Chasing butterflies- Berthe Morisot
According to the gender stereotype, women are more sensitive and have a sharper ability to perceive beauty. Then, how come the art world has been forever ruled and dominated by men? I urge you to think right now of your five favourite artists. How many of them are female? This phenomena is also true in the kitchens, as women were typically in charge of the cooking, but there are few famous female chefs in comparison to male.
Women are at the same time expected to be a certain way, but cannot succeed in that particular area either.
The intention of this entry is not merely to open a debate about gender equality. Rather, it seeks to direct the readers attention towards female artists, suggesting who to Google in order to learn more.
Flamenco singer- Sonia Delaunay
When speaking about female personalities in art, they are often presented as muses or artistic lovers. For instance, Sonia Delaunay is often presented as “Robert Delaunay’s wife who was also a painter”. Also, Gabriele Münter was Kandinsky’s lover, but this fact should not distract oneself from the fact that she was a prolific artist and thinker of the time.
Along Monet and Renoir, famous impressionists, painted Berthe Morisot: she was part of the movement but is not commonly mentioned; yes, she was Manet’s wife but also talented and dedicated to art. Mary Cassat should also be mentioned.
Cats- Natalia Goncharova
In Russian avant- garde movement, women were crucial, for instance, Natalia Goncharova was one of the most relevant artists of the time.
Did your know that the first mexican artist to be featured at the Louvre was a woman? Perhaps you thought of her at the begining, trying to evoke a female painter: Frida Kahlo. It would be interesting to debate whether her fame is based on her art or rather on her excentric life and iconic looks. It is perhaps surprising that Mexico, a country with a prominent macho culture, was a place where surrealism was a movement lead by women, Kahlo, Leonora Carrigton and Remedios Varo.
A good friend of mine has been forever fascinated by Lee Miller, a successful photographer also related to Surrealism. Her work is very broad: from fashion photography to documenting WWII.
Bridget Riley is the main exponent of Op Art, a movement that seeks to produce movement by optical illusions.
While it is true that in contemporary art more names of female creators come to mind: Yoko Ono, Louise Bourgeois, Tracy Emin and Marina Abramovic to name a few, there is still a long path ahead for female recognition in art. We should not only be praising art done today, but re-writing history and learning about the names that were overlooked or underrated. Forget about introducing an artist with “she was the lover of…” as this should only be a secondary fact and not the statement that defines someone.
“When I’m writing a poem or drawing, I’m not a female; I’m an artist.” Patti Smith