In celebration of the upcoming International Women’s Day edit-a-thon events, I compiled a list of some of the remarkable female artists who have been added to Wikipedia or whose entries have been improved in previous edit-a-thons. I would have selected 10, but in the spirit of unity (unbiased male volunteers are wholly encouraged, by the way) and in reference to what “male” popular culture has taught me, I have turned it up to 11:
By Plautilla Nelli - Advancing Women Artists Foundation, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31037769
Suor Plautilla Nelli lived in Florence between 1524 and 1588. She was a nun, and self-taught artist. She is in-fact the first female Renaissance artist known to have come from Florence. She has nine drawings in the Uffizi and a number of paintings in various other galleries - many of which depict the crucifixion, with empathy from Mary’s standpoint. Her enormous (6 meter) rendition of The Last Supper sits in the refectory of the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, in Florence (which, unfortunately is not open to the public) and is the only work known to have her signature on it.
Mary Miss, Battery Park Landfill, 1973. Courtesy of Mary Miss Studio.
2. Mary Miss
Mary Miss is quite a lady. She was born on May 27th 1944, and lives and works in New York to this day. She is an environmental artist – meaning her work is site-specific and engages with, and at times distorts, the environment around it. Among many other things, she developed a provisional memorial around the perimeter of ground zero.
She won the New York City American Society of Landscape Architects President's Award in 2010, the American Academy in Rome's Centennial Medal in 2001, and a Medal of Honor from the American Institute of Architects in 1990. She also received a fellowship from the John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Foundation in 1986 and Graham Foundation grant in 2010.
Miss is still active with projects such as 1000 Steps, currently ongoing.
Dr. Brute with Mr. Peanut (Lady Brute) 1974 – Geist Gallery
3. Lady Brute
Lady Brute or Kate Craig (September 15, 1947 – July 23, 2002) was a video artist born in British Columbia. She created an entire fantasy world (Brutopia) with her husband Eric Metclaf, a.k.a. Dr. Brute. She performed with him regularly, collaborating on comics, art works, performances. Brutopia was colonized by leopard print spots, and chronicled the foibles of western society. They adopted Fauvist values of anti-art, anti-commercialism, anti-gallery, artistic collaboration and art as lifestyle.
Brătescu, born in 1926, is a Romanian visual artist who’s works span movements and mediums. She is best known for her abstract paintings but also works with textiles, photography, collages, installations and more conceptual pieces – such as her videos. Throughout Brătescu's works the line is a dominant feature, functioning as a method of definition and movement.
In 2008 she is awarded with ‘doctor honoris causa’ by the Arts University of Bucharest and in 2015 Brătescu's first UK solo exhibition will be held at Tate Liverpool.
5. Jae Rhim Lee
Need I say more than “mushroom burial suit”? If I do, Jae Rhim Lee was born in in 1975 in South Korea. Her art incorporates science, culture and the philosophy of death. Her Ted Talk, in which she appears wearing her ‘Mushroom Burial Suit'—lined with spores of a hybrid mushroom she helped develop called an Infinity Mushroom which assists in decomposition, has over 1 million views.
Like many artists (and most people to my knowledge), she’s dealing with the fact that we’re all going to die. However, even in death, we have an environmental responsibility—so don’t get to wrapped up in lamenting the loss of self. She aims to promote "acceptance of and a personal engagement with death and decomposition" or “decompi-culture”, as she calls it. She works in multiple disciplines and truly is pretty damn cool if you ask me.
Elizabeth de Gebele Ginno (1907 - 91) was an American artist born in Plumstead, England on her parent’s vacation. She became an etcher, lithographer and painter. Her works varied from the abstract to the hyper-real. The one constant was that her works depicted the countries impacted by the Second World War. She exhibited alongside Diego Rivera at the ‘Art in Action’ exhibition in 1940 in San Francisco.
Emily Wardill, Sick Serena and Dregs and Wreck and Wreck. Photos courtesy of the artist, Claudia Altman-Siegel, San Francisco, STANDARD (OSLO), Oslo, Jonathan Viner / Fortescue Avenue, London.
Emily Wardill is a British filmmaker and performance artist. Her films often assimilate the ideas of the nature of imagination, mind-body relationships and the imprecisions of language. Shot on a variety of formats her films are eerie and mesmerizing.
She has won numerous awards including Film London Artists' Moving Image Network Jarman Award, which allowed her to show her works on national television in the UK. Wardill's work has been exhibited at Art Basel, the Serpentine Gallery, Tate Britain, and the Venice Biennale. Her films have appeared in festivals such as London Film and Toronto International Film Festival.
Lotte Jacobi, Lotte Lenya, Actress, Berlin. Courtesy ICP.
8. Lotte Jacobi
Johanna Alexandra "Lotte" Jacobi (August 17, 1896 – May 6, 1990) was a photographer born in what is now Poland and her photographs are beautiful.
She was celebrated for her portraits of Albert Einstein, Thomas Mann, Robert Frost, Marc Chagall, W.H. Auden, Eleanor Roosevelt, Alfred Stieglitz, J.D. Salinger, Paul Robeson – to name a few. In addition to her portraiture she produced wonderful soft, abstract and surreal works.
Camille Henrot, Is it possible to be a revolutionary and like flowers? Installation view © Camille Henrot
Photo. Fabrice Seixas Courtesy the artist and kamel mennour, Paris
Camille (born 1978) is a French artist who lives and works in New York. Her practice includes video installation, sculpture, drawing, and assemblage. She has won the Edvard Munch award among many others. She was originally best known for her video’s and installations, but my personal favourite are her elegant sculptures.
10. Renée Cox
Renée Cox is an artist, photographer and political activist; her work punches you in both eyes, and makes you grateful for it.
Her self-portraits and photography often play, distort and subvert classical historical images in art. She is also famed for having two alter-egos: Yo Mama and Raje – superheros who fight racism, stereotypes and teach kids African-American History. Her work was featured in a Fin de Siècle art festival in Nantes, France. The works were installed on billboards in Nantes, which, had historically been the last stop on the slave trade, before the ships would go back to Africa to pick up their human cargo.
Noemí Gerstein, Forms, unknown date.
11. Noemí Gerstein
Noemí Gerstein was born in Buenos Aires in 1910, where she would also die in 1996. During the course of her life Gersetin worked as a sculptor, illustrator and plastic artist (an art form that involves physical manipulation of a plastic medium). Her work was mostly abstract and she had a penchant for delicate, intricate metal constructions such as Forms, above. Gerstein was one of the winners of the Institute of Contemporary Arts' design competition for the Unknown Political Prisoner Monument.
(Image at top: Renée Cox, Raje to the Rescue, 2014. Courtesy of the artist.)