Hannah Wilke

American, 1940–1993

1.8k followers

Hannah Wilke

Bio

American, 1940–1993

Followers
1.8k
Biography

Hannah Wilke is recognized as a pioneer of feminist art, though in her time her confrontational use of her own body and satire of glamour modeling sometimes put her at odds with the feminist community. The artist was among the first to explore “essentialist art”, tying the female experience to the image of the vagina, which she rendered in folded clay, hanging latex, kneaded erasers, chewed bubble gum, or rolled-up laundry lint and stuck to photographs, postcards, and her body by the dozens. Such works recast phallocentric stereotypes in terms of female eroticism and transformed penis envy into what Wilke called “Venus Envy”. As living sculpture, she created the “Performalist Self-Portraits”, acting out performances for photographers to capture. Her interest in the body took a somber turn as she documented her own battle with cancer.

Related Categories
Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Biography

Hannah Wilke is recognized as a pioneer of feminist art, though in her time her confrontational use of her own body and satire of glamour modeling sometimes put her at odds with the feminist community. The artist was among the first to explore “essentialist art”, tying the female experience to the image of the vagina, which she rendered in folded clay, hanging latex, kneaded erasers, chewed bubble gum, or rolled-up laundry lint and stuck to photographs, postcards, and her body by the dozens. Such works recast phallocentric stereotypes in terms of female eroticism and transformed penis envy into what Wilke called “Venus Envy”. As living sculpture, she created the “Performalist Self-Portraits”, acting out performances for photographers to capture. Her interest in the body took a somber turn as she documented her own battle with cancer.

Career Highlights
Learn more about artist insights.
Blue chip status
Blue chip representation
Represented by internationally reputable galleries.
Group
Group show at a major institution
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and 5 more
Institution
Collected by a major institution
Tate, and 1 more
Publication
Reviewed by a major art publication
Artforum, and 4 more
Fair
Included in a major biennial
Whitney Biennial
Shows Featuring Hannah Wilke
Articles Featuring Hannah Wilke
Body Issues: How Artists Have Fought against Erotic Readings of Their Work
Jun 18th, 2020
Body Issues: How Artists Have Fought against Erotic Readings of Their Work
The 10 Best Booths at Art Basel in Miami Beach
Dec 5th, 2019
The 10 Best Booths at Art Basel in Miami Beach
7 Must-See Shows in New York Right Now
Nov 15th, 2019
7 Must-See Shows in New York Right Now
Hannah Wilke’s Naked Crusade to Subvert the Patriarchy
Jan 1st, 2019
Hannah Wilke’s Naked Crusade to Subvert the Patriarchy
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