Culture Dose | Women in Art

In 1971 art historian Linda Nochlin published her essay “Why Have There Been No Great Women Artists?”. The question examined acknowledgement rather than absence, scrutinizing the ways in which societal barriers prevented women from receiving titles such as ‘visionary’ or genius’ let alone being recognized. Throughout history women have had to push to join their male counterparts in museums, academies, and art studios.

Read: The Story of Art, Without Men

Katy-Hessel The story of art without men

Art historian, curator, and broadcaster Katy Hessel is no stranger to the gender divide in the art world. Her book, The Story of Art, Without Men travels through time. She explores the Renaissance, nineteenth century America, Latin America, and the Dutch Golden Age and features some of the female artists that defined their time. Bringing us to the present day Hessel rewrites history to represent society as a whole, allowing womens’ stories, mediums, and talent to finally shine.

Watch: Infinity

Now the top-selling female artist in the world, Yayoi Kusama overcame impossible odds to bring her radical artistic vision to the world stage. For decades, her work pushed boundaries that often alienated her from both her peers and those in power in the art world. Kusama was an underdog with everything stacked against her: the trauma of growing up in Japan during World War II, life in a dysfunctional family that discouraged her creative ambitions, sexism and racism in the art establishment, mental illness in a culture where that was particularly shameful and even continuing to pursue and be devoted to her art full time on the cusp of her 90s. In spite of it all, Kusama has endured and has created a legacy of artwork that spans the disciplines of painting, sculpture, installation art, performance art, poetry and literary fiction.

Listen: The Great women ARTISTS PODCAST

katy hessel the great women artists podcast

In tandem with her latest book release, Katy Hessel is also a part of your soon-to-be favorite podcast The Great Women Artists. With over 100 episodes Hessel spotlights female artists along with curators, writers, and art connoisseurs to reshape our notions of the male dominated art sphere. Listen in as in depth interviews speak to curator and artist Lubaina Himid, conceptual and performance artist Marina Abramović, and writer Olivia Laing.



–Kennedy Smith