Looking for subversive art and resources
November 24, 2023 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Having revisited If Shakespeare had a Sister by Virginia Woolf, read this piece on women in art, and a few other things, I’m experiencing some fresh rage.

I’m looking for visual art that is anti-establishment, subversive, created for the female gaze, ugly, non-pretty, or outsider. Assume I’m somewhat familiar with artists like Mary Cassatt, Frieda Kahlo, Hilma Auf Klimt, Georgia O’Keefe, Artemisia Gentileschi. I really want to know about contemporary artists who fit the description, but not only contemporary.

Books, websites, blogs, documentaries, podcasts, or specific artist names are all welcome and appreciated. Thank you!
posted by bunderful to Media & Arts (20 answers total) 18 users marked this as a favorite
Kara Walker.
posted by FencingGal at 4:20 PM on November 24, 2023

Barbara Kruger, more including some example works here.
posted by JonJacky at 5:26 PM on November 24, 2023

Agnes Denes
Cindy Sherman
Tracey Emin
posted by cocoagirl at 6:17 PM on November 24, 2023

Ana Mendieta
posted by happyfrog at 7:19 PM on November 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

Nancy Spero
posted by JonJacky at 7:21 PM on November 24, 2023

Judy Chicago
posted by JonJacky at 7:33 PM on November 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

posted by sepviva at 7:56 PM on November 24, 2023

Try Donna Haraway "A Manifesto For Cyborgs"

Laurie Anderson "United States" "Language of Love" "Private Property" "Sharkey's Day"
posted by effluvia at 8:20 PM on November 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

I also very much like the discussion of "Crone Island" here on Metafilter. You may find some additional art related resources by doing a search on this site under "Crone Island"
posted by effluvia at 8:23 PM on November 24, 2023 [1 favorite]

Look at Dark Mountain, for instance Charlotte Du Cann's, and many other artists there, as well as their Uncivilisation Festival.

Nancy Holt (1928-2014), Land Artist, there are not enough women land artists. For a long time this form was/is subversive as it ignored galleries.
posted by unearthed at 1:25 AM on November 25, 2023 [1 favorite]

Performance artist Karen Finley.

Her monologue We Keep Our Victims Ready (CW: sexual assault) cost Finley a National Endowment for the Arts fellowship. She became one of four plaintiffs in a First Amendment case before the Supreme Court in 1998, NEA v. Finley.

Finley still has many things to say.
posted by virago at 4:21 PM on November 25, 2023 [1 favorite]

Mod note: [btw, this post has been added to the sidebar and Best Of blog]
posted by taz (staff) at 1:06 AM on November 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

Nicole Eisenman
posted by nightcoast at 6:55 AM on November 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

Also, a bit more comics-y than fine arts, but Lisa Hanawalt.
posted by nightcoast at 6:59 AM on November 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

Here are some other influential women in the arts movement; all of them have a large body of work that you can easily look up:

Yoko Ono had a really significant career as a performance artist. She deals with anger and cultural treatment of women. These performances are recorded so you can see them online. Some of them are very difficult to watch.

Susan Sontag. Huge bibliography of written works. Sontag had a longtime partnership with Anne Liebowitz, who has a large body of photographs.

Cindy Sherman. Huge body of photographic works on constructed self identity.

Adrienne Rich, huge body of poetry and prose on women in society.
posted by effluvia at 7:02 AM on November 26, 2023 [1 favorite]

Check out Katy Hessel's amazing book The Story of Art Without Men! She has a fantastic Instagram (@thegreatwomenartists) and podcast!
posted by SinAesthetic at 12:06 PM on November 27, 2023

Also, Maria Lassnig is one of my favorite artists and far less known than she should be.
posted by SinAesthetic at 12:14 PM on November 27, 2023

Julie Doucet, specifically the comic "My New York Diary" inspired by/simultaneous to the 1970's-1980's "comix" underground a la Spiegelman and Francoise Mouly.

The comic depicts sensitive content.

Also, the award winning Ducks by Kate Beaton!
posted by Khazk at 12:16 PM on November 27, 2023

Maud Madsen explores memory and body.
posted by Kabanos at 1:19 PM on November 27, 2023

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