The Feminine Motif

JoAnne Artman Gallery
Aug 28, 2019 7:29PM

The most common synonyms for ‘feminine’ are soft, dainty, lady-like, weak, and tender. Since the feminist movement that emerged in the 1960s through Judy Chicago, Barbara Kruger, Guerrilla Girls and the like, women and female artists have been seeking to rewrite a male-dominated history and redefine what it means to be ‘feminine’ through their art. Since then, contemporary artists aim to stimulate a dialogue between art and the viewer to encourage the question of social and political landscape with the goal of affecting change.

Jane Maxwell’s deeply layered, mixed media works surround the feminine figure and ideal typically in a high-fashion, urban landscape. Some of the work breaks down the stereotype of masculine power structure and female fashion through the portrayal of a woman in traditional male business attire. Representing women in this way supports the idea of feminine strength combined with movement and bold colors.

Ellen Von Wiegand’s self-taught work expresses a sense of empowerment through assertive vulnerability and confidence through depictions of her own nude body. Her work encourages a conversation about self-image and the recent social movement of body positivity.

Belgian artist Anja Van Herle conveys a timeless, confident, and provocative nature around her female figures, inspired by both classic and contemporary fashion often with a manner of rebellion. “My work is an attempt to capture the complexity of emotions that are conveyed in the human face,” says Van Herle. Her work radiates a playful, self-assurance and strength in sensuality.

International Colombian-American painter and sculptor, America Martin, is recognizable by her unique gestural abstraction and bold lines of the human form, Martin’s dominant subject. They are large, exaggerated, vivacious figures with indigenous motifs. Particularly, Women Carrying and Washing best exemplifies the empowering feminine ideal of women being both the laborer, the provider of life, and the power and strength embedded within the female form.

JoAnne Artman Gallery