Feminist Art

The Feminist art movement emerged in the late 1960s amidst the fervor of anti-war demonstrations as well as civil and queer rights movements. Hearkening back to the utopian ideals of early twentieth-century modernist movements, Feminist artists sought to change the world around them through their art, focusing on intervening in the established art world, the art historical canon, as well as everyday social interactions. As artist Suzanne Lacy declared, the goal of Feminist art was to "influence cultural attitudes and transform stereotypes." There is no singular medium or style that unites Feminist artists, as they often combined aspects from various movements and media, including Conceptual art, Body art, and Video art into works that presented a message about women's experience and the need for gender equality. Feminist art created opportunities and spaces that previously did not exist for women and minority artists, as well as paved the path for the identity art and activist art of the 1980s.

Key Ideas

  • Feminist artists sought to create a dialogue between the viewer and the artwork through the inclusion of women's perspective. Art was not merely an object for aesthetic admiration, but could also incite the viewer to question the social and political landscape, and through this questioning, possibly affect the world and incite change toward equality.
  • Before feminism, the majority of women artists were denied exhibitions and gallery representation based on the sole fact of their gender. Feminist artists created alternative venues as well as worked to change established institutions' policies to promote women artists' visibility within the art world.
  • Feminist artists often embraced alternative media, incorporating fabric, fiber, performance, and video as these materials did not have the same historically male-dominated precedent that painting and sculpture carried. By using these non-traditional media, they sought to expand the definition of fine arts to include a wider variety of media and artistic perspectives.
Kathleen Hanna

Kathleen Hanna

Source: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-femini...