The Feminist Art Movement
The feminist Art movement, along with the feminist movement in general, began in the 1960’s and the 1970’s in America amidst the anti-war movement. During all of the fervor of the era, the movement sought to promote women’s art and its appreciation and understanding. The feminist movement was a vast important and influential movement which condoned the sense of equality so strongly yearned for. This movement created opportunities which did not previously exist for females and made powerful statements still being recognized today.
Famous feminist art:
- The Dinner Party
- Semiotics of the Kitchen
The Dinner Party by Judy Chicago has been regarded as one of the most powerful, influential and well-known pieces from this movement. It is placed in the Center for Feminist Art in the Brooklyn Museum. The work consists of a quiet yet powerful statement on feminine equality, with a large banquet table with place settings for thirty-nine women noted in both history and mythology, with an additional 999 powerful women’s names painted on tiles. This work has the beauty and innovation to capture eyes and the provocation and insight to create thought in viewers.
Martha Rosler created video art with the ‘Kitchen’ piece. In this, Rosler examines the relationship that women hold with the home through a cooking television show. In her video, Rosler goes through kitchen utensils and cooking items alphabetically pantomime action. The ‘kitchen’ art piece made a broad and powerful statement, like many other pieces of feminist art. Rosler said at one point “when the woman speaks, she names her own oppression” making a stark broadcast about preconceived notions about women roles.
Womanhouse is an installation and exhibit by Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro which encompassed a home in Hollywood. Shapiro and Chicago acted as co-founders of the California Institute of the Arts Feminist Art Program. On its opening, only women were accepted to view it, and for the rest of its duration, the exhibit is said to have brought in 10,000 people. A variation of exhibits were shown in Womanhouse, and it served as a safe place for feminist voice and expression. Some notable pieces that often were talked about included a kitchen in which fried eggs were spilled all over the walls, forming into breasts, and one sculpture of a woman trapped inside of a linen closet. The entire instillation addressed many complex social issues for women, most predominantly a woman’s relationship with her home.
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