[Dossier] 👩🏽🎨 Artists: From “Old Masters” to Digital Creators
This dossier features the most inspiring artists and resources about art history, the art market, new artistic currents…and the NFT hype.
Who are your favorite artists? If they aren't yet included, please add their names in the comment section. I'd love to hear from you.
“In the arts as in a hundred other areas, things remain stultifying, oppressive, and discouraging to all those--women included--who did not have the good fortune to be born white, preferably middle class and, above all, male. The fault lies not in our stars, our hormones, our menstrual cyles, or our empty internal spaces, but in our institutions and our education--education understood to include everything that happens to us from the moment we enter, head first, into this world of meaningful symbols, signs, and signals. The miracle is, in fact, that given the overwhelming odds against women, or blacks, so many of both have managed to achieve so much excellence--if not towering grandeur--in those bailiwicks of white masculine prerogative like science, politics, or the arts.” - Dr. Linda Nochlin, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”
Renaissance Artists & ‘Old Masters’
[Old Masters - painters and their works which come from the period between the 13th and 18th centuries]
Suor Plautilla Nelli (Italian, 1524 - 1588) - A Renaissance convent-painter who worked in Florence in the 1500s. Florence’s first-known female Renaissance painter, she produced large-scale devotional paintings including the ‘Last Supper.’ Giorgio Vasari included Nelli in his book ‘Lives of Artists’, one of only four women.
Sofonisba Anguissola (Italian, 1527 - 1625) - One of the few women artists to achieve international renown during the Renaissance, she was a portrait painter to the Royal Family at the Court of King Philip II in Madrid. Her paintings have been occasionally misattributed to the likes of Titian, Leonardo da Vinci a.o.
Fede Galizia (Milan 1578 - 1630) - Italian painter, author of the first dated still life by an Italian artist (the Bowl with plums, pears and a rose, painted in 1602, ex. Anholt collection, Amsterdam) and a crucial figure in the development of still life painting in Italy.
A Tale of Two Women Painters: Sofonisba Anguissola and Lavinia Fontana | Museo del Prado, Madrid [multimedia exhibition]
Artemisia Gentileschi (Rome 1593–1653) - An Italian Baroque painter who was one of the first women painters to pursue a career on the same terms as her male peers. Gentileschi worked in the courts of Rome, Florence and Naples, traveling to England, and was the first woman to enter the prestigious Academy of Art and Design in Florence. She painted in the style of Caravaggio, depicting mostly heroic women from history, mythology, and religion, including Cleopatra, Lucretia, and Mary Magdalene. Her most famous work is Judith and Holofernes (ca. 1620, Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence).
“As long as I live, I will have control over my being” - Artemisia Gentileschi
“In Artemisia’s lifetime, she had a kind of pan-European celebrity that places her on a level with later artists such as Rubens or Van Dyck.” - Letizia Treves, curator of the 2020 ‘Artemisia’ show at the National Gallery (London, UK)
Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Le Brun (French, 1755 - 1842) - A highly fashionable portrait painter and Queen Marie Antoinette’s personal painter, she became a member of the Académie de St-Luc in 1774 and of the French Academy in 1783. During the French Revolution, she left France, traveling throughout Europe between 1789 and 1805. One of her most famous paintings is the Portrait of Muhammad Dervish Khan. | Also see Adélaïde Labille-Guiard (French, 1749 - 1803), one of Le Brun’s ‘rivals’, who in the aftermath of the French Revolution developed a reputation as a teacher of young women artists, and proposed a new system for educating girls.
Other ‘Old Masters’: Irene Parenti Duclos (Florentine painter and poetess known for teaching other women), Rachel Ruysch (a still life and flower painter, the first woman to achieve an international reputation as a major artist in her lifetime), Clara Peeters, Angelica Kaufmann, Mary Moser RA (one of only two female Founder members of the British Royal Academy), Giovanna Garzoni
Modern & Contemporary Art
Post-impressionist artists: Vanessa Bell (British, 1879–1961) - Post-Impressionist painter, member of the Bloomsbury Group, one of the most radical artists of her era | Meet Vanessa Bell, Virginia Woolf’s Overlooked Artist Sister | Also see The life less ordinary of artist Laura Knight
Notable Modern Artists: Elaine de Kooning, Lee Krasner, Gabriele Münter, Etel Adnan, Amrita Sher-Gil, Zubeida Agha, Joan Eadley, Joan Mitchell, Paula Modersohn-Becker, Eva Hesse, Agnes Martin, Ana Mendieta, Tarsila do Amaral, Anita Malfatti, Lygia Clark, Lygia Pape, Laura Wheeler Waring, Augusta Savage (Sculptor, Harlem Renaissance), Camille Claudel (Sculptor), Barbara Hepworth (Sculptor), Maria Martins (Sculptor), Althea McNish (textile artist, the first successful black female artist in Britain)
Frida Khalo (Mexican, 1907–1954) - A painter known for her many portraits, self-portraits (she often depicted her experience of chronic pain), and works inspired by the nature and artifacts of Mexico. She belonged to the post-revolutionary Mexicayotl movement and has been described as a surrealist or magical realist.
“They thought I was a Surrealist but I wasn’t. I never painted dreams. I painted my own reality.”
Louise Bourgeois (French - American, 1911–2010) - Best known for her large-scale sculpture and installation art
Georgia O'Keefe (American, 1887 - 1986) - American Modernist known for her paintings of New York skyscrapers and her radical depictions of flowers
Judy Chicago (American, 1939) - An artist, author, feminist, educator, and intellectual whose career now spans five decades. She’s most famous for her iconic installation ‘The Dinner Party’ (Oct. 1980 - Feb. 1981). The show intended to “convey women’s history through art in a way that will make both women’s experience and women’s art more significant.” It contained 39 place settings executed in innovative ceramic techniques and traditional china painting and needlework processes, each place setting representing a mythic female character or historic figure who has made a significant contribution to womens’ lives throughout history.
“A powerful work of art has the ability to shape the way we see reality, which women have not participated in.” - Judy Chicago
Contemporary African Artists: Marlene Dumas (South African, 1953 - ), Lubaina Himid (Zanzibar-born, British, 1945), Njideka Akunyili Crosby (Nigerian-born, US-based, 1983 - ) Tyna Adebowale (Nigerian, based in Amsterdam, 1982) - A multimedia artist portraying queer bodies, stories and histories, Toyin Ojih Odutola (Nigerian-born, US-based, 1985 - ), Kudzanai-Violet Hwami (Zimbabwean, 1993 - ), Leilah Babirye (Ugandan, New York-based, 1985 - ) - artist and LGBTQ+ activist, whose ‘sculptures represent Uganda’s queer community, who continue to be born, exist and aren’t going anywhere, no matter how much they’re persecuted’
Contemporary North American Artists: Faith Ringgold (African-American, 1930 - ), Ruth Asawa (American of Japanese origins, 1926 –2013, Sculptor), Helen Frankenthaler (1928–2011), Jenny Holzer (Amrican, 1950 - ), Kiki Smith (1954), Huma Bhabha (Pakistani - American, 1962 -, Sculptor), Cindy Sherman (American, 1954 - ), Mickalene Thomas (African-American, 1971 - ), Amy Sherald (African-American, 1973 - ), Jenna Gribbon (American, 1978 - ), Dana Schutz (American, 1976 - ), Alannah Farrell (American, 1988 - ), Abigail Deville (African-American, 1981 -, Sculptor), Rose B. Simpson (American, 1983 - ), Christina Quarles (American, 1985 -, her paintings confront themes of racial and sexual identities, gender, and queerness), Jordan Casteel (African-American, 1989), Nina Chanel Abney (African-American), Grace Lynne Haynes (African-American, 1992 - )
“I would see the artists who were chosen and 90 percent of them were not women of color. So, I decided I was tired of seeing rejection emails and decided to create my own table, an ecosystem of Black women artists, and bring them in as opposed to always knocking on someone else’s door waiting for a pass.” - Sasha Loriene
Up and coming young artists:
Storm, a painter who uses a limited palette of blue, green, black, grey, and white to create storm and seascape paintings.
I see storms as very emotional yet beautiful things in life.. painting them has helped me in ways I didn’t know anything in this world ever could do.
Rose B. Simpson (American, 1983 - ) - A mixed-media Indigenous artist whose work engages ceramic sculpture, metals, fashion, performance, music, installation, writing, and custom cars
“My life-work is a seeking out of tools to use to heal the damages I have experienced as a human being of our postmodern and postcolonial era— objectification, stereotyping, and the disempowering detachment of our creative selves through the ease of modern technology. These tools are sculptural pieces of art that function in the psychological, emotional, social, cultural, spiritual, intellectual and physical realms. The intention of these tools is to cure, therefore, my hope is that they become hard-working utilitarian concepts.” - Rose B. Simpson
[Do you know any contemporary artists from Mexico, Central and South America? Please add their names in the comments. Thank you!]
Modern and Contemporary Asian Artists: Georgette Chen (aka Zhang Liying, Singaporean, 1906–1993, the only woman among Singapore's Nanyang Art Movement group), Anita Magsaysay-Ho (Philippine, 1914 – 2012, the only woman among the Thirteen Moderns), Christine Ay Tjoe (Indonesian, 1973 – ), Marina Cruz (Philippine, 1982 – ), Jane Lee (Singaporean, 1963 – ), Yayoi Kusama (Japanese, 1929 -, Multi-Media Artist), Leiko Ikemura (Japanese - Swiss, 1951 -, Painter and Sculptor), Xiao Lu (Chinese, 1962 -, Performance Artist)
Contemporary European Artists: Maria Lassnig (Austrian, 1919 - 2014), Françoise Gilot (French, New York-based, 1921 - ), Bridget Riley (British, 1931 - ), Martha Jungwirth (Austrian, 1940 - ), Valie Export (Austrian, 1940 - ), Anna Maria Maiolino (Italian, lives in Brazil, 1942 - ), Madelon Hooykaas (Dutch, 1942), Mona Hatoum (British - Palestinian, 1952 - ), Claudette Johnson (British, 1959), Lynette Yiadom-Boakye (British, 1977 - ), Maud Sulter (Scottish, of Ghanaian origin 1960 – 2008), Vanessa Beecroft (Italian - American, 1969 -, Performance Artist), Marina Abramovich (Serbian, 1946 - , Performance Artist), Sonia Boyce (British-Afro-Carribean, 1962 - , she will be the first black British woman to represent Britain at the Venice Biennale in 2022 – 113 years after it was established), Ana Lupaș (Romanian, 1964 - 2008), Lakwena Maciver British, with mixed Ugandan and British heritage, 1986 - ), Barbara Walker MBE (British), Laure Prouvost (French, based in Brussels, 1978 - , Multimedia Artist), Hera, Jasmin Siddiqui (German, 1981 -, Street Artist part of the duo HERAKUT), Lina Iris Viktor (British-Liberian, based in the US, 1987 - )
Digital & Video Artists | NFT Creators
Rachel Rose (American, 1986) - An artist known for her video installations. She has exhibited at Palais de Tokyo (Paris) and Philadelphia Museum of Art (Philadelphia) and has held solo exhibitions at the Serpentine Galleries (London), Whitney Museum of American art (New York City) a.o.
“I try to use myself a bit like a tiny sensor, and then quickly move outside myself to the place that it spots (...)” - Rachel Rose
Christine Sun Kim (American, Berlin-based, 1980 - ) - Deaf artist and activist who ‘explores the politics of language and communication through her paintings, drawings, installations, videos, and performances.’
Caledonia Curry aka Swoon (American, 1977) - Contemporary artist and filmmaker recognized around the world for her vision of public artwork. She is known as one of the first women Street Artists to gain international recognition, pushing the conceptual limits of the genre and paving the way for a generation of women Street Artists.
Narina Arakelian (Armenian, 1979 - ) - Interdisciplinary feminist artist who combines Fine Arts and Digital Technologies
pplpleasr - Multidisciplinary artist based in NYC. Her work includes visual effects credits in feature films (Batman v Superman, Wonder Woman, Star Trek Beyond), commercials and Blizzard game cinematics. In 2020, she created original animations to help define the Decentralized Finance movement and the NFT space.
In the Know:
The first international exhibition of works by women artists, Women Artists: 1550-1950, took place from October 1 through November 27, 1977, at the Brooklyn Museum, in New York. Curated by Dr. Ann Sutherland Harris and Dr. Linda Nochlin, it displayed 150 European and American paintings, by eighty-three artists from 12 countries.
Guerrilla Girls - A US-based activist collective who challenges inequality in the art world
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