The history of art has been forever considered, written, published, and taught by men, primarily for a male audience. For women, the mere possibility of becoming an artist–to have access to the necessary materials, to produce, exhibit, and, against all odds, succeed and sustain the activity–has been an incessant, dangerous, and exhausting fight–physically, mentally, and psychologically. The time has come to reframe the history of art in the context of the brave women who had the courage to defy all rules in order to pursue their vocation and carve out their place in the art world.
This book draws the portraits of sixty-seven fascinating women and their significant artistic achievements, from groundbreaking Renaissance painter Artemisia Gentileschi to the photography of Nan Goldin today. Tracing the painters, sculptors, photographers, and performance artists who shaped modern art, readers discover key figures and their signature works and styles, from Marry Cassatt’s impressionist paintings to Sonia Delaunay’s mastery of color and geometric shapes, from Eva Hesse’s postminimal sculptures to the large – scale works of Georgia O’Keeffe, the “mother of American modernism,” and from the conceptual photography of Cindy Sherman to Rei Naito’s nature – inspired installations.
Exploring the codes and archetypes of art history, this celebration of women in art analyzes their slow but steady achievement of artistic independence and the hard-won recognition for their creative work in a domain historically reserved for men.