Feminist art movement

The feminist art movement refers to the efforts and accomplishments of feminists internationally to produce art that reflects women's lives and experiences, as well as to change the foundation for the production and reception of contemporary art. It also sought to bring more visibility to women within art history and art practice. By a way it is expressed to visualize the inner thoughts of the feminist movement to show for everyone and give meaning in art. It helps constructs the role to those who continue to undermine the mainstream (and often masculine) narrative of the art world[1]. Corresponding with general developments within feminism, and often including such self-organizing tactics as the consciousness-raising group, the movement began in the 1960s and flourished throughout the 1970s as an outgrowth of the so-called second wave of feminism. It has been called "the most influential international movement of any during the postwar period."[2]


The 1960s was the period of civil rights and gay and lesbian rights movements and protests against the war. It was also a period when women artists wanted to gain equal rights as men within the established art world, influenced by modernist movements "Utopian ideals," and to create feminist art, often in non-traditional ways, to help "change the world."[3]

The rise of feminist started in the middle of the 19th century as it was the first liberty movement for women to express their objection of equality.[4] As it was also a first step for women to speak up not only through words but drives the reliance to show visual art from a women’s perceptive and express their experience.

Louise Bourgeois (1911-2010) and German-American Eva Hesse (1936-1970) explore some of the themes in feminist art, for example, domestic life, personal experiences and the women's body.[3]

On 20 July 1964 Yoko Ono, a Fluxus, avant-garde artist, singer, and activist, presented Cut Piece at the Yamaichi Concert Hall, Kyoto, Japan where she sat still as parts of her clothing were cut off of her, which meant to protest violence against women. She performed it again at Carnegie Hall in 1965.[5] Her son, Sean, participated in the artist performance on 15 September 2013 at the Théâtre le Ranelagh in Paris. The Guardian's Jonathan Jones considered it "one of the 10 most shocking performance artworks ever."[6]

Women artists, motivated by feminist theory and the feminist movement, began the feminist art movement in the 1970s. Feminist art represented a shift away from modernism, where art made by women was put in a different class to works made by men. The movement cultivated a new feminist consciousness, a "freedom to respond to life... [Unimpeded] by traditional male mainstream."[7] Or, as Griselda Pollock and Roszika Parker put it—a separation of Art with a capital "A" from art made by women produced a "feminine stereotype".[8]

This demand for equality in representation was codified in the Art Workers' Coalition's (AWC) Statement of Demands, which was developed in 1969 and published in definitive form in March 1970. The AWC was set up to defend the rights of artists and force museums and galleries to reform their practices. While the coalition sprung up as a protest movement following Greek kinetic sculptor Panagiotis "Takis" Vassilakis's physical removal of his work Tele-Sculpture(1960) from a 1969 exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, it quickly issued a broad list of demands to 'art museums in general'.

Alongside calls for free admission, better representation of ethnic minorities, late openings and an agreement that galleries would not exhibit an artwork without the artist's consent, the AWC also demanded that museums 'encourage female artists to overcome centuries of damage done to the image of the female as an artist by establishing equal representation of the sexes in exhibitions, museum purchases and on selection committees'.[9]

There are also feminist forms of postmodernism which emerged in the 1980s. The feminist art movement grew out of the struggle to find a new way to express sexual, material, social and political aspects of life, and femininity.[10] Feminist art movements emerged in the United States; Europe,[11] including Spain;[12] Australia; Canada;[13] and Latin America in the 1970s.[14][15]

Since then, there are women's art movements all around the world including Sweden, Denmark and Norway, Russia, and Japan.[16][17] Women artists from Asia, Africa and particularly Eastern Europe emerged in large numbers onto the international art scene in the late 1980s and 1990s as contemporary art became popular worldwide.[18][19][20]

Major exhibitions of contemporary women artists include WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution curated by Connie Butler, SF MOMA, 2007, Global Feminisms curated by Linda Nochlin and Maura Reilly at the Brooklyn Museum, 2007,[21] Rebelle, curated by Mirjam Westen at MMKA, Arnheim, 2009, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang! 45 Years of Art and Feminism curated by Xavier Arakistan at Bilbao Fine Arts Museum, 2007,[22] Elles at Centre Pompidou in Paris (2009-2011), which also toured to Seattle Art Museum.[23] have been increasingly international in their selection. This shift is also reflected in journals set up in the 1990s like n.paradoxa.[24]

Artists: 20th - 21st Century

See also


  1. ^ Kennedy, Victoria (July 19, 2017). "What is Feminist Art?". https://www.canvas.saatchiart.com. Retrieved March 28, 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  2. ^ Jeremy Strick, director of the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles in the Washington Post, 2007
  3. ^ a b "Feminist art movement". The Art Story Foundation. Retrieved 13 January 2014.
  4. ^ Fatih, Chelangat (August 10, 2017). "Art Movements Throughout History: Feminist Art". https://www.worldatlas.com/. Retrieved March 28, 2019. External link in |website= (help)
  5. ^ Jarett Murphy (16 October 2003). "Crowd Cuts Yoko Ono's Clothing Off". CBS News. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  6. ^ Jonathan Jones (11 November 2013). "The 10 most shocking performance artworks ever". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 January 2014.
  7. ^ Deoritha Anne Waters, Three Feminist Perspectives on Visual Media: Influences of the Second Wave Feminist Movement on Women’s Art Education and Their Lives as Artists, ed. Deoritha Anne Waters (Michigan: ProQuest Dissertations Publishing, 2014), 1.
  8. ^ Roszika Parker; Griselda Pollock (1981). Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology. Pandora, RKP.
  9. ^ Harrison, Charles (2000). Art in theory (Repr. ed.). Oxford [u.a.]: Blackwell. pp. 901–2. ISBN 0-631-16575-4.
  10. ^ Entry on feminist art practice by Katy Deepwell in Cheris Kramarae; Dale Spender, eds. (1 December 2000). Routledge International Encyclopedia of Women: Global Women's Issues and Knowledge. Taylor & Francis. pp. 92–93. ISBN 978-0-415-92088-9.
  11. ^ Gislind Nabakowski; Peter Gorsen; Sander Helke (1980). Frauen in der Kunst(2 Vols.). Frankfurt,Suhrkamp.
  12. ^ Mujeres en les Artes Visuales, Women in the Visual Arts, Spanish chronology
  13. ^ Marie Rose Arbour Art et Feminisme Exhibition catalogue. Canada: Quebec, Musée d'Art Contemporain, Montreal & Ministere des Affaires Culturelles. 1982
  14. ^ Catriona Moore (1994). Dissonance: Feminism and the Arts, 1970-1990. Allen and Unwin and Artspace.
  15. ^ see Andrea Giunta's, Feminist Disruptions in Mexican Art, 1975-1987 in Number 5 .(c) Artelogie, October 2013.
  16. ^ Hindsbo, Karen. The Beginning is Always Today: Scandinavian feminist art from the last 20 years. SKMU, Sørlandets Kunstmuseum, 2013.
  17. ^ Kokatsu, Reiko.Women In-Between: Asian Women Artists 1984-2012. Japan, Fukuoka Asian Art Museum, 2012.
  18. ^ Gender Check: Masculinity and Femininity in the Art in Eastern Europe,
  19. ^ Huangfu, Binghui.(ed).Text and Sub-Text(Singapore: Lasalle-SIA University, 2000.
  20. ^ Dike, Paul Chike and Oyelola, Patricia. Nigerian Women in Visual Art. National Gallery of Art, Lagos, Nigeria, 2004
  21. ^ Global Feminisms
  22. ^ Kiss Kiss Bang Bang! 45 Years of Art and Feminism
  23. ^ Elles Pompidou. Archived 2014-03-17 at the Wayback Machine Seattle Art Museum
  24. ^ Connor, Maureen (Summer 2002). "Working Notes: Conversation with Katy Deepwell". Art Journal. 61 (2): 32–43. JSTOR 778180.

Further reading

  • Juan Vicente Aliaga Gender Battle/A Battala dos Xeneros Spain, Santiago de Compostela, 2007.
  • Juan Aliaga and Maria Laura Rosa Recuperar la Memoria: Experiencias feministas desde el Arte, Argentina y Espana, Ana Navarette and Mujeres Publicas Centro Cultural de Espana, Buenos Aires and CCEBE, Sede Parana, 2013.
  • L. Anderson, A. Livion Ingvarsson, M. Jensner, A. Nystrom, B.Werkmeister, N. Ostlind (eds.) Konstfeminism Helsingborg, Sweden, Dunkers Kulturhaus and Lilevalch Konsthall, 2004.
  • Kathy Battista Re-Negotiating the Body: Feminist Art in 1970s London, I B Tauris, 2011.
  • Carla Bianpoen, Farah Wardani, Wulan Dirgantoro Indonesian Women Artists Jakarta: Yayasan Semirupa Indonesia:2007.
  • Katy Deepwell (ed) New Feminist Art Criticism: Critical Strategies UK, Manchester, Manchester University Press, 1995.
  • Sylvia Eiblmayr Die Frau als Bild: Der weibliche Körper in der Kunst des 20 Jahrhunderts Berlin, Dietrich Reimer, 1993.
  • Isabelle Graw Die bessere Hälfte: Künstlerinnen des 20. und 21. Jahrhunderts Cologne, du Mont Verlag, 2003.
  • Uta Grosenick (ed.) "Women Artists in the 20th and 21st Century" Köln: Taschen GmbH, 2001.
  • Karen Hindsbo The Beginning is Always Today': Scandinavian feminist art from the last 20 years Norway: Saarlandets Kunstmuseum, 2013.
  • Johanna Householder and Tanya Mars (eds) Caught in the Act: an Anthology of Performance Art by Canadian Women Toronto:YYZ Books, 2003.
  • Lucy Lippard From the Center:Feminist Essays on Women's Art New York. Dutton, 1976.
  • Roszika Parker and Griselda Pollock Framing Feminism: Art and the Women's Movement, 1970-1985 London. Pandora/RKP, 1987.
  • Bojana Pejic (ed) The Gender Check Reader Vienna, MUMOK and Erste Foundation, 2010
  • Griselda Pollock (ed) Generations and Geographies London, Routledge, 1996.
  • Helena Reckitt (ed) Art and Feminism London, Phaidon, 2001
  • Hilary Robinson (ed) Visibly Female London, Camden Press, 1987
  • Hilary Robinson (ed) Feminism – Art – Theory: An Anthology, 1968-2000 Oxford. Blackwells, 2001.
  • Araceli Barbosa Sanchez Arte Feminista en los ochenta en Mexico: una perspectiva de genero Mexico: Casa Juan Pablos Centro Cultural, Universidad Autonoma de Estado de Morelos, 2008.
  • Ella Shohat (ed) Talking Visions: Multicultural Feminism in a Transnational Age Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT:1998
  • Bridget Tracy Tan Women Artists in Singapore Singapore, Select Books and Singapore Art Museum, 2011.
  • Jayne Wark Radical Gestures: Feminism and Performance Art in North America Montreal: McGill-Queen's University Press, 2006.
  • Women Down the Pub (a.k.a. N.Debois Buhl, L.Strombeck, A.Sonjasdotter) Udsight – Feministiske Strategier i Dansk Billedkunst / View – Feminist Strategies in Danish Visual Art Denmark, Informations Vorla, 2004.
!Women Art Revolution

!Women Art Revolution is a 2010 documentary film directed by Lynn Hershman Leeson and distributed by Zeitgeist Films. It tracks the feminist art movement over 40 years through interviews with artists, curators, critics, and historians.

Carol Heifetz Neiman

Carol Heifetz Neiman (1937 – 1990) was an American artist who was a member of the feminist art movement of the 1970s, known for her surrealist and xerox art. She also created etchings, and worked in pencil, pastels, and mixed media and was a painter.

Dara Birnbaum

Dara Birnbaum (born 1946) is an American video and installation artist. Birnbaum entered the nascent field of video art in the mid-to-late 1970s challenging the gendered biases of the period and television’s ever-growing presence within the American household. Her oeuvre primarily addresses ideological and aesthetic features of mass media through the intersection of video art and television. She uses video to reconstruct television imagery using materials such as archetypal formats as quizzes, soap operas, and sports programmes. Her techniques involve the repetition of images and interruption of flow with text and music. She is also well known for forming part of the feminist art movement that emerged within video art in the mid-1970s. Birnbaum currently lives and works in New York.

Faith Bromberg

Faith Bromberg (1919– June 19, 1990) was an American painter active within the feminist art movement. Her work often featured figurative paintings in mixed mediums.

Feminist art movement in the United States

The feminist art movement in the United States began in the early 1970s and sought to promote the study, creation, understanding and promotion of women's art.

First-generation feminist artists include Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, Suzanne Lacy, Judith Bernstein, Sheila de Bretteville, Mary Beth Edelson, Carolee Schneeman, Rachel Rosenthal, and many other women. They were part of the Feminist art movement in the United States in the early 1970s to develop feminist writing and art. The movement spread quickly through museum protests in both New York (May 1970) and Los Angeles (June 1971), via an early network called W.E.B. (West-East Bag) that disseminated news of feminist art activities from 1971 to 1973 in a nationally circulated newsletter, and at conferences such as the West Coast Women's Artists Conference held at California Institute of the Arts (January 21–23, 1972) and the Conference on Women in the Visual Arts, at the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D.C. (April 20–22, 1972).

Hera Gallery

Hera Gallery is a small, non-profit artist cooperative in Wakefield, Rhode Island USA. Created within the context of the feminist art movement, Hera Gallery was a pioneer in the genesis of artist-run spaces. Its founding objective in 1974 was to provide a venue for women artists, under-represented at the time in commercial galleries. As the cultural climate changed in the 1980s, the gallery broadened its scope to include visual artists of both genders. Concurrently, Hera curated more topical exhibitions with a broadened spectrum of social awareness and activism. To this day, the gallery provides contemporary artists with the opportunity to address cultural, social, and political issues and to maintain creative control.

Joyce Aiken

Joyce Aiken (born 1931) is an American feminist art historian, artist, and educator. Aiken taught the subject for over 20 years at California State University, Fresno, and assisted her students in opening a feminist art gallery. This helped put Fresno, California on the map as a key place for the feminist art movement. Most recently, she served as the director of the Fresno Arts Council.

June Wayne

June Claire Wayne (March 7, 1918 – August 23, 2011) was an American printmaker, tapestry designer, painter, and educator. She founded the Tamarind Lithography Workshop (1960–1970), a former California-based nonprofit print shop dedicated to lithography.

List of American artists

A list by date of birth of historically recognized American fine artists known for the creation of artworks that are primarily visual in nature, including traditional media such as painting, sculpture, photography, and printmaking, as well as more recent genres, including installation art, performance art, body art, conceptual art, video art, and digital art.

For ease of use the list has been subdivided, and can be found at:

List of American artists before 1900

List of American artists 1900 and after

List of feminist art critics

This is a list of feminist art critics. The list includes art critics that "reflect a woman's consciousness about women" and who have played a role in the feminist art movement. It includes second-wave and third-wave feminist critics.

List of feminist artists

This is a list of feminist artists. The list includes artists who have played a role in the feminist art movement which largely stemmed from second-wave feminism.

Mary Beth Edelson

Mary Beth Edelson (born 1933) is an American artist and pioneer in the Feminist art movement, deemed one of the notable "first generation feminist artists." She was also active in the civil rights movement. Edelson is a printmaker, book artist, collage artist, painter, photographer, performance artist, and author. Her works have been shown at museums such as the Museum of Modern Art, the Smithsonian American Art Museum, and the Museum of Contemporary Art.

Nancy Buchanan

Nancy Buchanan (born August 30, 1946) is a Los Angeles-based artist best known for her work in installation, performance, and video art. She played a central role in the feminist art movement in Los Angeles in the 1970s. Her work has been exhibited widely and is collected by major museums including the Museum of Modern Art and the Centre Pompidou.

Pattern and Decoration

Pattern and Decoration was a United States art movement from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. The movement has sometimes been referred to as "P&D" or as The New Decorativeness. The movement was championed by the gallery owner Holly Solomon. The movement was the subject of a retrospective exhibition at the Hudson River Museum in 2008.

Sister Chapel

The Sister Chapel (1974-78) is a visual arts installation, conceived by Ilise Greenstein and created as a collaboration by thirteen women artists during the feminist art movement. Before its completion, the critic and curator Lawrence Alloway recognized its potential to be "a notable contribution to the long-awaited legible iconography of women in political terms."

Three Weeks in May

Three Weeks in May: Speaking Out On Rape, A Political Art Piece was an extended work of performance art and activism by Suzanne Lacy. The piece took place in Los Angeles, California from May 8 to May 24, 1977.

Timeline of the feminist art movement in New Zealand

This is a timeline of the feminist art movement in New Zealand (or Aotearoa/New Zealand as it is often known in inclusive circles). It lists important figures, collectives, publications, exhibitions and moments that have contributed to discussion and development of the movement. For the indigenous Māori population, the emergence of the feminist art movement broadly coincided with the emergence of Māori Renaissance.

Women's Art Resources of Minnesota

Women's Art Resources of Minnesota (WARM) is a women's art organization based in the U.S. state of Minnesota. It was founded in 1976 as Women's Art Registry of Minnesota, a feminist artist collective. The organization ran the influential WARM Gallery in downtown Minneapolis from 1976 to 1991.

Women's Caucus for Art

The Women's Caucus for Art (WCA), founded in 1972, is a non-profit organization based in New York City, which supports women artists, art historians, students, educators, and museum professionals. The WCA holds exhibitions and conferences to promote women artists and their works and recognizes the talents of artists through their annual Lifetime Achievement Award. Since 1975 it has been a United Nations-affiliated non-governmental organization (NGO), which has broadened its influence beyond the United States. Within the WCA are several special interest causes including the Women of Color caucus, Eco-Art Caucus, Jewish Women Artist Network, International Caucus and the Young Women's Caucus. The founding of the WCA is seen as a "great stride" in the feminist art movement.

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