The Photographers’ Gallery presents Feminist Avant–Garde of the 1970s, an expansive exhibition comprising forty-eight international female artists and over 150 major works from the Verbund Collection in Vienna.
The exhibition highlights groundbreaking practices that shaped the feminist art movement and provides a timely reminder of the wide impact of a generation of artists. Alongside established practitioners such as Valie Export, Cindy Sherman, Francesca Woodman and Martha Rosler, the exhibition also provides a rare opportunity to discover the influential work of artists including Katalin Ladik, Nil Yalter, Birgit Jürgenssen and Sanja Iveković.
Focusing on photographs, collage works, performances, films and videos produced throughout the 1970s, the exhibition reflects a moment during which practices of emancipation, gender equality and civil rights protest movements became part of public discourse. Through radical, poetic, ironic and often provocative investigations, female artists were galvanised to use their work as further means of engagement – questioning feminine identities, gender roles and sexual politics through new modes of expression.
Challenging accepted social conventions including the mechanisms and male dominance of the art industry, these artists sought to reconfigure, and ultimately reshape, the prevailing iconography of ‘woman’ as passive muse surrendering to the male gaze. Operating across the public and personal realms – as well as using their own bodies as central motifs – these artists sought to address broad political issues and confront patriarchy and sexism in art and society. In doing so they created new, positively assertive female identities.
Exhibiting 48 artists: Helena Almeida, Eleanor Antin, Anneke Barger, Lynda Benglis, Judith Bernstein, Renate Bertlmann, Teresa Burga, Marcella Campagnano, Judy Chicago, Linda Christanell, Lili Dujourie, Mary Beth Edelson, Renate Eisenegger, Valie Export, Esther Ferrer, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Alexis Hunter, Sanja Iveković, Birgit Jürgenssen, Kirsten Justesen, Ketty La Rocca, Leslie Labowitz, Katalin Ladik , Brigitte Lang, Suzanne Lacy, Suzy Lake, Karin Mack, Ana Mendieta, Rita Myers, Lorraine O'Grady, Orlan, Gina Pane, Letítia Parente, Ewa Partum, Friederike Pezold, Margot Pilz, Ulrike Rosenbach, Martha Rosler, Suzanne Santoro, Carolee Schneemann, Lydia Schouten, Cindy Sherman, Penny Slinger, Annegret Soltau, Hannah Wilke, Martha Wilson, Francesca Woodman, Nil Yalter
Image Credit: Karin Mack
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