Artist Talk: Guerrilla Girls
The artnet Artist Breakfast series, in partnership with ArtTable, features members of the activist group Guerrilla Girls this month. In 1984, the Museum of Modern Art in New York City hosted An International Survey of Recent Painting and Sculpture, and the Guerrilla Girls formed shortly afterward in response to what they felt was a lack of female representation among the artwork on display. The two women named themselves after well-known female artists Kathe Kollwitz and Frida Kahlo, and began staging protests in different neighborhoods throughout New York City. Soon, their protests grew to encompass race issues as well as gender issues, which sparked an international debate in the art world that is still ongoing. Their protest art often features recognizable images coupled with fact-based statistics targeted at specific galleries and museums. In 1989, the women created one of their most iconic posters featuring a black and white image of the woman from Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres’s painting La Grande Odalisque, wearing a gorilla mask and reclining next to the caption, “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met Museum?” The Guerrilla Girls are currently featured in the ongoing exhibition, States of Flux, at the Tate Modern in London.
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