Nancy Heller's Third in series "Understanding Contemporary Art"


Today's lecture focused on "Identity Art"

Feminist art and Identity politics

Artists who identify as a certain race, gender or politics. Coincides with movements and got them a platform.

Women, People of African descent , Latino, Asian & LGBTQ

Whitney Biennial - an annual exhibit.. usually contetious was the original must see "Identity Art" Exhibition.

Being WHITE.

Not universally praised.

Feminist Art

People who have the belief that women should have the same rights as men.

It is not ANY art created by women.

But rather women who identify as "Women"

-Linda Nochlin - "Art and Sexual Politics - Why have there been no great women artists?"

-The Guerrila Girls - Political action women activists. with a philosophy of upending the status quo. They hide in Gorilla masks and host may exhibitions.

They tried to do it with humor although their main goal is to collect and disseminate information

2 years after their founding.. so many things have changed for women. And they are almost a household name.

-Judy Chicago (b.1939)

1970 established the first women's art programs -

Enormous ambitious projects

The Dinner Party - for 39 distinguished guests. 1970's

Done by 400 ortists worked on this 39 artist - each had their own place setting to design. Placesettings featured Virginia Woolf, Georgia O'Keefe and other famous female artists

Controversial. Lots of Press. People called it 'Obscene" - sexual overtones.

The dinner Party his now a permanent exhibit in the Brooklyn Museum

The Dinner Party is an installation artwork by feminist artist Judy Chicago. Widely regarded as the first epic feminist artwork, it functions as a symbolic history of women in civilization. There are 39 elaborate place settings arranged along a triangular table for 39 mythical and historical famous women. Sacajawea, Sojourner Truth, Eleanor of Aquitaine, Empress Theodora of Byzantium, Virginia Woolf, Susan B. Anthony, and Georgia O'Keeffe are among the symbolic guests.

Each unique place-setting includes a hand-painted china plate, ceramic cutlery and chalice, and a napkin with an embroidered gold edge. Each plate, except the ones corresponding to Sojourner Truth and Ethel Smyth, depicts a brightly colored, elaborately styled vulva form. The settings rest upon elaborately embroidered runners, executed in a variety of needlework styles and techniques. The dinner table stands on The Heritage Floor, made up of more than 2,000 white luster-glazed triangular-shaped tiles, each inscribed in gold scripts with the name of one of 998 women and one man who have made a mark on history. (The man, Kresilas, was mistakenly included as he was thought to have been a woman called Cresilla.)

It was produced from 1974 to 1979 as a collaboration and was first exhibited in 1979. Subsequently, despite art world resistance, it toured to 16 venues in six countries on three continents to a viewing audience of 15 million. It was retired to storage until 1996, as it was beginning to suffer from constant traveling.[1] Since 2007, it has been on permanent exhibition in the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, New York.

-Shirin Neshat - (1957) Iranian born artists who lives in NYC

In 1990 she took a trip back to Iran, where she had grown up, and was shocked.Changed her life and her art and made a series of ambiguous pieces. Using the burka to challenge women's rights. Uses her Muslim heritage in her art

Race and Ethnicity

African American Artists

Black Superstars

Kara Walker (b 1969) - moved from California to Atlanta.. it was eye opening experience for her. 1990's Went to RISD and was interested in Colonial American art..her viewpoint was of slavery . Life size silhouettes

Disturbing views of life in the antebellum south.

"Ill be a monkey's uncle"

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