Sample Essay

Words 867


Up until the 1960’s, art, as with many other sectors of business and society, was without a doubt male-dominated.  Dealers and curators were mainly males who in their turn maintained a tradition of male artists, a provoking trend for many female artists of the time.  Women were often excluded from major museum showings and exhibitions, in so doing restricting their access to the publicity essential for success. This paper discusses three revolutionary artists whose work represents the feminist movement. In addition, these three women are the pioneers of the feminist movement in art. They are Judy Chicago, Nancy Azara, and Miriam Shapiro.

Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago played a pioneering role in the feminist art movement of the 1970s, working to allow women in all walks of life by giving women increased control. The theme of female sexuality is very prominent in her work.  I think the crucial reason for the significance of sexual imagery in her work was that images of women’s bodies had historically been used in art and also in advertising, film, etc. as a kind of “blank canvas” onto which male fantasy, desire, and even ownership could be projected. The control of female sexuality is the foundation of other forms of social oppression of women. And that is well represented I think in her work. In addition, questions of sexual desire and pleasure are also essentially questions of power and oppression. Creating our erotic heritage is primary to women’s liberation and the focus of her work.

Chicago is a great champion of collaboration among women. Believing that they could best empower themselves by avoiding dependence on men; Chicago encouraged her students to develop links with women, both past, and present. The main aim of her work has been to bring social change in society. Works like woman house and Dinner Party show highly personal displays with a look inside a woman’s domestic life making a political statement.

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