Women Artists from the 1960s - 1970s

The Feminist Artists Movement emerged in the late 60s-early 70s documented by the art historian Linda Nochlin in her essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists” of 1971 published in Art News.

At the same time as the women were finding their voice in art, the Vietnam war was raging and many men and women were demonstrating against it as their consciences were pushing them to march for civil rights and LGBT awareness.

The Feminists sought equal representation in galleries and museum shows and generally aimed to promote their visibility in the art world. 

Various women artists embraced non-traditional media like performance and video and working with  fabric, and fiber to expand the cannon of artistic practice.  Some used their bodies to redefine art like Hannah Wilke and  Ana Mendieta.

Others used fabric in their work like Miriam Schapiro and Harmony Hammond.

Martha Rosler incorporated scenes of daily life in her videos.  Helene Aylon rode in her Earth Ambulance to bring attention to our planet’s resources, Mary Frank created figures out of clay in tortured postures, Anita Steckel mounted performances with her naked body hovering over New York’s skyline.  

There is a renewed interest today in the work of these iconoclasts.  Numerous gallery shows and museum shows are being organized to demonstrate the contribution these women made to change the course of art history.

© Susan L. Halper Fine Art, Inc. 2020