Katy Hessel@thegreatwomenartists

🤘 Celebrating female art daily
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“I am trying to make art that relates to the deepest and most mythic concerns of human kind and I believe that, at this moment of history, feminism is humanism.”
Happy Birthday to the legendary artist Judy Chicago (@judychicago) ✨💕✨ Famed for her Dinner Party installation that is permanently housed @brooklynmuseum, commemorating 39 women from history - from fictitious warriors to the likes of Virginia Woolf and Georgia O’Keeffe - Judy Chicago also created an array of vibrantly-coloured, organic drawings in the early ‘70s that concentrated on fusing her abstract iconography with a new-found determination to openly express her experiences as a woman. Nearly into her sixth decade working as an artist, Judy is showing no sign of slowing down and is becoming more important than ever, influencing the generations to come!! • #JudyChicago #WomenArtists


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Born in 1917, Charlotte Salomon was a German-Jewish artist known her vibrantly coloured, autobiographical paintings that documented her fantasies and happiness around her ever distressing upbringing in 1920s and 30s Berlin ✨ A time where universities were restricting their Jewish student quota to 1.5%, Charlotte was one of the few who gained a place at the Academy of Arts Berlin, where she excelled, won prizes, and remained for two years before it became too dangerous. In her twenties, she created one of the most complex, challenging and fascinating artworks of the modern era made up of nearly 784 works: "Leben? oder Theater" which translates to "Life? or Theatre" 🌙🥀 This body of work tells the stories of those around her in great detail, and the lives of her families and friends in a variety of painterly modes from more freely painted fields of colours, to barely there figures and overlaying text that revealed her humour and wit. However as the story unfolds, and her style becomes more expressionistic - almost violent, the last chapters revealed her impending fate... She was heartbreakingly killed upon arrival in Auschwitz, five months pregnant age just 26 💔 And a few months before, she handed "Leben? oder Theater" over to a friend and told him: "take good care of it, it is my entire life". It was kept in great condition and in 1971 was donated to The Jewish Historical Museum in Amsterdam by her surviving parents🌻🖤 The most tragic story which should be remembered in the history of art • #CharlotteSalomon #WomenArtists


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Wow ✨ Went to a truly incredible talk tonight to hear two art legends: @jenniferhiggie and @francesmarymorris speak about the decolonisation of female artists in the history of art 📚 They spoke about Frances’s extraordinary career starting out at @arnolfiniarts to her role heading up @tate Modern with her revolutionary hang of the new Switch House in 2016. It was so interesting to hear about working for an “public” institution, and all the dilemmas but brilliant things that come with it. It showed that slowly but surely (she’s been there since the 80s!) that equality in art is happening - especially with her 50:50 gender policy - that will forever inspire and show the generations to come a balanced perception of the history of art. But I wanted to know, what are their DREAM exhibitions? I think mine would be re-staging Linda Nochlin and Ann Sutherland Harris’ Women Artists: 1550-1950 😇#FrancesMorris #JenniferHiggie #WomenArtists


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Visited the studio of Helen A Prichard (@helena_pritchard_) at her Brixton-based studio tonight ✨🕊️ The South African-born, London’s-based artist is known for her abstract sculptures, maquettes, paintings and works on paper, made from found objects, wood, oil paint, rabbit glue and gesso, that fuse everyday objects like netting, wire, mesh, silk, plants, plastic and packaging. Dealing with found objects all shapes and sizes her works very much respond to each other in the space in which they are intended. I’m so in love with her smaller sculptures that look as though they reference our capitalist society in a very surreal manner 🥀🐚#HelenAPritchard #WomenArtists


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Olivia Laing (@olivialanguage) is one of my favourite writers ever, and Chantal Joffe one of my favourite painters ✨ So when I read Olivia Laing on Chantal Joffe, I thought no one had quite captured her more beautifully and accurately 🥀🐚 “Women are always wrestling with their faces. Imagine going through life dependent on the arrangement of gristle and eyeballs, cheekbones and pores. It’s all sagging and slipping, so difficult to inhabit, so dismaying to regard. I know Chantal is besotted by beauty, but what she defines by beauty isn’t the same as the fashion magazines. It’s the actual instant, the shifty wriggling person inside their hapless, gorgeous suit of flesh. I think think is why I love to look at her paintings of women. What’s beautiful to me is her intensity of her regard. It’s like she scrapes off some sort of toxic outer layer, a blank plastic. She allows her sitters to be lovely, idiosyncratic, intelligent, their eyes wide, wrapped in a daydream or looking boldly back.” ☁️🕊️☁️ Anyone passing through Manchester don’t miss Chantal Joffe: Personal Feeling Is The Main Thing @the_lowry, an exhibition of works based around the theme of motherhood by Chantal Joffe that have been so perfectly and intimately paired with Fauve-Expressionist, Paula Modersohn-Becker • #ChantalJoffe #OliviaLaing #WomenArtists


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Still getting over Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings @pallanthousegallery, that I checked out yesterday 🐚✨🐚 And my discovery of so many female artists I had never heard about!! So often we compartmentalise artists into movements and genres meaning some get lost along the way, and often these are the artists who are so intelligently observing everyday life. I can’t find tooo much info about the following artists, but I wanted to share these works - some old some new - by: Jane Simone Bussy, Ithell Colquhoun, Dolores Courtney, Claire Atwood, Jane L, Lucy Stein, Tamara Henderson and Edith Rimmington! Would love to know where I could find out more about these artist ✨🕊️🥀 and I can’t wait to look into them so much more! Exhibition ends September 16 don’t miss ! And I’m also giving a lecture August 16 ~ info via their website 🌞#WomenArtists


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Went down to Chichester today to see Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings at the wonderful @pallanthousegallery ✨🌻 and wow!!! It is everything I have wanted to see in an exhibition for so long: women artists seen at their best whether that’s exploring landscape, land art, the self, portraiture or political and social progress. All the themes discussed by Virginia Woolf in her writings that act as a beautiful thread, weaving throughout the exhibition 🌿🐚 It’s not just about the Bloomsbury Group, it looks at women working and painting/sculpting Britain - Frances Hodgkins, Paule Vèzelay, the great Marlow Moss, Dora Carrington, Gluck, Judy Chicago, Winifred Nicholson... plus so many more. But then you’ve also got the women pushing boundaries with gender and sexuality that have created conversations and links so timely to this day: Romaine Brooks, Claude Cahun and Zanele Muholi. Alina Szapocznikow’s surrealist lamp stands with Gwen John and Barbara Hepworth’s photogram (all with France-Lise McGurn’s wispy surreal lines in the background). This exhibition is a real insight and education into female artists (at their best) from the last 100 years and why they proved to be so significant and important in the history of art ☁️☁️☁️ DONT miss this exhibition, on until 16 September ~ I’m so excited to be giving a lecture surrounding this exhibition on 16 August about the history of women artists (1550-1945) so come join if you’re free!!!! Beautifully curated @smith.jayne.laura, I’ll remember this exhibition forever! Touring to @fitzmuseum_uk in the Autumn. Check my stories for more highlights ✨✨✨✨#VirginiaWoolf #WomenArtists


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Glistening just north of Los Angeles lies an entire "Bottle Village" conceived by folk artist Grandma Prisbrey - a wonderland full of shrines, walkways, buildings and sculptures all hand crafted from castoff materials! ✨🌻✨ Born in the late 1800s, Grandma Prisbrey spent most of her life as an avid collector (she was once the owner of 17,000 commemorative pencils!!) and it wasn't until she moved to Simi Valley age 60 that she decided she needed to build somewhere to house all her goods. Looking to build in a traditional way, she decided it was too expensive and instead headed for a dump that contained over 1 million bottles. Finally established in 1961, she kept adding to Bottle Village up until her death in the 1980s 🇺🇸🌿 Sadly much was destroyed in the 1994 Northridge Earthquake, but the now state-owned landmark is being reformed it to its former glory and you are still able to visit! So hope to be in LA soon can't wait to visit this fantastical site!! Anyone in town, do not miss 🌎#GrandmaPrisbrey #BottleVillage #WomenArtists


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Georgia O’Keeffe sorting out the colours for tonight’s game 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿✨🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿✨🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿 COME ON ENGLAND !!!! 🦁🦁🦁#GeorgiaOKeeffe #ItsComingHome


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Born in 1892 North Carolina, Folk Artist Minnie Evans was known for her fantastical and kaleidoscopic made from wax and crayons ✨🌈 A descendent of a group of strong Trinidadian women, Minnie left school age 11 to help earn money for her family. It was during this time as a young girl that she began to have vivid dreams and visions - she did not go a single night or day without one - inspiring her to draw. But it wasn’t until she was 43 years old that she finally picked up the pencil after she heard voices telling her to, to create these sensational Surreal images that were way ahead of her time 🍄🌖🍄 A lifelong gatekeeper of a park called Airlie Gardens, an incredible Bottle Chapel - made almost entirely from reused glass - was erected in her honour paying tribute to her warm soul and kind heart 🌻💙#MinnieEvans #WomenArtists


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So in love with Isabelle Filiu’s (@isabellefeliu) modern-surrealist illustrations of women in fantastical and serene landscapes ✨🌞✨ Part-Honduran, part-Canadian, Isabelle is now based in Oslo, where she creates watercolours and gouaches inspired by nature, animals and interiors 🌿🌿 I love the intimacy and tenderness of her figures and symmetry of her buildings (see image 2!). The black cat in this particular work reminds me of one of my favourite surrealists, Gertrude Abercrombie 💕 Check her page for more ! • #IsabelleFiliu #WomenArtists


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I am always trying to find more historic female sculptors, and today I came across the great Félice de Fauveau ✨🏺 Born in Livorno in 1801, de Fauveau - considered one of the most preeminent artists working in marble in the 19th century - spent her childhood in Florence before moving to Paris at the height of the Restoration period. It was here where she exhibited at the likes of the Paris Salon in 1827, but then everything turned ⚔️⛓️⚔️ A fierce Legitimist after being heavily supported by the royals, she was imprisoned in Angers for joining in with the royalist’s insurrection movement. Forced to dismantle her Parisian studio, de Feauveau was exiled from France and fled to Florence to live with her mother: the subject of this sculptural masterpiece which pays tribute to her most loyal supporter and hangs in the cloisters of Santa Maria Del Carmine ⛪️🌿 If you want to explore more of Felicie’s sculptures in the city then head to Santa Croce’s loggia where you’ll find her marble tribute to West-Indian poet Louise de Favreau in was inspired by a poem the girl had written before her death at age seventeen ✨🕊️✨ Apologies for the essay but I hope you will find my discovery of this incredible sculptor as fascinating as I do !! 😇#FeliciedeFeaveau #WomenArtists


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