The past and present reality of inequality for women artists is being considered around the world:
· Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology, a groundbreaking book from 1982 offering a radical critique of
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Art History’s sexism, was re-issued this month with a new preface that questions how much has really changed for women artists over the decades.
· In France, “Bad Girls: A Collection in Action” is currently on display at the Frac Lorraine, showcasing works by artists such as Marina Abramovic, Lili Dujourie and Clarisse Hahn. A summary of the show on its website declares “Refusal of any established order, subversion of the commonplace… In times where the patriarchy is crumbling, Bad Girls are putting on their battle suits and draw their weapons: humor and insolence!”
· Equals: Exploring Feminism Through Art and Conversation: An exhibition, publication, radio show, and live events program in Manchester featuring a range of artists, writers, and scholars.
· Similarly, the Museum of Russian Art is now hosting an exhibit, “Women in Soviet Art,” featuring work exclusively by female artists from the 1950s – 1980s. The exhibition explores the representation of women in art at a time when the Soviet government proclaimed equal rights for both genders, yet limited individual personal freedoms.
“It’s wonderful to see these issues and great female artists on the international ‘center stage’,” said Janice Sands, Executive Director of Pen and Brush. “The fact that these cultural entities are bringing together diverse works by women artists under the context of gender manifests the need to address the effects of edited histories and continued lack of parity in the art world writ large.”
For almost 120 years, Pen and Brush – the only international non-profit organization dedicated to creating a platform for women in literary and visual arts – has been working to build a more level playing field for female artists.
“Our mission at Pen and Brush is to bring the conversation back to the quality, professionalism and variety of work created by female artists,” explains Sands. “As women artists around the globe continue to demonstrate, there is still a long way to go to shift focus to the art itself.”