontana (Italian, 1552-1614), Portrait of a Noblewoman, c. 1580, oil on canvas, 45 1/4 x 35 1/4 inches, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.
Elisabetta Sirani (Italian, 1638-1665), Virgin and Child, 1663, oil on canvas, 34 x 27 1/2 inches, National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.
Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593-1651/53), Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1620, oil on canvas, 78 3/8 x 64 inches (199 x 162.5 cm), Uffizi, Florence. See Baroque and Caravaggisti.
Artemisia Gentileschi (Italian, 1593-1651/53), Judith and Her Maidservant with the Head of Holofernes, c. 1625, oil on canvas, 1.8 x 1.4 m (72 1/2 x 55 3/4 inches, Detroit Institute of Art, MI. See frame.
Clara Peeters (Flemish, 1594-1657)
Judith Leyster (Dutch, 1609-1660). See Dutch art.
Maria Sibylla Merian (German, 1647-1717)
Angelica Kauffmann (Swiss, 1741-1807), Portrait of a Lady, c. 1795, oil on canvas, 79.2 x 63.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See Neoclassicism and Swiss art.
Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (French, 1749-1803), Self-Portrait with Two Pupils, Mademoiselle Marie Gabrielle Capet (1761-1818) and Mademoiselle Carreaux de Rosemond (died 1788), 1785, oil on canvas, 83 x 59 1/2 inches (210.8 x 151.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See self-portrait.
Marie Louise Elizabeth Vigée-Le Brun (aka Elisabeth-Louise Vigée-Lebrun) (French, 1755-1842), Portrait of Countess Maria Theresia Bucquoi, née Parr (1746-1818), 1793, oil on canvas, 53 1/2 x 39 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. See French art and Neoclassicism.
Only one of these titles can be correct. Which one is it?
Marie Louise Elizabeth Vigée-Le Brun, Self-Portrait, oil on canvas, oval, 25 1/4 x 21 inches (64.1 x 53.3 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See self-portrait.
Marie-Denise Villers (French, 1774-1821), Young Woman Drawing, 1801, oil on canvas, 63 1/2 x 50 5/8 inches (161.3 x 128.6 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. Although it is not known for certain if this is a self-portrait, it might be. See Neoclassicism.
Julia Margaret Cameron (English, born India, 1815-1879), Zoe, Maid of Athens, 1866?, albumen silver print from glass negative, 30.1 x 24.5 cm (11 7/8 x 9 5/8 inches), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Julia Margaret Cameron, The Mountain Nymph, Sweet Liberty, June 1866, albumen print from collodion wet plate, .361 x .267 m (14 3/16 x 10 1/2 inches), National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
Rosa Bonheur (born Marie Rosalie Bonheur) (French, 1822-1899), The Horse Fair, 1853-55, oil on canvas, 96 1/4 x 199 1/2 inches (244.5 x 506.7 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. (On the Met's page, you can enlarge any detail.) See Realism.
Berthe Morisot (French, 1841-1895) See Impressionism. Berthe Morisot (French, 1841-1895), Reading: The Mother and Sister Edma of the Artist (La lecture), 1869-1870, oil on canvas, 39 3/4 x 32 1/4 inches (101 x 81.8 cm), National Gallery of Art, Washington. This painting was retouched by Manet. Also see Impressionism and the WebMuseum.
Berthe Morisot, The Cradle (Le berceau), 1872, oil on canvas, 22 x 18 inches (56 x 46 cm), Musée d'Orsay, Paris. The models were Berthe's sister Edma and Edma's daughter Blanche. See French art.
Berthe Morisot, In a Park, also known as On the Grass, 1874, Petit Palais, Paris. Edma and her children.
Berthe Morisot, The Artist's Daughter, Julie, with her Nanny, about 1884, oil on canvas, 23 x 28 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. See portrait.
Berthe Morisot, A Village (the village of Maurecourt), pastel on paper, 18 1/2 x 28 1/4 inches (47 x 72 cm), private collection, New York.
Mary Cassatt (American, 1844-1926, active in France), Portrait of the Artist, 1878, gouache on wove laid paper down to buff-colored wood pulp paper, 23 5/8 x 16 3/16 inches (60.1 x 41.2 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See American Impressionists.
Mary Cassatt, The Cup of Tea, c. 1879, oil on canvas, 36 3/8 x 25 3/4 inches (92.4 x 65.4 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Mary Cassatt, The Letter, 1890-91, drypoint and aquatint on cream laid paper, Worcester Art Museum, MA.
Mary Cassatt, Agatha and Her Child, 1891, pastel on paper, 26 x 21 inches (66.04 x 53.34 cm), Butler Institute of American Art, Youngstown, OH. Also see the WebMuseum.
Mary Cassatt, Reine Lefebvre Holding a Nude Baby, 1902, oil on canvas, Worcester Art Museum, MA.
Lilla Cabot Perry (American, 1848-1933)
Grandma Moses (the popular name of Anna Mary Robertson Moses) (American, 1860-1961), My Hills of Home, 1941, oil on board, 18 x 36 inches (45.72 cm x 91.44 cm), Memorial Art Gallery of the U of Rochester, NY. See folk art and pseudonym.
Camille Claudel (French, 1864-1943), Young Man, bronze bust, 51 x 44 x 25 cm, Musée des Augustins, Toulouse, France.
Käthe Kollwitz, Ende (End), from the series, A Weavers' Rebellion, 1898, mixed intaglio methods, 245 x 305 mm, Spencer Museum, KS. Here's another image of it. See Expressionism.
Käthe Kollwitz, Selbstbildnis mit der Hand an der Stirn (Self-Portrait with Hand on the Forehead), 1910, etching, plate 15.5 x 13.8 cm, Museum of Modern Art, NY. See self-portrait.
Käthe Kollwitz, Kleines Selbstbildnis (Small Self-Portrait), 1920, lithograph, sheet 32.4 x 24 cm; image 23.5 x 20 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.
Käthe Kollwitz, Selbstbildnis (Self-Portrait), 1921, etching on paper, plate 8 1/2 x 10 1/2 inches (21.7 x 26.8 cm), National Museum of Women in the Arts, Washington, DC.
Käthe Kollwitz, Selbstbildnis von vorn (Self-Portrait from the Front), 1923, woodcut, image 15 x 15.6 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.
Käthe Kollwitz, Selbstbildnis im Profil nach Rechts (Self-Portrait in Profile to the Right), 1938, lithograph, image 47.9 x 29.4 cm; sheet 65.1 x 49.2 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA.
Suzanne Valadon (French, 1867-1938), Portrait of Mme Zamaron, 1922, oil on canvas, 32 1/8 x 25 7/8 inches (81.5 x 65.6 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See French art and portrait.
Catherine C. Critcher (American, 1868-1964), Indian Women Making Pottery, c.1924, oil on canvas, 40 1/8 x 37 1/8 inches, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, DC.
Adolph Strakhov (Ukranian Soviet, 1870-1924), Women's Emancipation Day, 1920, poster.
Florine Stettheimer (American, 1871-1944), Portrait of Our Nurse, Margaret Burgess, 1929, oil on canvas, 38 x 26 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts.
Paula Modersohn-Becker (German, 1876-1907), Self-Portrait, Half-Figure with Amber Necklace II (Selbstbildnis als Halbakt mit Bernsteinkette II), Summer of 1906, oil on canvas, 61 x 50 cm, Kunstmuseum, Basel, Switzerland. See Expressionism, German art, and self-portrait.
Gabriele Münter (German, 1877-1962), Interior, 1908, oil on cardboard, 20 1/8 x 26 1/4 inches (51 x 66.4 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Gabriele Münter, Boating, 1910, oil on canvas, Milwaukee Art Museum, WI. Münter portrays herself with the oars of the boat, her back to the viewer, as Kandinsky stands above fellow painter Marianne von Werefkin, and a son of Alexei Jawlensky, another painter — all participants in the group known as Der Blaue Reiter.
Katharine Newbury (American, 1878-1973), Bookplate for a Woman, c. 1904, ink on paper, Michael Delahunt collection. Drawn in the style of Art Nouveau, this bookplate bears this text: ". OLD WOOD TO BURN . OLD BOOKS TO READ . OLD FRIENDS TO TRUST ." A space has been left on the ribbon at the center of the design for the name of the owner of the book: " - Her Book." Having graduated from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1902, Katharine Newbury pursued a career as a graphic designer. She produced many letterheads and monograms, and illustrated at least one book, a cookbook. She also designed household objects, including a pair of wrought iron firedogs; and she painted a number of pictures in watercolor. Newbury married George Manierre III in 1906. They had five children. Virtually all of her extant artworks predate that year. One of her children — Samuel Manierre (1908-1988) — became an art historian and teller of tales, and one of her grandchildren authors the Web site you are looking at.
Here is how you can print Katharine Newbury's bookplate on adhesive paper for your own use: Insert "full sheet labels" into your computer's printer. Avery brand labels, product #8165 for ink jet printers, can be purchased either from a local office supply store or online. On each 8 1/2 x 11 inch white sheet you will print eight 2 x 5 inch bookplates. Make your prints in one or both of these sets of colors: in reds, blues, and browns or in greens, pink, and violets. These are "PDF" files that you can open with the free Acrobat Reader (version 4 or later).
Maria Montoya Martinez (American, Pueblo Indian, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, 1881-1980) and Julian Martinez (American, Pueblo Indian, San Ildefonso Pueblo, New Mexico, 1879-1943), Jar (olla) with Feathers and an Avanyu, 1934-43, matte black-on-black earthenware, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, TX. An avanyu is a horned, feathered serpent associated with rain.
Imogen Cunningham (American, 1883-1976), Self-Portrait, 1974, printed 1981, Los Angeles County Museum of Art. See photography.
Marie Laurencin (French, 1885-1956), Self-Portrait, 1906, brush and ink drawing, 8 11/16 x 6 3/4 inches, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran. See self-portrait.
Georgia O'Keeffe (American, 1887-1986), A Storm, 1922, pastel on paper, mounted on illustration board, 18 1/4 x 24 3/8 inches (46.4 x 61.9 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Georgia O'Keeffe, Black Cross, New Mexico, 1929, oil on canvas, 99.2 x 76.3 cm, Art Institute of Chicago, IL.
Georgia O’Keefe, Horse's Skull on Blue, 1930, oil on canvas, 30 x 16 inches, Arizona State U Art Museum, Tempe, AZ.
Georgia O'Keeffe, Red, White, and Blue, 1931, oil on canvas, 39 7/8 x 35 7/8 inches (101.3 x 91.1 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Georgia O’Keefe, Jimson Weed, 1936-37, oil on canvas, 70 x 83 1/2 inches, Indianapolis Museum of Art.
Georgia O'Keefe, Pink Shell with Seaweed, c. 1937, 22 x 28 inches, pastel on paper, San Diego Museum of Art, CA. See enlargement, nature, and volute.
Alfred Stieglitz (American, 1864-1946), Georgia O'Keeffe, 1918, platinum print, 11.7 x 9 cm (4 5/8 x 3 9/16 inches), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. O'Keefe was married to Alfred Stieglitz, the leader of the Photo-Secession.
Alfred Stieglitz, Georgia O'Keeffe, 1921, palladium print, 23.6 x 19.2 cm (9 5/16 x 7 9/16 inches), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.
Adolph Treidler (American, 1886-1981), For Every Fighter a Woman Worker, about 1918, offset lithography, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, NH. This poster solicited donations to the Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) to help American women who manufactured munitions during World War I. The triangle behind the standing figure is a traditional symbol for female.
Malvina Cornell Hoffman (American, 1887-1966), Bali Boy and Fighting Cock, 1928, bronze, 37 1/2 x 20 x 16 inches, National Academy of Design, NY.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp (Swiss, 1889-1943; to France 1928), Composition of Circles and Overlapping Angles (Composition à cercles et à bras superposés), 1930, oil on canvas, 19 1/2 x 25 1/4 inches (49.5 x 64.1 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See pattern, rhythm, and Swiss art.
Sophie Taeuber-Arp, Echelonnement désaxé, 1934, gouache on paper, 13 7/8 X 10 5/8 inches (35.1 X 27 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Dorothea Lange (American, 1895-1965), Migrant Mother, Nipomo, California, 1936, silver print, 13 1/4 x 10 1/2 inches. See New Deal art.
Berenice Abbott (American, 1898-1991)
Louise Nevelson (American, born Russia, 1899/1900-1988), Sky Cathedral, 1958, found wood assemblage sculpture, painted black, 115 x 135 x 20 inches, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, NY.
Louise Nevelson, Royal Tide V, l961, found wood assemblage sculpture.
Alice Neel (American, 1900-1988), The Pregnant Woman, 1971, oil on canvas, 40 x 60 inches, U Art Museum, U of California at Santa Barbara. See nude.
Dorothy Dehner (American, 1901-1994)
Dame Barbara Hepworth (English, 1903-1975), Two Figures (Menhirs), 1964, slate, 82.5 x 63.8 x 32.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See English art, menhir, and negative space.
Frida Kahlo (Mexican, 1907-1954), El suicido de Dorothy Hale (The Suicide of Dorothy Hale), 1939, oil on Masonite panel with painted frame, Phoenix Art Museum, AZ. See Mexican art and self-portrait.
Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Cropped Hair, 1940, oil on canvas, 15 3/4 x 11 inches (40 x 27.9 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Mary Martin (English, 1907-1969), Black Relief, 1957-c. 1966, painted wood, board and plastic relief, 76.4 x 114.0 x 14.8 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See feminism and feminist art.
Lee Krasner (American, 1908-1984), Self-Portrait, c. 1930, oil on linen, 30 1/8 x 25 1/8 inches, Estate of Lee Krasner. See Abstract Expressionism and self-portrait.
Lee Krasner, Seated Nude, 1940, charcoal on paper, 25 x 18 7/8 inches (63.5 x 48.0 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Lee Krasner, Gaea, 1966, oil on canvas, 69 inches x 10 feet 5 1/2 inches (175.3 x 318.8 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Lee Krasner, Free Space, 1975-1976, color silkscreen print with collage, 49.7 x 66.3 cm (sheet) inches, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. Lee Krasner married Jackson Pollock in 1945, but they separated shortly before his death because of his affair with another woman. Krasner's works were not considered important until late in her life, Pollock's reputation dominating hers. See Abstract Expressionism and New Deal art.
Louise Bourgeois (American, born France, 1911-), Articulated Lair, 1986, painted steel, rubber, and metal, overall 9 feet 3 inches x 21 feet 6 inches x 16 feet 1 inches (281.7 x 655.7 x 555.6 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See environment art.
Agnes Martin (American, born Canada, 1912-2004), Untitled, 1952, watercolor and ink on paper, 11 3/4 x 17 3/4 inches (29.9 x 45.3 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. Nancy Burns, professor of political science at U of Michigan, said, "Agnes Martin, on multiple occasions, made it clear she did not want to be regarded as a feminist artist because it inflicted far too much narrative baggage into her paintings. she wanted her art to stand on its own and be taken seriously as an artist on her own merits. she rejected the labelling as minimalist as well. She actively did not want to be a posterwoman for the women's movement." From a November 28, 2008 email message Burns sent to the author.
Agnes Martin, Tremolo, 1962, ink on paper, 10 x 11 inches (25.5 x 28 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Meret Oppenheim (Swiss, born Berlin, 1913-1985), Red Head, Blue Body, 1936, oil on canvas, 31 5/8 x 31 5/8 inches (80.2 x 80.3 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. See Surrealism and Swiss art.
Elizabeth Catlett (Mexican, born and active in America, 1919-), Sharecropper, 1968, color linoleum cut on paper. See African American art.
Elizabeth Catlett, Ife, 2002, carved mahogany, Chrysler Museum of Art, Norfolk, VA. See nude and wood.
Elaine Fried de Kooning (American, 1920-1989), Self-Portrait, 1946, oil on Masonite, National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. See Abstract Expressionism.
Diane Nemerov Arbus (American, 1923-1971), Screaming Woman with Blood on Her Hands, c. 1958, depicted: New York City, New York, United States of America, gelatin silver print, 18 x 26.6 cm (7 1/16 x 10 1/2 inches), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY. See photography.
Miriam Schapiro (Canadian-American, 1923-), Kimono, 1976, acrylic and fabric collage on canvas, 60 x 50 inches, Sweet Briar college Art Gallery, VA.
Miriam Schapiro, Provide, 1982, acrylic and fabric collage on paper, National Academy of Design, NY.
Miriam Schapiro, Lady Gengi's Maze, acrylic and fabric collage on canvas, 72 x 80 inches.
Miriam Schapiro, In Her Own Image, 1983, acrylic and fabric on canvas, 60 x 100 inches (152.4 x 254 cm).
Miriam Schapiro, Mother Russia, fan, 1994, acrylic and mixed media on canvas, 82 x 90 inches, Courtesy of Steinbaum Krauss Gallery. This type of collage is known as femmage.
May Stevens (American, 1924-)
Betye Saar (American, 1926-)
Nancy Spero (American, 1926-), To the Revolution XI, 1981, zinc cut, composition: 18 13/16 inches x 8 feet 3/4 inches (47.8 x 245.8 cm); sheet: 20 1/4 inches x 9 feet 2 3/8 inches (51.4 x 280.4 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Nancy Spero, We are Pro-Choice, color silkscreen, 1992, 16 x 25 1/2 inches, ASU Art Museum, Tempe, AZ.
Magdalena Abakanowicz (Polish, 1930-), Two Figures on a Beam, 1992, burlap, resin and wood, Milwaukee Art Museum, WI. See Polish art.
Faith Ringgold (American, 1930-), The Flag is Bleeding #2, acrylic on canvas; painted and pieced border, 76 x 79.5 inches, from the series "The American Collection," #6. See African American art, Afrocentrism, and flag. Visit the artist's Web site.
Audrey Flack (American, 1931-)
Mary Beth Edelson (American, 1935-), Kali-Bobbitt, mixed media, life size.
Paula Rego (Portuguese, active in Britain, 1935-)
Eva Hesse (American, born Germany, 1936-1970), Sans II, 1968, fiberglass, 38 x 170 3/4 x 6 1/8 inches (96.5 x 433.7 x 15.6 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.
Eva Hesse, Contingent , 1969, cheesecloth, latex, fiberglass, installation (variable) 350.0 x 630.0 x 109.0 cm, National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.
Martha Mayer Erlebacher (American, 1937-)
Women's Graphics Collective (Chicago, IL), Women Are Not Chicks, 1972, silkscreen.
Pat Steir (American, 1938-), Abstraction, Belief, and Desire, 1981, color aquatint etching, 42 x 61 inches, Sweet Briar college Art Gallery, VA.
Judy Chicago (American, 1939-), The Dinner Party, 1974-79, mixed media, 48 inches x 48 feet x 48 feet, Brooklyn Art Museum, NY. A detail: two plates.
Judy Chicago has worked in a variety of media, including several crafts traditionally associated with women, including embroidery and painting on porcelain. She is best known for The Dinner Party, a sexually explicit installation with a group of craftswomen. It pays tribute to 39 notable women and their historically significant contributions to civilization, along with the names of 999 lesser known women. In later works, she has explored subjects including childbirth, the Holocaust, and women's perceptions of men. She is the founder of the Women's Art Education collective. See pseudonym.
Jaune Quick-To-See Smith (American, Salish/Cree/Shoshone, 1940-), Famous Names, 1998, oil, acrylic, collaged photographs and mixed media on canvas, 80 x 50 inches (203.2 cm x 127 cm), Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester, NY. See American Indian art.
Hannah Wilke (American, 1940-1993), Brushstrokes: January 19, 1992, no. 6, 1992, the artist's hair on paper, 30 x 22 1/4 inches (76.2 x 56.5 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Lynda Benglis (American, 1941-), Knossos, 1978, 24 carat gold leaf on plaster, 61 x 20 x 8 inches, Gihon Foundation.
Joyce Kozloff (American, 1942-), Floor of Home Savings of America Headquarters Atrium, Irwindale, CA, marble mosaic floor, diameter 20 feet.
Yolanda López (American, 1942-), Portrait of the Artist as the Virgin of Guadalupe, 1978, oil pastel on paper, 32 x 24 inches, collection of the artist. See Chicana art, flag, and mandorla.
Edwina Sandys (British, contemporary)
Barbara Kruger (American, 1945-), You Are Not Yourself, photo collage, 182.9 x 121.9 cm.
Barbara Kruger, Untitled (your body is a battleground), 1989, photographic silkscreen on vinyl, 112 x 112 inches, Broad Art Foundation, Santa Monica, CA.
Sandy Skoglund (American, 1946-)
Suzanne Lacy (American, contemporary)
Laurie Anderson (American, 1947-), Oh, Superman, 1981. See performance art.
Ana Mendieta (Cuban, active in America, 1948-1985), Nile Born, 1984, sand and binder on wood, 2 3/4 x 19 1/4 x 61 1/2 inches (7 x 48.9 x 156.2 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Carolee Schneeman (American, contemporary)
Jenny Holzer (American, 1950-), Untitled, installation of 21 LED electronic signboards, 1990 Venice Biennale and Guggenheim Museum, NYC. "In an enclosed room, these very active signboards surround the viewer, flashing messages in a welter of languages. Selected from the artist's Truisms, Inflammatory Essays, and other writings, the "reports" that appear on her signboards . . . voice diverse, often controversial opinions, in statements such as 'people who don't work with their hands are parasites' and 'murder has its sexual side,'" said Jon Ippolito, the Guggenheim's exhibition coordinator.
Helen Chadwick (British, 1953-1996)
Nan Goldin (American, 1953-), Nan one month after being battered, 1984, photograph on paper, 69.5 x 101.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London. See self-portrait.
Guerrilla Girls (American, contemporary, a group founded in 1985 of otherwise unnamed women), Women in America earn only 2/3 of what men do. Women artists earn only 1/3 of what men do., 1985, designed and placed as an advertisement. The Guerrilla Girls site says about this piece, "Women have never gained economic equality by just working hard and being good girls. With this poster we wanted to make women artists angry as hell and not willing to take it anymore."
Guerrilla Girls, Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? 1989, advertisement. Asked to design a billboard for the Public Art Fund in New York, the Guerrilla Girls submitted this design. The PAF said it, "wasn't clear enough," and rejected it. The Guerrilla Girls then paid to post it on NYC buses, until the bus company canceled the lease, saying that the image, based on Ingres' famous odalisque, was too suggestive and that the figure appeared to have more than a fan in her hand.
Guerrilla Girls, The Trent L'Ottscar, a billboard at Highland and Melrose in Hollywood, CA, March 1-31, 2003. A fundamental goal of feminism is to promote the success of women in roles of power that have long been assumed primarily by men. This huge poster is aimed at the largely male leadership of the American film industry. It was posted very publicly at one of Hollywood's busiest intersections. An Oscar — the awards given annually by members of the American motion pictures industry — here has the head of a leader of conservatives in the U.S. Senate, Trent Lott — making this award a "Trent L'Ottscar"!
See further notes about the Guerrilla Girls in the "Related Links" section below.
Carrie Mae Weems (American, 1953-), From Here I Saw What Happened and I Cried, 1995, a series of chromogenic color prints with sand-blasted text on glass, of which this is one, 42 x 31 inches, Museum of Modern Art, NY. The artist selected nineteenth- and twentieth- century photographs of black men and women, from the time they were forced into slavery in the United States to the present, then rephotographed the pictures, enlarged them, and toned them in red. Each photograph is framed under a sheet of glass inscribed with a text written by the artist, evoking the layers of prejudice imposed on the depicted men and women. See postmodern African American art.
Martha E. Miller (American, 1954-), Self with Lipstick, 1987, graphite, pastel, oil, turpentine wash, sheet 56 x 38.2 cm, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, CA. See self-portrait.
American, Northern Sun Merchandising, Minneapolis, MN, Oh, So That Explains the Difference in Our Salaries!, 1988, offset lithograph.
Cindy Sherman (American, 1954-) See photography.
Kiki Smith (American, born Germany, 1954-), Little Mountain, 1993-96, cast glass, 3 3/16 x 4 1/16 x 2 inches (8.1 x 10.3 x 5.1 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Kiki Smith, What Girls Know About Grids: For Leslie Gore, Mo Tucker, Laura Nyro, and Ma Cass, 2000, multiple of eight etching and relief etchings on handmade Japanese paper attached back-to-back, folded and tied with twine, and four photograph on machine-made resin-coated paper, composition and sheet; (unfolded): various dimensions, from 8 7/8 x 8/78 inches (22.5 x 22.5 cm) to 13 3/4 x 12 11/16 inches (35 x 32.2 cm); photographs: each 3 1/2 x 3 9/16 inches (8.9 x 9 cm); publisher: Pace Editions, Inc., NY; printer: Pace Editions Ink, NY; edition: 24; Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Mary Kelly (British, 1957-)
Lorna Simpson (American, 1960-), Wigs (Portfolio), 1994, portfolio of 21 lithographs, edition of 15, each sheet 23 x 18 inches (58.5 x 45.8 cm) or 32 x 16 inches (81.3 x 40.7 cm). Publisher: Rhona Hoffman Gallery, Chicago.
Catherine Opie (American, 1961-), Self-Portrait, 1993, chromogenic color print mounted on paperboard, 39 5/8 x 29 15/16 inches (100.6 x 76 cm); framed: 40 3/4 x 31 1/8 inches (103.5 x 79.1 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY. This photograph shows the back of the photographer, into which has been scratched a tranquil domestic scene of two female stick figures who hold hands, a house, a sun, and a cloud, drawn as if by a child's hand. See body art, photography, and self-portrait.
Rachel Whiteread (English, 1963-) Untitled (Yellow Bath), 1996, rubber and polystyrene, Carnegie Museum of Art, Pittsburgh, PA. See English art and sculpture.
Rachel Whiteread, Untitled (Paperbacks), 1997, plaster and steel, room installation, dimensions variable, Museum of Modern Art, NY.
Frank Schroder's Crowd of Women (detail of 26 portraits exhibited at American Gallery, NYC, in 1998) is an ongoing collection of 150 plus portraits of women painted from 1909-1959. Collected over several years from flea markets, thriftshops and cheap auctions, the former painter gives them a social tag by calling them a "collective." Whatever the theoretical intent, the result points toward individuality.
ArtLex links to other websites consistent with our mission to expand knowledge of contemporary and historical art and visual culture. We believe these sites represent the range and diversity of such sites on the Internet, but their inclusion on our list does not constitute an endorsement by ArtLex, nor is the list intended to be comprehensive. We hope it will serve as a departure point to websites that are resources concerning feminist art, and we welcome your suggestions for other possible links.
Also see androcentrism, ethnocentrism, Eurocentrism, femmage, fig leaf, First Amendment rights, interdisciplinary, isms and -ism, love, odalisque, political correctness, sex, stereotype, ugly, world-view, xenophilia, xenophobia, and zeitgeist.