Radical Alterna-ves to Modernist Art Conceptualizing Race and Gender
Art and Poli-cs • Conceptualism challenge to authority paved the way for ar-sts to turn the inves-ga-on toward other aspects of life-‐including inadequacies of representa-on based on race and gender. • The 1960s gave birth to social groups that ac-vated the individual. • Ar-sts learned from this and applied what they learned to their art. • Ar-s-c process grew to emphasize social implica-ons of art.
Feminist Art The Feminist Arts Program • Originally established by Judy Chicago in 1971. – Chicago appealed to Miriam Schapiro for assistance when the program moved in 1972. • The mission of the program was to educate young women in the arts-‐to teach them how to be ar-sts, to supply them with the skills to create, and to introduce them to the history of women ar-sts. – It was the ﬁrst exclusively Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro, and students of female art program in the The Feminist Art Program, Womanhouse, 30 United States. January -‐ 28 February, 1972. Mixed media installa-on, performance piece, and Happening.
Feminist Art Womanhouse • When the Feminist Arts Program moved to the California Ins-tute of the Arts in 1972, the program’s ﬁrst mee-ngs were heldin the homes and apartments of its teachers and students. • The ﬁrst group project was Womanhouse. The instructors and students of Womanhouse, c.1972.
Feminist Art Womanhouse • Womanhouse was a mul--‐media collabora-ve installa-on/ performance piece. • Each room in the house took on a diﬀerent subject and the women assigned to design the space presented viewers with a statement regarding the living condi-ons of a women who were home-‐makers. • Orgel’s Ironing, consisted of the ar-st ironing sheets and linens con-nuously; as the sheet would pile up on the ﬂoor and re-‐wrinkle, communica-ng the monotony of a woman’s life in the home to the Sandra Orgel, Ironing, 1972. From audience. Womanhouse. Performance. Photograph courtesy of Through the Flower archive.
Feminist Art Womanhouse • One of the best known works to come out of Womanhouse was Sandra Orgel’s Linen Closet. – Please note the textbook has a misprint of the ar-st’s name. • Linen Closet features a female mannequin on the shelf in between the sheets she is responsible for cleaning, ironing, folding, and storing. • This work, like Orgel’s Ironing, also addresses the repe--veness of women’s ac-vi-es inside the home. – Interes-ngly, this repe--veness is reminiscent of Minimalist aesthe-c. Sandra Orgel, Linen Closet, from Womanhouse, 1972. Mixed media
Feminist Art Judy Chicago (b.1939) • Chicago built this piece to address women’s menstrua-on, something rarely addressed in public, by women, or by art. • The room was a very sani-zed white with the excep-on of feminine hygiene products covered in blood. • Chicago wrote that she wanted to address a topic she hadn’t even talked to her friends about and get it out into the open challenging the prac-ce of keeping the personal private and making it public. Judy Chicago, Menstrua5on Bathroom, 1972. Mixed-‐media installa-on piece/environment from Womanhouse, 1972.
• Ar-sts associated with Womanhouse drew inspira-on from experience, cultural conven-on, and from visual history. • Huberland’s Bridal Staircase recalls Duchamp’s Nude Descending a Staircase, a Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase, No. scandalous work 2, 1912. Oil on canvas, 58 from the 1913 NY Kathy Huberland, Bridal x 35 . Philadelphia Armory Show. Staircase, 1972. Installa-on Museum of Art. piece from Womanhouse, CA.
LA Cool School Judy Chicago (b. 1939) • Before commigng to Feminist Art, Chicago worked in the CA Cool School style. Judy Chicago, Rainbow PickeC, 1965–2004. Plywood, canvas, and latex paint, each column is 1 cubed and arranged at 45° angle to wall. Brooklyn Museum of Art.
Feminist Art Judy Chicago (b. 1939) • In the late 1960s, Chicago became heavily invested in the Women’s Rights Movement. • She extended this interest to art and aside from heading up the Feminist Arts Program, created controversial, in-‐your-‐face works like this, Red Flag. – Red Flag plays on the “red scare” of Communism (people associated with both the Civil Rights and Women’s Movement were omen Judy Chicago, Red Flag, 1971. accused of being Communist Photolithograph, 20"x 24," printed from sympathizers). aluminum plates by Sam Francis in his – It is a celebra-on of women and personal workshop, 1971. Judy Chicago womanhood. donated this print (number 51 of 94) to the Museum of Menstrua-on in 1998.
Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party, 1974-‐1979. Mixed media installa-on piece. White -le ﬂoor has 999 names inscribed; triangular table with painted porcelain, sculpted porcelain plates, and needlework, each side 48 . Currently housed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY.
Feminist Art Judy Chicago (b. 1939) • The most iconic work to be produced by early feminists is The Dinner Party. • Conceived by Chicago, The Dinner Party relied on the eﬀort of over 100 volunteers. – Chicago has been -relessly cri-cized for not giving the Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party, 1974-‐1979. women who volunteered Mixed media installa-on piece. White -le enough credit. ﬂoor has 999 names inscribed; triangular table with painted porcelain, sculpted porcelain plates, and needlework, each side 48 . Currently housed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY.
Judy Chicago (b. 1939) Feminist Art • The Dinner Party is a large, mul--‐ media installa-on piece. • It consists of three tables arranged in the shape of a triangle. • The table is set with 100 plates represen-ng women from prehistory through the 1970s. – Each plate is decorated with Chicago’s feminist vocabulary-‐the buoerﬂy or vulval imagery she and Schapiro established while teaching at the Feminist Arts Program. – An addi-onal 999 names are Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party, 1974-‐1979. inscribed on the white -les that Mixed media installa-on piece. White -le support the table. ﬂoor has 999 names inscribed; triangular • The ar-st makes use of numerology, table with painted porcelain, sculpted playing with numbers 3 (the Trinity) porcelain plates, and needlework, each side and 13 (the number of men present 48 . Currently housed at the Brooklyn at the Last Supper). Museum of Art, NY.
Feminist Art Judy Chicago (b. 1939) • Chicago’s TDP is a product of its -me. • It is biologically essen-alist-‐ a theory that reduces women to their biology. – Chicago believed women’s biology, their vaginas, were their source of greatness. – This was common in the earliest wave of American feminism. Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party, 1974-‐1979. Mixed media installa-on piece. White -le • Later genera-ons took a ﬂoor has 999 names inscribed; triangular much diﬀerent view and greatly cri-cized Chicago for table with painted porcelain, sculpted this posi-on. porcelain plates, and needlework, each side 48 . Currently housed at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, NY.
Feminist Art Mary Kelly (b. 1941) • A contemporary of Chicago’s, Kelly’s poli-cs was nevertheless dissimilar from Chicago’s essen-alism. • Kelly took a psychological approach to her work applying Freudian and Lacanian theory to her ﬁrst experiences as a mother. – Her Post-‐Partum Document inves-gates a mother’s rela-onship to her newborn child and Freudian theories of the phallus. • Kelly documented her son’s life keeping journals of everything he ate, when, the quality of bowel movements, etc. Mary Kelly, Post Partum Document: I – She created mixed media “pain-ngs” Analyzed fecal stains and feeding using feces, baby spit-‐up, etc. for the charts, 1974. Perspex units, white visual aspect of the piece. card, diaper lining, plas-c shee-ng, paper, and ink. Art Gallery, Ontario.
Feminist Art Guerilla Girls (1985) • Established in 1985, Guerilla Girls is a group of women, all of whom work in the art industry as ar-sts, curators, cri-cs, instructors, etc. toward the goal of educa-ng the world of the gender and racial inequali-es in the art world. • Members’ true iden-ty remains anonymous, each woman adopts the name of a woman from art’s history (Georgia O’Keeﬀe, Artemisia Gen-leschi) in eﬀort to avoid repercussion and to not use the group to her advantage. Guerilla Girls, The Advantages of Being a Woman Ar5st, 1988.
Feminist Art Guerilla Girls (1985) • The group is best known for its covert ac-ons-‐ pugng up posters around Manhaoan publishing the inequali-es in the art world or sarcas-c reasons for advantages of being a woman ar-st. • Like the SI, they use public space to disrupt everyday ac-vity. Guerilla Girls, The Advantages of Being a Woman Ar5st, 1988.
Feminist Art Guerilla Girls (1985) • One of the beoer known posters accounts for the total number of exhibi-ons at the Metropolitan Museum of Art featuring the work of female ar-sts versus the number of works feature female Guerilla Girls, Do women have to be subjects. naked to get into the Met. Museum? 1989.
Feminist Art Janine Antoni (b.1964) • Antoni’s work resembles the work of many Minimalist ar-sts. • Her cubes in Gnaw at ﬁrst glance appear to be simple cube structures. • Further inves-ga-on reveals the cubes are in fact cubes of chocolate and lard. • The ar-st omen works in organic materials for a Janine Antoni. Gnaw (detail), 1992. 600 lb. cube of mul--‐dimensional quality. chocolate gnawed by the ar-st, 24 x 24 x 24 . Museum of Modern Art.
Feminist Art • Like Rauschenberg, Antoni removes material from her cubes gnawing away at the surface to achieve the ﬁnal product. Robert Rauschenberg, Erased de Kooning, Janine Antoni. Gnaw (detail), 1992. 1953. Traces of ink and crayon on paper, 600 lb. cube of chocolate gnawed by with mount and hand-‐leoered ink by the ar-st, 24 x 24 x 24 . Museum Jasper Johns, 25.5 x 21.8 x 0.5”. San of Modern Art. Francisco Museum of Art.
Feminist Art • Amer removing the material from Gnaw, Antoni repurposed it to create Lips5ck Display. • Her work focuses on the process of removal. • Her work brings to mind issues including bulimia which strikes many young women. Janine Antoni, Lips5ck Display, detail, 1992. Lips-ck made with pigment, beeswax, and chewed lard removed from Lard Gnaw and heart-‐shaped packaging tray for chocolates made Janine Antoni. Gnaw (detail), 1992. 600 lb. from chew chocolate removed from cube of chocolate gnawed by the ar-st, 24 x Chocolate Gnaw. Museum of Modern 24 x 24 . Museum of Modern Art. Art, NY.
Feminist Art Janine Antoni (b.1964) • Antoni also created the work of ar-st Yves Klein in her piece, Loving Care. • Her ac-ons mimic Klein’s living brushes only she-‐the ar-st, is the ac-ve agent and not the passive model. Janine Antoni, Loving Care, 1992-‐1994. Performance, US-‐London.
Loving Care, performance, US-‐ London, 1992-‐1994 S-ll from Anthropometry performance, Kleins 1949 The Monotone Symphony (a single 20-‐minute sustained chord followed by a 20-‐minute silence)
African-‐American Art OBAC • One of the ﬁrst projects to address the need for proper role models for young blacks was the Wall of Respect in Chicago. • Created out of a joint eﬀort, this wall presented the youth of Southside Chicago with notable people of color who had a par-cular impact on the American community. • Those represented include Mar-n Luther King Jr., Malcolm X, Aretha Franklin, and Muhammad Ali. • The mission was to not only ins-ll conﬁdence in the youth culture but to promote a sense of community and pride in the people of Southside Chicago-‐to care about their home. OBAC (Organiza-on of Black American Culture), Wall of Respect, 1967. Oil on brick, 30 x 60, Southside Chicago, no longer extant.
African-‐American Art Faith Ringgold (b. 1930) • Ar-st Faith Ringgold faced the challenge of nego-a-ng both gender and race. • Ac-ve in both the Women’s Movement and Civil Rights Movement, she faced similar discrimina-on from men of color and Caucasian women. • This disenfranchisement led the ar-st to seek a new avenue for her art and poli-cs. – She began traveling to college campuses and founded several groups for young students Faith Ringgold, Who s Afraid of Aunt interested in both causes. Jemima? 1983. Printed and pieced fabric, 7 6 x 6 8 . Private Collec-on.
African-‐American Art Faith Ringgold (b. 1930) • Her work is overtly poli-cal and challenges authority that perpetuates discriminatory prac-ces and stereotypes. • Her work challenges the division between ﬁne art and cram. • Inspired by folk art, she is best known for her story quilts that recount memories of African Americans. Faith Ringgold, Who s Afraid of Aunt Jemima? 1983. Printed and pieced fabric, 7 6 x 6 8 . Private Collec-on.
African-‐American Art Faith Ringgold (b. 1930) • Modeled amer Buddhist Thangkas, her quilts combine storytelling, wri-ng, and pain-ng. • Who’s Afraid of Aunt Jemima is an obvious play on the Mammy archetype. • Ringgold’s Aunt Jemima is the story of a family’s matriarch and the rela-ons she has. • She creates mul--‐dimensional characters and stories for her quilts; some are heroines, some are not but the overall presenta-on is the humanness of Faith Ringgold, Who s Afraid of Aunt Jemima? 1983. Printed and pieced fabric, those she does feature. 7 6 x 6 8 . Private Collec-on.
African-‐American Art Robert Colescoo (1925-‐2009) • African American ar-st Robert Colescoo employs humor to inves-gate and decenter the modernist aesthe-c. • His work brings a lighter side to West Coast ﬁgura-on. • Using a cartoon-‐like style, Colescoo recreates famous pain-ngs from Western art replacing the ﬁgures with ones that are exaggera-ngly Africanized. • He has re-‐interpreted works by masters including Picasso, Robert Colescoo, Les Demoiselles Ma-sse, and Delacroix . dAlabama ves5das 1985 acrylic on canvas 96 x 92 . Hanford Yang, NY.
African-‐American Art Robert Colescoo (1925-‐2009) • Colescoo’s pain-ngs rewrite history from the viewpoint of those con-nuously wrioen out. • Here he presents George Washington Carver Crossing the Delaware acknowledging the imbalance of history in our textbooks. • Colescoo uses his images to open a dialogue about race rela-ons and the image of blacks in Western art. – He selects his images carefully focusing on those pieces that have had a tremendous role in crea-ng Robert Colescoo, George Washington images and exaggera-ng Carver Crossing the Delaware: A Page from stereotypes of people of color. an American History Textbook, 1975. Acrylic on canvas, 4 6 x 9 .Robert H. Orchard Collection, Ohio.
African-‐American Art David Hammons (b. 1943) • Hammons’ work addresses the goals of inner city youth. • The ar-st appropriates found objects to decorate telephone poles and create basketball hoops. • The work is commentary on the need for proper role models and smarter, achievable goals for young people today. • Referencing the basketball industry, Hammons notes that young men of color are quite omen reduced to their body, their poten-al as star athletes and not valued for much else. • The height of the goals is a metaphor for the David Hammons, Higher likelihood that such goal will be achieved. Goals, 1982. Poles, basketball • Hammons wants the higher goals to be a hoops, and boole caps, height proper educa-on and not the hope of being 40. Installation view, discovered or valued for athle-c skill only. Brooklyn, NY.
Conceptualism Adrian Piper (b. 1948) • Piper’s Self-‐Portrait adapts the feminist mooo, the personal is poli-cal, and adds the component of race. • Piper created several series that inves-gate how race plays a factor in how people react and behave toward one another. • As a light-‐skinned woman of color, she nego-ates the white and black communi-es to study how ideas of race are made and how that aﬀects iden-ty poli-cs. • Many of her pieces, like Self-‐Portrait, document the discrimina-on she experienced as a young woman of color. • She uses language in narra-ve format to Adrian Piper, Poli5cal Self-‐ reveal how racism ﬁgures into dominant Portrait #2 (Race), 1978. agtudes and the building of community. Photostat, 24 x 16 . Collec-on Richard Sandor.