Laura Kina, “Aram Han Sifuentes in her studio” (2019), various media, 8 1/2 x 11 inches (all photos courtesy the Smithsonian Archives of American Art)

In 1976, activists Ruth Iskin, Lucy Lippard, and Arlene Raven despatched pink postcards to a complete bunch of artists: “If you consider yourself a feminist,” the postcards’ rapid study, “would you respond by using one 8 1/2 x 11 [in.] page to share your ideas on what feminist art is or could be.” The responses had been exhibited the following yr at the Los Angeles Women’s Building in the distinctive What is Feminist Art? exhibition.

In 1976, activists Ruth Iskin, Lucy Lippard, and Arlene Raven despatched pink postcards to a complete bunch of artists: “If you consider yourself a feminist,” the postcards’ rapid study, “would you respond by using one 8 1/2 x 11  page to share your ideas on what feminist art is or could be.” The responses had been exhibited the following yr at the Los Angeles Women’s Building in the distinctive What is Feminist Art? exhibition.
Ana Mendieta, “Microscopic view of the umbilical cord” (1976), various media, 8 1/2 x 11 inches

In honor of the centennial of the nineteenth Amendment’s passage, an updated current with the comparable establish is being provided at the Smithsonian’s Archives of American Art and on-line, and areas just a few of the Seventies responses alongside new works by updated artists who had been posed the comparable question. The outcomes fluctuate broadly in type and content material materials, from candid handwritten manifestos to provocative image collages. Mary Edellson’s typed response begins, “I had so much trouble with this question that I tried typing on pink paper and that didn’t even help” (between 1976 and 1977). Laura Kina’s portrait depicts artist Aram Han Sifuentes (2019) at work on a protest banner that reads, “SHUT THE FUCK UP,” whereas Ana Mendieta responds with an image of an umbilical twine magnified beneath a microscope (1976). Together, these works give us notion into feminist art work actions from the closing 40+ years — their diversified visions, accomplishments, and limitations.

In 1976, activists Ruth Iskin, Lucy Lippard, and Arlene Raven despatched pink postcards to a complete bunch of artists: “If you consider yourself a feminist,” the postcards’ rapid study, “would you respond by using one 8 1/2 x 11  page to share your ideas on what feminist art is or could be.” The responses had been exhibited the following yr at the Los Angeles Women’s Building in the distinctive What is Feminist Art? exhibition.
Sheila Levant de Bretteville and Deena Metzger “Response to ‘What is Feminist Art?’” (1976–1977), collage, 8 1/2 x 11 inches

Many works from the original 1977 exhibition reflect concerns about an art world and larger culture that silences women’s voices and excludes their inventive contributions. As effectivity artist Jerri Alyn writes in her response to the rapid, “I have become aware of how little room there is for me.” In a  typed assertion (1977), early feminist art work movement pioneer Judy Chicago describes a narrative just a few lady coming into an art work museum, and feeling alienated by what she finds there: “She felt her vision of the world receding before the power of so many images which distorted her body, denied her mind and asserted her womanliness only as a passive presence, never as an active force.” Chicago’s piece calls to ideas how lots work nonetheless should be achieved spherical gender parity in the art work world over forty years later: between 2008 and 2018, work by ladies represented merely 11 p.c of acquisitions and 14 p.c of exhibitions at 26 important museums, in step with a analysis by artnet News and In Other Words.

Still, totally different objects from the ‘77 show explore the risk of “token acceptance” of individual women artists. Martha Rosler questions, in her manifesto response, “whether to be satisfied with gaining entry into the […] system that has made it part of its business to keep women out of the running, or to insist that the principles of these systems change” (1977).

In 1976, activists Ruth Iskin, Lucy Lippard, and Arlene Raven despatched pink postcards to a complete bunch of artists: “If you consider yourself a feminist,” the postcards’ rapid study, “would you respond by using one 8 1/2 x 11  page to share your ideas on what feminist art is or could be.” The responses had been exhibited the following yr at the Los Angeles Women’s Building in the distinctive What is Feminist Art? exhibition.
Tanya Aguiñiga “Response to ‘What is Feminist Art?’ (2019), collage, 8 1/2 x 11 inches

More inclusive by means of race, ethnicity, and gender identification than the 1977 exhibition which featured largely white, largely cis artists, the 2019 assortment supplies nuance to the question of learn the way to stipulate feminist art work, and and emphasizes the significance of considering who will get to frame these choices. As Howardena Pindell writes in a typed assertion, “Feminists should not make the comparable errors as patriarchy: racism, sexism, homophobia, classism, ageism, and genocide” (2019). Featuring {a photograph} of a gaggle of girls hugging, Tanya Aguiñiga’s collage (2019) attracts consideration to how, historically, feminist actions have often foregrounded the experiences of white ladies with textual content material learning, “LABEL UNDER / IMMIGRANT, FEMALE, ARTISTS OF COLOR, / FUCK YOUR ERASURE / COLONIALISM, PATRIARCHY / ALWAYS DOIN FREE EMOTIONAL LABOR FOR YOU.”

Relatedly, textile artist LJ Roberts questions the exhibition’s lack of honorarium for members, noting in a white typescript assertion set in direction of a black background, “As a queer, gender non-conforming, non-binary person in the arts […], being asked to produce work for free undermines critical goals that feminist art aims to achieve.” Roberts concludes, “This is feminist art (all too often)” (2019).

In 1976, activists Ruth Iskin, Lucy Lippard, and Arlene Raven despatched pink postcards to a complete bunch of artists: “If you consider yourself a feminist,” the postcards’ rapid study, “would you respond by using one 8 1/2 x 11  page to share your ideas on what feminist art is or could be.” The responses had been exhibited the following yr at the Los Angeles Women’s Building in the distinctive What is Feminist Art? exhibition.
Nina Kuo, “Response to ‘What is Feminist Art?’” (2016), mixed media, 8 1/2 x 11 inches

The openness of the exhibition’s 8 1/2 x 11-inch internet web page rapid — and the sheer variety of responses — captures an inclusive spirit that counters the “objective” truths of patriarchal info; instead of just one definition, a complete bunch of them vibrate in direction of each other energetically. “Feminist art has existed on this continent long before the need for the word feminism,” components out jeweler and metallic artist Kristen Dorsey (2019), highlighting feminism as a historic continuum, and foregrounding the function of making points greater for the subsequent know-how.

Archives of American Art Interim Director Liza Kirwin outlined over e mail to Hyperallergic that the exhibition’s organizers “wanted to encourage visitors across generations to consider the question from their lived experience.” This current reminds us that feminist art work is multifarious, ever-expanding, usually flawed, and, like all social actions, slowly making progress with fairly just a few errors alongside the method. It is “necessary but not sufficient,” as Terry Wolverton writes (2019), “The spiral never ends.”

What is Feminist Art? continues by November 29 on-line and at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art (The Donald W. Reynolds Center for American Art and Portraiture, 1st floor, eighth and F Streets, NW, Washington, DC). The 2019 exhibition was curated by Mary Savig with a curatorial advisory committee along with Nao Bustamante, Alexandra Chang, Jaclyn Roessel, and Legacy Russell.