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Women's Issues In 20th Century Art

KAHLO, Frida - The Two Fridas

Connie Holmes, Amy Mangrich, Ella Phillips, Colleen Ryan

The success of artists like Lee Krasner, Georgia O'Keefe, Louise Nevelson, and Helen Frankenthaler opened the door for other women artists to express themselves in the art world. We acknowledge that there were women that made it in a man's world doing artistically the same thing men were doing at the time. But, this is not the focus of our on-line exhibit. The women artists discussed here are from the second half of the 20th century - from 1945 to the present day. The women artists we are highlighting in this on-line exhibit create artwork that focuses on expressing thier ideas and feelings about women's identity issues. We are defining these issues into three categories.

The first topic concerns the body or "her" body. Whether the body is depicted or not in the artwork, many women are concerned with examining ideas about ownership of their bodies and women's health. Another topic these women artists are concerned with are the many different roles women have in society. They manifest their ideas about societal and cultural roles in their artwork. Other women artists challenge stereotypes that affect women's feelings of self worth.

For all three catagories, the women artists we have chosen are quite diverse. Some of them produce artwork meant to shock the audience while others are quite a bit more conservative. Many of these women use media that have long been considered "traditional women's craft." Quilting, china painting, and needle work are used along side fine art media such as sculpting and oil painting.

In the following pages we will be highlighting 8 women artists. The works we choose for each artist will help define and explain each category. Further links to other web sites of these women will be included.

This page was created for a 20th Century Art History class.

Our Chosen Artists

Ana Mendieta
Carolee Schneeman
Kiki Smith
Frieda Kahlo
Judy Chicago
Faith Ringgold
Guerilla Girls
Barbara Kruger