Women artists have long been systematically excluded, ignored, or erased in the history of art. Unfair? Yes. Biased? Yes. Historically inaccurate? Indisputably.
The Short Story of Women Artists: A Pocket Guide to Movements, Works, Breakthroughs & Themes by art historian Susie Hodge is a concise, pithy, accessible book that introduces readers to history’s oft-overlooked women artists. Specifically, the text pursues three themes: 1) the breakthroughs that women made — both historically and more contemporarily — in pushing for parity with male artists; 2) significant contributions made to otherwise male dominated artistic movements; 3) the forgotten and obscured artists who are now being rediscovered and reassessed.
Hodge begins her history with women artists of the Renaissance — highlighting works by artists like Catharina de’ Vigri and Lavinia Fontana — and systematically works her way through six hundred years of various art movements offering both tidbits and contexts for readers. For example, Lavinia Fontana was the most sought-after and highly paid painter in Renaissance Bologna; her 17th-century biographer Carlo Cesare Malvasia wrote that “all the ladies in the city would compete in wishing to have her close to them…the greatest thing they desired would be to have her paint their portraits.”
This is, as the title suggests, a “short history” of women artists — as such, it is inevitably incomplete. The historical examples tend to skew toward cis-white European women as Hodge successfully situates these artists in their male-dominated historical contexts. However, readers find examples of non-white artists through profiles of painter Amrita Sher-Gil (highlighting the 1935 painting “Three Girls”); sculptor and printmaker Elizabeth Catlett (featuring her work “Sharecropper”); and the sculptor Edmonia Lewis (with an in-depth, contextualized treatment of her sculpture “Hiawatha.”) Additionally, works by contemporary artists like Lin Jingjing, Yayoi Kusama, Mona Hatoum, and Julie Mehretu highlight urgent topics like “environment,” “race,” and “empathy.”
The book’s simple, elegant layout belies its organizational complexity. Every page is cross tabulated by historical movement, references other relevant work, and specifies non-traditional topics that each work touches on (“Rejecting ‘Woman as Object”; “Breadwinner”; “A Female Viewpoint”) and other works that share that theme. There is a plethora of ways the book can be read, all of them enlightening.
The Short Story of Women Artists: A Pocket Guide to Movements, Works, Breakthroughs & Themes by Susie Hodge (Laurence King, 2020) is available on Bookshop starting September 21.
Columbia University exhibition thwarts the de-politicization of postwar abstract art with a series of provocative questions.
Some 500 satirical guerilla billboard ads posted across Europe featured texts such as “#SayYesToTheEndOfTheWorld” and “Low Fares to Plastic island.”
Open to scholars, artists, curators, and writers, this new fellowship embraces the interdisciplinary spirit of a pioneering fiber artist and comes with a $30,000 stipend.
Despite his reportedly encyclopedic knowledge of the region’s geologic and mineral makeup, Heizer has displayed a baffling incuriousness about the larger story of the land he digs, cuts, and plows.
Using the pressures of adolescence and indoctrination of the church as a framework, Campbell captures the stress endured by young women and their bodies.
These virtual talks will share details on the MFA and M.Arch programs, alumni experiences, financial aid and fellowships, student life, and more.
The investigation represents the first step of a process to return the works to families and descendants of those who originally owned them.
The menial work, combined $17/hour pay, no benefits, and a lack of support from higher-ups has reportedly led to severe staff shortages.
This new kunsthaus in Potsdam shows modern and contemporary works of art from East Germany in what was once a terrace restaurant.
Eliza Naranjo Morse and Jamison Chas Banks envisioned Giving Growth as a response to the forced isolation brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Although Latinos represent 18.7% of the United States’s population as of the 2020 census, only 3.1% of lead roles in television shows feature them.
The museum and union have yet to agree on wages and healthcare.