The Dinner Party - Judy Chicago
The Dinner Party is widely regarded as one of the most important works of Feminist art ever made. Produced between 1974 and 1979, Judy Chicago's epic installation comprised a dinner table set for thirty-nine of the greatest women in the history of Western civilisation – from Greek goddesses to important historical and cultural figures. The table rests on a floor made of over 2,000 hand-cast tiles on which the names of a further 999 women are inscribed. Despite resistance from the art world The Dinner Party ended up touring sixteen venues in six countries to a viewing audience of 15 million.
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Lay back, Keep Quiet and Think of What Made Britain so Great - Sonia Boyce
This 1986 artwork explores the weight and impact of British colonial history on the present, challenging ‘his-story’ - the historical narrative of the white, Western male – with ‘her-story’. In the fourth panel of the work is a self-portrait of Sonia Boyce herself. She stares out at the viewer against a William Morris-styled backdrop, and in the adjacent panels are symbols of the British colonies. Inscribed in each panel from left to right, are the words ‘Mission’, ‘Missionary’, ‘Missionary position’ and ‘Changing’ – suggesting a historical trajectory from the beginnings of the British Empire to the present. The missionary position, as referred in the title of the work, becomes a symbol of black, female submission and resistance.
Truisms - Jenny Holzer
In 1977-9, Jenny Holzer wrote a series of nearly 300 statements, or ‘Truisms’. Intentionally provocative and contradictory in nature, Truisms called into question contemporary attitudes to gender, sex, money, politics and power. Since then she has been infiltrating public spaces, disseminating Truisms to a wide audience using the communications channels of the modern mass media. They have been distributed on posters and flyers, illuminated on LED signs and advertising hoardings, and projected in famous public spaces such as Times Square, New York, and the Louvre, Paris. Today, numerous Twitter accounts have even been set up in homage to the work.
Play with Me - Mariko Mori
Play with Me is part of a series of photographic works created in the early stages of Mariko Mori’s career, in which she appears as a futuristic, cyborg-like female character positioned against the backdrop of everyday, urban Japan. Through these juxtapositions she explores the intersection of fantasy and the everyday, referencing Japanese popular culture and interrogating traditional and contemporary representations of women.
Cosmic Dramas - Liliane Lijn
In the early 1980s, Liliane Lijn began developing a new female archetype, represented and realised in her Cosmic Dramas series. Comprising three installations which sit somewhere between art and drama, the series is inspired by a range of sources, from ancient mythology to science, industry and nature. Liliane Lijn said of the work: “In reinventing the archetype of the goddess I wanted to reinvest the feminine with spiritual power…The great female archetypes have been locked up and hidden deep in the underworld.” Watch a video in which she explains the origins of the series.
The Warhol Project - Deborah Kass
The Warhol Project is perhaps Deborah Kass’ most famous body of work. In homage to the great Pop master, she purposefully remixes his work, lifting the stylistic language of his recognisable portraits and exchanging his subjects with her own personal and political icons – among them Gertrude Stein, Barbara Streisand and Cindy Sherman. In doing so she poses a whip-smart challenge to the white, male narratives dominant in art history and popular culture.
Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995 – Tracey Emin
This iconic 1995 installation, also known as ‘The Tent’, is described by Tracey Emin as one of her seminal works. Sewn inside the small tent, by the process of appliqué, are the names of all the people she shared a bed with between the years 1963 and 1995 - including lovers, friends and family. By having to crawl inside the tent to see the work, the viewer becomes both voyeur and confidante. In a recent webchat for the Guardian, when asked about feminism, female identity and representation, Tracey Emin said: “When I draw myself or look at myself, I don't rely upon my face for identity, I rely upon all of me, including my soul. The way I walk, including the way my right foot turns in, all these things define my character.”
High quality images of all the above artworks can be supplied and licensed through Artimage.
Image credits: The Dinner Party, 1979, Judy Chicago © Judy Chicago, ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015, Photo: © Donald Woodman; The Dinner Party (detail), Judith plate, 1979, Judy Chicago © Judy Chicago, ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015, Photo: © Donald Woodman; Lay back, keep quiet and think of what made Britain so great, 1986, Sonia Boyce © Sonia Boyce, All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015, Image: © Arts Council Collection, Southbank Centre; From Truisms, 1977-79 (Installation view, New York, 1977), Jenny Holzer © Jenny Holzer. ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015, Photo: Jenny Holzer; GOBO, 2012 (Installation view, L&M Arts, Venice, California, USA. Text: Truisms, 1977-79), Jenny Holzer © Jenny Holzer, ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015, Photo: Joshua White, JW Pictures; Xenon for Buenos Aires, 2000 (Installation view, Riachuelo, La Boca, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Text: Arno, 1996), Jenny Holzer © Jenny Holzer, ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015, Photo: Gabriel Liporace; Play with Me, 1994, Mariko Mori © Mariko Mori, Member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS 2015, Image courtesy Of Deitch Projects, NY; Tea Ceremony I, 1994, Mariko Mori © Mariko Mori, Member Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / DACS 2015, Image courtesy Of Deitch Projects, NY; Conjunction of Opposites, 1986, Cosmic Dramas Series, Liliane Lijn © Liliane Lijn, All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015, Photo Thierry Bal; The Bride, 1988, Cosmic Dramas Series, Liliane Lijn © Liliane Lijn, All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015, Photo: Tomek Sierek; The Electric Bride, 1989, Cosmic Dramas Series, Liliane Lijn © Liliane Lijn. All Rights Reserved, DACS 2015. Photo: Thierry Bal; Chairman Ma (Gertrude Stein), #18, 1993,Deborah Kass © Deborah Kass. ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015; Cindy Sherman, 1994, Deborah Kass © Deborah Kass, ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015; Quadruple Ghost Yentl (My Elvis), 1997, Deborah Kass © Deborah Kass, ARS, NY and DACS, London 2015; Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995, 1995, Tracey Emin © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2015, Image courtesy White Cube, Photo Stephen White; Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995, 1995, Tracey Emin © Tracey Emin. All rights reserved, DACS 2015, Image courtesy White Cube.