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Miriam Schapiro

Miriam Schapiro






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    Miriam Schapiro Miriam Schapiro Presentation Transcript

    • Miriam Schapiro
      • Miriam Schapiro (1923-)
      • Canadian-born, American trained, Shapiro started doing art at the age of 6 as her father was an artist
      • Turned to decorative imagery as a source for feminist paintings.
      • Responsible for launching a new form of art known as the Pattern and Decoration movement
      • Expanded the role of abstract art by putting it in the service of Women’s liberation.
      • When she started painting she worked in amongst and in the style of the Ab Ex artists in NYC, but disliked the male-centredness that the movement had.
    • Miriam Schapiro, Anatomy of a Kimono , 1976 (detail). Whole work 2 x 17.3 metres. What do you think this work means? Is it merely decorative or is there more to it? How do you know this?
    • Details of some of Schapiro’s ‘femmages’, these works attempt to break the barrier between art and craft by reintroducing pattern and decoration into the modernist art world.
    • Schapiro, Kimono , collage and acrylic on canvase 60 x 50”
      • In 1973, Schapiro began combining needlework patchwork, pieces of fabric, handkerchiefs and embroidery with collage and acrylic painting techniques. She called these feminist-oriented collages “Femmages”.
      • Her Kimono works represent an identity. In the West the kimono tends to be a symbol of submission, fragility, and feminity. In the East though, the kimono is worn by both men and women, her work excludes delicacy, passiveness, and quietness…it is bold and large.
      • This work uses large scale to “reinvest what has previously been dismissed as modest [sewing, piecing, hooking, cutting] with the scope of history painting.”
      Miriam Schapiro , Anatomy of a Kimono , 1976 (detail). Whole work 2 x 17.3 metres. Schapiro , Kimono , 1976 collage and acrylic on canvas 60 x 50”
    • Double Rose acrylic and fabric, 1973
    • Schapiro, Mother Russia , fan, 1994 acrylic and mixed media on canvas 80 x 90 “
    • 9 Patch Quilt acrylic fabric, paper collage, 1973
      • Using “low art” forms –embroidery, glazing, patchwork etc to assert the validity of womanhood by placing its artistic traditions in galleries alongside “high” art.
      • LOW ART?
      • Non traditional art forms and materials, as opposed to traditional ‘high art’ –paintings, sculptures and the like. This challenges PATRIARCHICAL conceptions of what art is.
      • Recognised art methods for ‘High art’ production include canvas and oil paint, but not pottery, fabric work or other womanly crafts.
      Mother Russia , 1994. Double Rose , acrylic and fabric, 1973 9 Patch Quilt , Acrylic fabric, paper collage, 1973 Key feminist strategy
    • This exhibition was an installation and performance piece set up in an abandoned 17-room house in Hollywood, California. The exhibitors actively strove to introduce woman-centered art. The theme of the exhibition was women’s work in the home and parodied stereotypes about women. After the foundation of their Feminist art program in 1971, Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro jointly organised in 1972 one of the first-ever feminist art exhibitions - Womanhouse . COLLABORATION –A Feminist Art Strategy
    • Womanhouse 1972 Judy Chicago , Re-installation of Menstruation Bathroom from Womanhouse in the Division of Labor exhibition, Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, CA 1995.
    • Womanhouse 1972
      • Crocheted Environment
      • {also known as the Womb Room } by Faith Wilding.
      • 2. Linen Closet by Sandy Orgel.
      • 3/4. Lipstick Bathroom by Camille Grey.
      Crocheted environment takes the form of a gigantic sheltering womb, yet it was constructed through the labour intensive domestic craft of crocheting; a wry indication that any sense of emotional well-being imparted by a women’s presence in the home is the result of hard work –not a function of biology.
    • Womanhouse 1972 Students renovating the space for Womanhouse Los Angeles, CA. Bridal Staircase by Kathy Huberland Ironing performed by Sandra Orgel
    • Womanhouse explored and challenged (with a mixture of longing, nostalgia, horror and rage) –the domestic role historically assigned to women in middle-class American society. Woman House was important because it was a step toward building an art that allowed women to feel that their lives had meaning, that their experiences were rich, and that they had something of value to contribute to the world as women. As one woman said, “it was the first work of art she had ever seen that she completely understood.” “ For men whose identity was deeply invested in male role playing and masculine dominance, the whole environment was so threatening that they could not even begin to evaluate the work as art.”
    • COLLABORATION As with Chicago’s Dinner party Schapiro’s Fans, and Womanhouse we see large numbers of Women working together (over 400). This was opposed to the Patriarchal ethos of the art world –where artists like Pollock typified the tendency of the lone Artist working in private. Consciousness raising is also demonstrated through the work. Other points of note about Womanhouse: Chicago, Schapiro their students and artists from the local community participated. Proceeds from the sale of various artefacts were channelled back into the Feminist Art Program. Only women were allowed to view the exhibition on its first day, after that; all come, all see. Key feminist strategy