The Wednesday Weigh-In: Feminist art edition

Earlier this year, Courtney wrote about women in art, questioning the lack of gender equality in the art world and presenting some crucial ideas and resources for female artists.

At that time, she cited some grim statistics, including the fact that only 8 percent of the work that the Museum of Modern Art exhibits is by women.

Her piece underscores the need for more works like these: new feminist art pieces that are currently featured in a MoMa show on interactive design called “Talk to Me”.

To me, the belt that simulates menstruation is sort of ridiculous, but I really like the other stuff. And as Courtney pointed out, design tends to be a male-dominated space, so its great to see not only women but feminist artists infiltrate that in a thoughtful and innovative way. That being said, although art can sometimes be “for the cause”, it is also something that can be powerful even when it doesn’t line up with our politics.

Thus, dear readers, this week’s Wednesday weigh-in deals with art:

Do you enjoy or seek out explicitly feminist art? Or do you prefer your art non-ideologically aligned? Who’s your favorite feminist artist? Have you ever created anything provocative or artistic to serve a feminist cause?

And for more information on feminist art and feminist-friendly art galleries, check out the The Feminist Art Project.

Brooklyn, NY

Lori Adelman is Executive Director of Partnerships at Feministing, where she enjoys creating and curating content on gender, race, class, technology, and the media. Lori is also an advocacy and communications professional specializing in sexual and reproductive rights and health, and currently works in the Global Division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. A graduate of Harvard University, she lives in Brooklyn.

Lori Adelman is an Executive Director of Feministing in charge of Partnerships.

Read more about Lori

Join the Conversation

  • Stephanie Stroud

    Yes, I absolutely seek and explore feminist art! A closely related conversation on this topic is happening at the Smithsonian Institute on September 23-24: Virtuality, Technology & Feminism. Information can be found here: and

  • nazza

    I tend to find feminist art without deliberately seeking it out. Either it appeals to my sensibilities just naturally or I observe it and think to myself, “That’s feminist art!”

    And in college, when I was beginning to develop a feminist consciousness of a sort, I did try my hand at poetry with a feminist theme. I don’t see it as especially successful now, but at least I was trying.

  • Pete F

    I saw a fantastic exhibition of feminist art at the Pompidieu Centre in Paris in the summer of 2009. I can’t find anything about it online but I could try and dig out the leaflet and post some info up if anyone’s interested.

  • Genevieve

    If you’re in the San Francisco bay area, check out this film:

  • joanne

    I remember when Judy Chicago did the Dinner Table exhibition. This is when i was still in college. It seems as though the moment the display was set up, people started trashing it. It’s crappy, it isn’t art, etc etc. When i finally saw a photographic display of it, though, I was astonished at how beautiful and moving it was. It really was a palpable expression of female identity, to me, and I found the triangular shape and the female colorations and shapes extremely prideful and moving at the same time. Try to get a hold of some pictures of it, if you can. Don’t know whether or where it is permanently displayed…..?

    • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

      I’ve seen it in the Brooklyn Museum, which has the Sackler Feminist Art wing on the 4th floor. I believe it’s part of the permanent collection there, though I’m not 100% positive of that.

  • Jenny Gonzalez-Blitz

    Do you enjoy or seek out explicitly feminist art?

    While it’s not the only thing I’m drawn to in art, it is something that will naturally appeal to me. (as long as it’s well done)

    Or do you prefer your art non-ideologically aligned? – I can enjoy art that’s decorative (as long as it’s well done) or that is a meditation on color, sound, form, whatever,(as long as it’s well done.)

    Who’s your favorite feminist artist? -I guess the ones I keep saying- Niki de St. Phalle, Ana Mendieta, Frieda Kahlo, Phoebe Gloeckner in comics and illustration, Marina Abramovich…

    Have you ever created anything provocative or artistic to serve a feminist cause? — very frequently…I’m currently working on a piece examining the iconography of Santa Muerte(a Mexican folk figure based on an older goddess of death, frequently associated with and petitioned by the people of the lower classes and on the fringes of society) & her resurgence as of late in working class Latin neighborhoods. I was recently asked to do a piece exploring my experience as a woman & sexual being for a project that I guess made some risk-management lawyer’s head explode–the woman who invited me is currently working on alternate publishing options. I mean, those are the latest.