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The Case Of Feminist Art

Updated: Nov 14, 2023

In the early 20th century, a liberalization wave was evoked throughout the art world. However, feminist art started gaining momentum in the 1960s. Feminist art is a category of art aiming to spotlight the societal and political struggles women experience in their lives.

The First Slogan Feminists Have To Carry.

Historically, there is no female Michelangelo or Da Vinci equivalent, women were more often the subjects of art, rather than artists themselves. the female body was regarded as an object of desire existing for the pleasure of men.

Feminist artists announced the reason may be lies not in hormones, menstrual cycles, or empty internal spaces! but in the socially constructed ideology of a woman's role.

Since the 60's Feminist art has been trying to serve as a driving force toward expanding the boundaries of art adding a new perspective.

Feminist art is neither an art style nor an art technique but instead a value of inspiration, a revolutionary feminist influence, and a tool of social commentary. Before the 1960s the majority of woman-made artwork neither addressed nor criticized women's issues.

Feminist Art... Social Commentary Tool .

As an attempt to fix inequity, the feminist art movement was inspired by the 1960s student protests and the civil rights movement. Critiquing institutions that promote sexism and racism, was the first slogan the feminists have to carry.

The feminist artists were determined to have their voices heard stating that equality would enable them to obtain jobs equal to men and gain agency over their own bodies. Feminist Art was a form of media that was used to get the message announced.

A Feminist Art Close Up

Feminist art became a popular way of addressing the social concerns of feminism that surfaced in the late 1960s to 1970s. Feminist artists used a wide spectrum of media, from traditional art forms such as painting and sculpting to more unorthodox methods such as performance art, conceptual art, body art, craftivism, video, film, and fiber art.

In 1963 Yayoi Kusama created a large collection of works she referred to as the aggregation sculptures. Remarkably "Oven-Pan" was an innovative sculpture, a metal pan completely covered with bulbous lumps from the same color and material as the metal pan. Oven-Pan stands as a symbol of exposing a part of the women's very inner world to society.

To emphasize women's right to express and expose themselves to society, Judy Chicago introduced The Dinner Party (1979). The Dinner Party emphasizes the idea of newfound female empowerment through the use of turning a dinner table and functions as a symbolic history of women in civilization.

In "The Dinner Party", There are 39 elaborate place settings on a triangular table for 39 mythical and historically famous women. Wing I honors women from Prehistory to the Roman Empire, Wing II honors women from the beginnings of Christianity to the Reformation, and Wing III from the American Revolution to feminism.

Also, The Dinner Party celebrates traditional female accomplishments such as textile arts (weaving, embroidery, sewing) and China's painting, since 2007, it has been on permanent exhibition in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York.

Ana Mendieta Feminist Artist  (November 18, 1948 – September 8, 1985)
Ana Mendieta (November 18, 1948 – September 8, 1985)

Feminist Art By Ana Mendieta

Ana Mendieta (November 18, 1948 – September 8, 1985) was a Cuban American performance artist, sculptor, painter, and video artist, many of her works included ephemeral outdoor performances and photographs, sculptures, and drawings.

Ana's works are generally associated with the four basic elements of nature. Born in Havana, Mendieta left for the United States in 1961. At the University of Iowa, Ana Mendieta was inspired by the avant-garde community. Ana earned a BA (enrolled 1969–1972) an MA in painting, and an MFA (enrolled 1972–1977) in Intermedia under the instruction of acclaimed artist Hans Breder.

Mendieta's work focused on blood and violence toward women. Her interest in spiritualism, religion, and primitive rituals developed during this time. Ana's exile from Cuba is the basis of much of her work, she was concerned with feminism and violence against women.

Mendieta often focused on a spiritual and physical connection with the Earth, Ana stated "Through my earth/body sculptures, I become one with the earth... I become an extension of nature and nature becomes an extension of my body... This obsessive act of reasserting my ties with the earth is really the reactivation of primeval beliefs".

During her lifetime, Mendieta chose to represent the earth as a sculptural medium in over 200 works of art. Her techniques were mainly influenced by Afro-Cuban traditions. Mendieta created work in Cuba, Mexico, Italy, and the United States. In 1973, Mendieta responded with The Rape Scene on the tragic crime of rape and murder of a fellow student that had occurred on the Iowa University campus.

Ana's utilization of the feminist art scene as a social commentary tool was somehow effective. In 1978, Ana Mendieta joined the first gallery for women to be established in the United States, Artists In Residence Inc (A.I.R. Gallery) gave Ana the opportunity to network with the forefront women artists of the era's feminist movement.

In 1983, Mendieta was awarded the Rome Prize by the American Academy in Rome. While in residence in Rome, Mendieta began creating art "objects," including drawings and sculptures. She continued to use natural elements in her work. Ana Mendieta died on September 8, 1985, in New York City, after falling from her 34th-floor apartment. her husband minimalist Carl Andre may have pushed her out the window.

Ana Mendieta did what could repel violence against women and empower women's rights, Ana Mendieta's tragic end may be her last feminist scene of art. Ana's tragic end caused an uproar among feminists in the art world. In 2010, a symposium called Where Is Ana Mendieta? was held at New York University to memorialize the 25th anniversary of her symbolic death.

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