Women In Art

Danica B, Staff

What tactics have artists used to confront gender inequality? Why is it important for women to be able to see themselves in art and express themselves through art? In art, it is essential for people to feel represented. However, for many minorities, there seems to be a lack of representation without mockery. There were and still can be limited opportunities for women artists to showcase their work.

An activist group named The Guerrilla Girls, whose members are artists, curators, and writers, focuses attention on gender and racial discrimination in the art world through performances, public service messages, and demonstrations. They have talked about how art museums have built their collection on white male artists and how their work can be overvalued in both the art market and culturally. In contrast, female artists and artists of color are often undervalued. In the art world, many women are motivated by a now-famous essay, “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?” by Linda Nochlin. Linda Nochlin argues that it isn’t that there have been no great female artists, but instead, they were historically invisible, unknown, or fewer due to systematic obstruction to education.

While the 1970s contained many moments in the women’s movement, research shows that female artists’ work before that time, during the 19th and 20th centuries, pioneered new forms and materials in the art world. The widespread recognition of the work done by female artists has accelerated as they continue to produce work that challenges our understanding of gender, empowerment, and expression.