The Feminist Art Movement Essay

Feminist art begun in the 1960’s. Feminist movements began to take place during the mid nineteenth centaury. Beginning in the mid 1800’s groups of people were gathering together in the fight for women’s rights. On July 19, 1848 many men and women gathered together along side Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Lucretia Mott, in Seneca Falls, New York, in a battle to achieve woman’s rights.

Two days later one hundred both men and women signed the “Declaration of Sentiments. ” A document that stated that all men and woman were created equal. Feminist movements first begun with the woman’s suffrage movement nd then continued until the passage of the 19th amendment, which would allow woman to vote. The passage of the 19th amendment happened during the 1920’s shortly after World War I. Artwork by woman however was not yet being produced during this time period. During this time period woman were to stay home and cook, clean, and tend to their husband and children. Men were in charge or working and resolving any problems that came along.

Feminist Art began to take place during the 1960’s and 1970’s. Woman main concern during this time period was their role in society and truly being respected ike the male gender. Through art it helped them express their concern for gender equality and what they wanted for the future. Woman would express their concerns outlook on woman issues through their art pieces. Woman began to participate in the world of art and begun to create paintings, sculptures, needlework, ceramics, metalwork, and other media. Woman artist such as Mary Fairchild MacMonnies and Mary Cassatt along with many other artists were known for their feminist art based on woman experiences, suffrages, and experiences. MacMonnies work displayed ideal imagery for this time period.

Her paintings displayed woman participating in activities that were “appropriate” for woman during this time. Cassatt’s style sent a message of woman empowerment. Through her work she demonstrated that woman too could dream and accomplish their goals. Although many artists who created art exclusively about woman experiences were feminist, not all of them identified themselves with feminism.

During the 1970’s New York had created a system for museums where galleries would display art by famous artist. During this period woman artist had already initiated creating art however struggled having their art isplayed for others to see. Woman were not getting credit for their paintings, making it hard for them to get recognized and getting the messages behind their paintings across. Woman then began to form organizations that would help them present woman and display and promote their art. Many of these organizations would also hold protest against other organizations, museums, and exhibits that would not display art created by woman. A couple of the organizations formed were Woman Artist in Revolution, known as WAR, and AIR Gallery.

Organizations such as these did a great job at spreading the ord and opening up doors for future woman artist. After a protest held at an annual art event known as the Whitney, an increase from ten percent to twenty three percent was seen from 1969 to the 1970’s. In other parts of the United States such as California, different methods were being used to raise awareness. These states were created institutions and buildings for woman art specifically. This was a different approach that was taken by woman instead of forming protests. Buildings such as the Feminist Studio Workshop, known as FWS, and the Woman’s Building were built and ran by woman representatives, to represent woman.

The Feminist Studio Workshop was an art school for woman that was located inside the Woman’s Building. The workshop was a two-year program that covered art and theories and criticism of feminism. The Woman’s Building was ran by feminist and held art pieces only created by woman. The Woman’s Building did not only hold pieces of art but also welcomed woman from the community where they were able to enjoy from a variety of activities such as a bookstore, galleries, a cafe, feminist magazines, and other resources that helped woman of the community. During the 1970’s art critics played part in the Feminist art movement.

They recognized and brought attention to the fact that woman were being left out from art standards such as Western art. Soon essays written by woman began to published in popular readings, such as ARTnews. A popular essay that got much attention and soon initiated more inclusion of woman in history books, was Linda Nochlin’s essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists? ” Soon came the 1980’s a time where woman continued to seek advancement although much had been laid out and accomplished during the 1970’s. The focus of the 1980’s feminist had moved on to study and analyze things uch as the body in a knowledgeable manner; there was also a focus on psychoanalysis during this time period. This being said woman artist during this time period still created pieces that came across as a need for woman equality.

This of course was because although the 1970’s had brought advancement, equal representation had still not been achieved. Organizations also formed during the 1980’s. The Guerilla Girl’s formed in 1985, a group that fought against art racism in the art world and sexism. The Guerilla Girl’s did this by holding protests, performing at different venues, and speaking out. They also covered poster oards around New York and even achieved buy advertising their own images around the area. They used the advertising spaces they bought to post images filled with humor to get their political views across. The Guerilla Girl’s however needed to protect themselves from those who were against their performances and protests against powerful institutions.

They did this by wearing gorilla masks to hide their identity. Along with the Guerilla Girl’s many other woman artist were focusing on advertisement and as a form of mass communication. Along with visuals such as graphics they also included slogans that ould capture much attention. The main focus of these woman of the 1980’s was break down male dominancy whiling not so much focusing in gender differences, as they did in the 1970’s. During the Feminist movement many different types of feminist art and other forms of arts crossed paths. Performance art, Body art, Video art, and Textile art all crossed paths with feminism art. Performance art not only crossed paths with feminism during the 1970’s but beyond that as well. Performance art allowed woman to directly communicate their message across. They were able to do this by physically and instinctually through Performance art.

They were actually in front of the viewers, which made it hard for viewers to ignore. It was common for artist, in Performance art, to have a personal aspect attached to their work. Many of the pieces that were performed were very relatable for these women during this time period. Body art was another form of art that merged with Feminist art. However Body art unlike Performance art sometimes could work in contrary to feminism. Lucy Lippard for example brought on to attention for example, that some woman were using their bodies in their own art work, she believed that this could be misinterpreted by others and instead e seen as the woman body being an object or a piece of material. Some artist however not only used their bodies in their performances but also included different types of mutilations. Artist used things such as blood on their bodies that helped symbolize important aspects in life and fertility. Video art and Feminism art also merged together during this time period.

Video art had the potential of getting a point across to many people through different broadcasts. The Woman’s Building played a part in Video art by providing equipment needed to make Video art to woman artist. They called this part f the building the Los Angeles Women’s Video Center, known as the LAWVC. During this time period it was hard on Video art equipment and by the Woman’s Building helping many woman artist had a new door open for representation. get hands Many artists soon adapted fiber and Textile art after an interest in feminist gender took place. Some of this art included fabric, paint, sewing techniques, cooking, and much more. Miriam Schapiro named this type of art “femmage. ”

This type of work usually include work that woman during this time period were known for doing, therefore being “traditional woman echniques. ” As years passed after the 1980’s feminist messages slowly started to decrease and more individual concerns began to be expressed in woman artist works. Woman also began to have less of a concern as being identified as a women artist since most of the movements in the earlier years had made such progress regarding being identified as woman artist. However artist today and their work, although not directly feminist, can still be connected to work of the past feminist art, materials used, roles that are played, and perspectives that took place during the Feminist movements