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The Great Women Artists Profile

The Great Women Artists

English, Arts, 1 season, 127 episodes, 4 days, 2 hours, 35 minutes
About
Created off the back of @thegreatwomenartists Instagram, this podcast is all about celebrating women artists. Presented by art historian and curator, Katy Hessel, this podcast interviews artists on their career, or curators, writers, or general art lovers, on the female artist who means the most to them.
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Barbara Kruger

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, @katy.hessel interviews is one of the world's most influential artists: Barbara Kruger. Hailed for her distinctive poster-style language, Kruger merges text and image to bring attention to urgent political concerns. Bold, loud and readily available, her tabloid-esque works confront everyday issues. And, evocative of advertising, have the ability to bring meaning to often meaningless signage.  Born in Newark, NJ, and educated at Syracuse then Parsons, where she was taught by the late great Diane Arbus, Kruger began as an art director for Condé Nast, where she shaped her visual language. As she has said, “I had the luxury of working with the best technology ... I became attached to sans serif type, especially Futura and Helvetica, which I chose because they could really cut through the grease.” Fast forward to the 1970s and 80s – a highly political moment in America: especially for the control over one’s body – and Kruger is culminating text/images that speak to Laura Mulvey’s landmark 1975 essay on the male gaze, “Visual Pleasure and Narrative Cinema", and that protest anti abortion laws. Her work defined a new type of art that directly addressed power and control, championing the rights we should have over our bodies, life and world.  Today, she is still at the forefront with her work – immersive and on the wall – that feels familiar due to its evocation of the machine we know as capitalism, that both drives us and that we drive. For those lucky enough to be in London, Kruger is very excitingly having her first institutional show in London in over 20 years, at Serpentine Galleries: Thinking of You. I Mean Me. I Mean You. Opening TODAY, until 17 March 2024. -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield
1/31/202445 minutes, 10 seconds
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Karon Davis

I am so excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast is one of the most groundbreaking artists working today, Karon Davis. Hailed for her life-size sculptures, that she covers in white plaster dust and bases on her own or friend’s bodies, Davis’s works often take the form of installations, that very powerfully explore vital narratives of current and historical political events, as well as speak to the history of dance and performance. While they speak on a universal level, Davis especially looks to issues of history, race and violence in the US, memorialising key injustices witnessed by innocent victims from the 20th century, and beyond. By executing her figures in a stark shade of white, she also speaks to Western beauty ideals and standards that have been entrenched in our society since classical times. Brought up by a family of performers, Davis was exposed to the arts at a young age, the excitement of entertainment but also the reality of what people with these careers go through. And it’s this insight that she gives us in her work – showing us both the pain and ecstasy to make something deemed beautiful, as her mother said, which was the title for her recent Salon 94 show: Beauty Must Suffer. Although a trained ballerina in her youth, Davis turned to filmmaking, studying at Spellman College, but her love of performance has stayed with her in her work. Entering an exhibition by Davis is like stepping into another world akin to watching a film or ballet playing out in front of you: there’s narrative, costume, drama, a beginning and an end, but also beauty and pain. In 2012 Davis, along with her late husband Noah, founded the Underground Museum in Los Angeles, a groundbreaking space that featured the work of Black artists. And, most recently, Davis’ work has been featured at the Hammer Museum, Jeffrey Deitch, Salon 94, and is in the collection of MOCA Los Angeles, LACMA, The Hammer Museum, and the Brooklyn Museum, among others. For those in New York, she has just installed a major sculpture on the High Line, of a ballerina taking her final bow, in conjunction with her exhibition that looked at the process of ballet, as well as the passion and resilience integral to life as a dancer, and artist. -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield
1/24/202447 minutes, 54 seconds
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Furio Rinaldi on Tamara de Lempicka

I am so excited to say that my guest on the great women artists podcast is the renowned curator, scholar, and expert in 15th- and 16th-century Italian drawings, Furio Rinaldi to discuss TAMARA DE LEMPICKA! Dubbed “the Baroness with the Brush'', Lempicka at the height of the 1920s found herself at the centre of Parisian life, and constructed some of the most radical, liberal and avant-garde images. From reworking traditional subjects to melding the meticulous techniques of Renaissance painting with cold and shiny art-deco aesthetics to evoke the fast-industrialising world. Born in Poland at the end of the 19th century, Lempicka was raised in Russia, but escaped at the outbreak of the revolution. From there, she settled in Paris: the centre of the avant-garde, and thrived. She painted celebrated characters in the highest fashions of the day, and embraced sexual liberations. Epitomising the modern woman, she was apparently known to break only for “baths and champagne”, this was, of course in her modernist apartment-slash-studio, designed by her equally successful sister, Adrienne Górska. Currently holding the post of Curator of drawings and prints at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, the largest collection of works on paper in Western United States – where he has just staged the most extraordinary Botticelli exhibition – Furio is acclaimed for his work on Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael and Michelangelo. A writer – he has published extensively in The Burlington Magazine, The Metropolitan Museum of Art Journal and more, but perhaps he is best known for his curatorial eye, having organised the fantastic Legion of Honor exhibition Color into Line: Pastel from the Renaissance to the Present, and next year, will curate a groundbreaking exhibition – and the first major show on the West Coast – on the Polish-born painter Tamara de Lempicka – who is very excitingly the artists we will be discussing today. -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield
1/17/202446 minutes, 18 seconds
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Doris Salcedo

I am so excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast is one of the most renowned artists alive today, Doris Salcedo. Born in Colombia, where she is based today, Salcedo, is hailed for her mid to colossal-scale sculptures and public installations that push the boundary of the artform, while simultaneously addressing vital political narratives of Colombian history of conflict that also have the power to transcend both time and geographies. Salcedo challenges scale and perspective; materials and everyday objects, and although the physical breadth of her work might be extensive, humanity remains the centre of it – as she has said: “I address the experiences of those who dwell on the borders, on the periphery of life and in the depths of catastrophe.” By incorporating materials that speak to the presence of a human being – whether it be chairs, desks, shoes and more, or working with people and the names of the innocent people who have lost their lives – Salcedo’s work points to absence, loss, memory. Works have ranged from slotting and stacking 1,500 chairs between two buildings on a street in Istanbul to filling domestic items with cement – creating an atmosphere of silence, of mourning. She has exhibited all over the world, in the most acclaimed institutions worldwide, and in 2007, she showed at Tate Modern with a work called Shibboleth, which saw her excavate a crack into the concrete ground, which is a work that could be viewed from multiple perspectives but which also – when not looking properly – could easily be missed. And it’s this idea of looking in Salcedo’s work that I find so interesting – because by getting us to look further, she gets us to question beyond our everyday experiences, what we witness in the media, the futile lines that divide this world, to ensure for a fairer and more equal society. -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield
1/10/202436 minutes, 49 seconds
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Kirsten Buick on Edmonia Lewis

I am so excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast is the renowned art historian, Kirsten Pai Buick to discuss EDMONIA LEWIS! Edmonia Lewis (1844–1907) is hailed for her stunningly chiselled marble busts and figurative sculptures – with their elegantly coiled hair, elastic-like folds of drapery, idealised nudes with strong, robust builds. She was the first sculptor of African American heritage (of any gender) to achieve such fame and recognition. Buick is the author of a highly distinguished book Child of the Fire: Mary Edmonia Lewis and the Problem of Art History’s Black and Indian Subject – about the sculptor acclaimed for her marble busts and figures that portray local people to mythical subjects, as well as deal with vital political narratives of the late 1800s. In this episode we go into depth about Lewis's life and work – focussing on how Lewis reworked classical narratives from a distinctly female perspective. We also look at how she interpreted vital political narratives of the time in artworks such as Forever Free, 1867, referencing the Emancipation Proclamation of four years previously. Originally titled The Morning of Liberty, this smaller-than-life-size, yet weighty and mighty statuette immortalises an empowered, freed African American couple. Muscular and heroic, on the right we see a Herculean male figure breaking from his chains and raising a clenched fist. Buick’s vital scholarship explores the material and visual culture of the first British Empire, the art of the US, African American art, landscape representation, women as patrons and collectors of art. She also focuses on pro- and anti-abolitionist images in the Atlantic world. In 2022, Buick was named Distinguished Scholar by the College Art Association, and is currently working on a book – In Authenticity: Kara Walker and the Eidetics of Racism, about the artist renowned for her work that dismantles racist imagery through cut outs, and colossal sculptures, challenging the imperialist language that surrounds us. ENJOY!! -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield
12/13/202352 minutes, 35 seconds
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Lauren Elkin on Carolee Schneemann and Hannah Wilke

I am so excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast is one of the most brilliant writers around today, Lauren Elkin! On today's episode we speak about feminist pioneers, Carolee Schneemann and Hannah Wilke!! Elkin is an American in London who has lived and spent extensive time in Paris, Liverpool, Tokyo, Venice and New York – as outlined in one of my favourite of her books, Flaneuse, which sees her trace cities through the eyes and steps of female writers and artists as the feminine “flaneur”, one who walks aimlessly. She is excellent at making her own a term or a trait previously steeped in patriarchal meaning. The author of four books, and the translator of others – including of Simone de Beauvoir’s unpublished novel, The Inseparables – Elkin has received numerous awards for her writing. She has been a cultural critic for the likes of the New York Times, Harpers, London Review of Books, TLS, Frieze, and more; holds a PhD in English; an M.Phil in French; and is currently working on biographies on the likes of avant-garde tastemaker Getrude Stein and artist Louise Bourgeois. But! One of the reasons why we are speaking with Elkin today is because she has recently published a fantastic book, Art Monsters, which looks at a variety of female artists – from Elisabeth Vigee Le Brun to Laura Knight; Betye Saar to Carolee Schneemann; Eva Hesse and Hannah Wilke; Kara Walker and Maria Lassnig – who have centred their practice around the body. Exploring those who reacted against patriarchal portrayals and ideas of the body, Art Monsters is a fascinating insight into how women have broken from the historically-weighted past and configured a language using a voice unique to them. LAUREN'S BOOKS: https://www.waterstones.com/book/art-monsters/lauren-elkin/9781784742935 https://www.waterstones.com/book/flaneuse/lauren-elkin/9780099593379 https://www.waterstones.com/book/no-91-92-notes-on-a-parisian-commute/lauren-elkin/9781838014186 -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
12/6/202339 minutes, 6 seconds
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Carrie Vout on Venus, Hermaphroditus, and other Classical Bodies in Art

I am so excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast is the world-renowned Classics scholar and professor at the University of Cambridge, Caroline Vout! Today we are discussing all sorts of figures in Classics, from Venus to Hermaphroditus. Born in Durham, Vout studied for a BA at Newnham College Cambridge, completed her MA at the Courtauld, and PhD back in Cambridge, where she spent a very formative year as a Rome Scholar at the British School at Rome. Since 2006, she has been based in Cambridge where she is a Fellow at Christ’s College. The author of seven formative books that have expanded my mind on the Ancient world, our thinking around gendered bodies, imperfect bodies, and the perception of women through these vessels, from Classical Art: A Life History from Antiquity to the Present to the more recently published “Exposed: The Greek and Roman Body”, Vout has been instrumental in pushing forwarding Classical research. Next year, she will curate a major exhibition at the Fitzwilliam Museum But the reason why we are speaking with Carrie Vout today is because of how her research challenges the ideal forms of the Greek and Roman body. Whereas a body cast in marble or bronze sitting atop a pedestal might be the template that we have – and one that European painters have so often perpetuated through idealised portrayals of men and women – Vout argues this is a lie, and that ancient bodies were in fact anxious, ailing, imperfect, diverse, and in turn, much more like us than we might at first glean. CARRIE'S BOOKS: https://www.waterstones.com/book/exposed/caroline-vout/9781788162906 https://www.waterstones.com/book/classical-art/caroline-vout/9780691177038 https://www.waterstones.com/book/sex-on-show/caroline-vout/9780714122786 -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/29/202338 minutes, 18 seconds
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Hilton Als on Diane Arbus and Alice Neel

I couldn’t be more excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast is one of the most renowned writers, curators, critics, and cultural commentators in the world right now… Hilton Als! A Pulitzer prize winner, a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and the theatre critic at the New Yorker, where he has been writing since 1994, Als is also the author of numerous books – from White Girls (a collection of 13 literary essays, exploring race, gender, interpersonal relationships) to more recently, My Pinup, an intimate study on his friendship with Prince. He is a teaching professor at Berkeley, and has held previous posts at Columbia, Yale, and more. Als has been one of my favourite writers, and curators, on art since I can remember. He writes in a manner that is intimate, with emotion and rigour, infusing it with stories from his upbringing in Crown Heights in Brooklyn to ones with more complex family dynamics. And there is a humanity at the centre of it: whether it's his ability to make us see artists as people – with their struggles, desires, needs and complexities – or his belief that we can all be artists too. Often tracing the city of New York through images and words, he unearths stories that were often cast out from mainstream institutions but feel so pertinent for the world today. From Alice Neel to Diane Arbus, whose work and subject he treats with such empathy, not only can he transport us to the exact street where Arbus took that picture, or to Neel’s 108th street apartment, but writes so acutely on the mediums they used. On photography vs painting he has said: The former takes life as it comes, in an instant, but can be described as a series of selective moments. Painting, on the other hand, has time on its side, the better to know, delve, and express what it’s like for two people to sit in a room, observing one another while talking or not talking about the world. And it is the latter that I still remember experiencing, being a gallery assistant in my early 20s at Victoria Miro, at the time of one of his many brilliant curated exhibitions – Alice Neel, Uptown – when I saw the whole world walk in, recognise themselves and feel seen and celebrated – which, I think, is the best outcome an exhibition can have… In this episode we discuss the power of language and the importance of sharing it; Hilton's introductions to art; his early days as a photo-editor that informed him as a curator; and his takes on Diane Arbus and Alice Neel. HILTON'S WRITING + CURATING: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/308056/white-girls-by-als-hilton/9780141987293 https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2022/joan-didion-what-she-means https://www.davidzwirner.com/exhibitions/2019/god-made-my-face-collective-portrait-james-baldwin https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/26/alice-neels-portraits-of-difference https://www.davidzwirner.com/exhibitions/2017/alice-neel-uptown-curated-hilton-als https://www.davidzwirnerbooks.com/product/alice-neel-uptown -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/22/202333 minutes, 20 seconds
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Elif Shafak on storytelling in art (+Frida Kahlo, Artemisia Gentileschi, and more!)

I am so excited to say that my guest on the great women artists podcast is one of the most pioneering – and my favourite – writers alive today, Elif Shafak! In this episode, we talk about the power of storytelling, the importance of writing women's lives into history and fighting for their rights. Shafak has said: "...as a young Turkish student, it occurred to me that the history that was taught to me top down could be seen in different ways depending on who is telling the stories..." We speak about Artemisia Gentileschi to Frida Kahlo, Ana Mendieta to Georgia O'Keeffe; Shafak's upbringing and the importance of multitudinous narratives, and the power of images when it comes to writing novels. We explore the similarities between a painting and a novel; how storytelling can be transmitted through so many different artforms, from word of mouth or the written word. As a novelist, Shafak spends so much time dreaming up worlds, and, in a way, this is not that dissimilar from an artist. But we also talk about the importance of emotion, and how stories can give us that, as Shafak has said: “Why is it that we underestimate feelings and perceptions? I think it’s going to be one of our biggest intellectual challenges, because our political systems are replete with emotions … and yet within the academic and among the intelligentsia, we are yet to take emotions seriously…” Shafak is the author of 19 books, which have been translated into 57 languages. A shortlister for the Booker Prize and Women's Prize for Fiction, she holds a PhD in political science and she has taught at universities in Turkey, the US and the UK. A Fellow and a Vice President of the Royal Society of Literature, Shafak is also instrumental in her work as an advocate for women's rights, LGBTQ+ rights and freedom of expression. A twice TED Global speaker, Shafak contributes to publications around the world, such as the Guardian with her poignant articles on women’s rights in Turkey. Books by Elif: https://www.waterstones.com/book/how-to-stay-sane-in-an-age-of-division/elif-shafak/9781788165723 https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-bastard-of-istanbul/elif-shafak/9780241972908 https://www.waterstones.com/book/three-daughters-of-eve/elif-shafak/9780241978887 https://www.waterstones.com/book/10-minutes-38-seconds-in-this-strange-world/elif-shafak/9780241979464 https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-island-of-missing-trees/elif-shafak/9780241988725 -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/15/202344 minutes, 30 seconds
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Julia Bryan-Wilson on Louise Nevelson

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview world-renowned scholar, Julia Bryan-Wilson – the Professor of Art History and LGBTQ+ Studies at Columbia University – on the trailblazing artist, Louise Nevelson! “It’s not the medium that counts. It is what you see in it and what you do with it, " said Nevelson, the sculptor working in the mid-20th century New York City, hailed for her monochromatic, architectural wall sculptures amassed from found, recycled and discarded objects. Nevelson’s monochromatic and architectural wall sculptures are amassed from found, recycled and discarded objects sourced from her surrounding environment (from bedposts to bannisters), which she coated in opaque paint and stacked tall to form all-engulfing units. Nevelson, like Krasner, studied with Hans Hofmann (you can almost feel the fragmented lines that form through her innovations), and was also influenced by the ancient ruins of Mexico and Guate- mala. This inspiration is evident in her work Sky Cathedral, 1958, which questioned new types of religious experiences and spaces. Bryan-Wilson is the expert in Louise Nevelson, having authored the monumental new book Louise Nevelson's Sculpture: Drag, Color, Join, Face (2023), as well as curated one-person shows: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300236705/louise-nevelsons-sculpture/ A great documentary on Nevelson: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnfEmNRzoCs&t=1332s&ab_channel=TheMet https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AnYBR9VAPsI&ab_channel=Tate Additional information: https://www.nytimes.com/1988/04/19/obituaries/louise-nevelson-sculptor-is-dead-at-88.html https://louisenevelsonfoundation.org/biography https://www.nytimes.com/2007/05/09/arts/design/09neve.html -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/8/202338 minutes, 23 seconds
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Marina Warner on Eve, Lilith, Athena, Medusa

I am so excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast – for the second time! – is Dame Professor Marina Warner, one of the leading historians on this planet! A writer, lecturer, author of almost 40 books, and former president of the Royal Society of Literature, Marina Warner, according to the New Yorker, is an authority on things that don’t actually exist – from magic spells, monstrous beasts, to pregnant virgins. A world specialist on myths, fairy tales and stories from ancient times, Warner has written indefatigably for the last five decades on how these tales – some thousands of years old – still speak to our culture today and allow us to appreciate how they are shaped by the societies that tell them. I have poured over her books, from Alone of All Her Sex, her study of the cult of the Virgin Mary, to my favourite, Monuments and Maidens: The Allegory of the Female Form, that so pertinently looks at how women are represented as allegories, bringing about ideas of actual power vs perceived power – for example, while Lady Liberty might be ubiquitous, how much power does she, a woman, actually have? Warner’s list of accolades is extensive: a distinguished fellow at All Souls College, Oxford; an honorary fellow at many more; the giver of the BBC’s Reith Lectures in 1994; and awarded doctorates of eleven universities in Britain, such as King's, the Royal College of Art, Oxford University, and more. But it’s stories and the power of imagination that fascinate her, and has what led me to be so captivated by her work. She has written – inside stories was the place I wanted to be, especially stories that went beyond any experience I could live myself at first hand. The very first stories I heard were saints’ lives: the joyful, sorrowful, and glorious mysteries of the Virgin Mary, the terrible gory violence of the martyrs’ ends … When I first encountered myths and fairy tales, the wonder I felt was pure wonder. But as I have grown older, wonder has taken on its double aspect, and become questioning too. And that is why I couldn’t be more excited to be, instead of looking at a woman artist, investigate the representation of female figures that we so often see across history and art history – Eve and Lilith from the Bible, and Medusa and Athena from mythology. MARINA'S BOOKS: https://www.marinawarner.com/ https://www.ucpress.edu/book/9780520227330/monuments-and-maidens https://www.waterstones.com/book/forms-of-enchantment/marina-warner/9780500021460 https://www.waterstones.com/book/joan-of-arc/marina-warner/9780198718796 https://www.waterstones.com/book/alone-of-all-her-sex/marina-warner/9780198718789 THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/31/202345 minutes, 23 seconds
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Rachel Whiteread

I am so excited to say that my guest on the GWA Podcast is one of the most pioneering artists alive today, Rachel Whiteread. Working across sculpture and drawing, in mediums ranging from concrete to resin, and in scales that go from miniscule to colossal – from casting domestic hot water bottles to entire immersive libraries – Whiteread is hailed for her poetic, stoic works that draw so intimately on our human experiences. Discussing how her work gives, in her words “authority to forgotten things” Whiteread’s sculptures of the past three decades have not only made me rethink sculpture as a form and medium, but they have provided incredible commentary on the changes that have occurred – from the rapidly gentrifying London, the state of political change in 1990s and 2000s Britain, as well as imparting on us a reflection of impermanence and loss. As someone born in the 90s, I grew up with Whiteread’s work. Her sculptures were some of the first I ever saw and knew of as a kid and no matter what age we are, one can’t help but be utterly stunned and fascinated by them. Famous for casting familiar objects and settings, from houses to the underneath of a chair, baths to doors, Whiteread takes elements we use in our everyday life, transforms them into ghostly replicas, and ultimately makes us rethink their purpose, practical use, and the memory that these objects once held. Raised in London to an artist mother and geography teacher father, who encouraged her to scavenge found objects and “look up” wherever she went, Whiteread studied at Brighton Polytechnic and sculpture, with the late and great Phyllida Barlow, at the Slade School of Fine Art in the 1980s. Her first solo exhibition in 1988, included her first series of cast objects, and in the early 1990s she made headlines with her sculpture House, a monumental, to-scale concrete cast of the inside of a three-storey townhouse. She has since taken over the Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall, London’s Fourth Plinth, created an extraordinary Holocaust Memorial in Vienna that resembles the shelves of a library with the pages turned outwards, has had major exhibitions and retrospectives all over the world and is still continuing to push forth all boundaries of sculpture in the most exciting and impactful ways. THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY THE LEVETT COLLECTION: https://www.instagram.com/famm.mougins // https://www.merrellpublishers.com/9781858947037 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/24/202338 minutes, 51 seconds
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Christina Quarles

I am so excited to say that my guest is one of the most renowned painters working in the world right now, Christina Quarles. A painter of bodies that stretch, condense, tangle, and meld into shapes that range from fleshy to stringy, Quarles is globally hailed for transposing this warm-blooded vessel onto a flat surface with ambiguity and effervescence. Her paintings make us feel, viscerally react both physically and emotionally with their fluorescent colouring, limbs that dismantle from the body, faces devoid of detail that exist between reality and surreality, all while echoing the constantly in flux body that we all live within. Born in 1985 in Chicago, and based in Los Angeles, Quarles emphasises through paint her and our multitudinous positions in the world. Working with acrylic paint and programmes such as adobe illustrator for the background and structures that surround the figures, her process, like her chosen subject, is full of dichotomies, between the historic and contemporary, absence and presence, night and day, in locations that exist in water and on land, in bodies that are both shadow and the full figure. A graduate of Hampshire College, for which she completed dual BA degrees in Philosophy and Studio Art, an MFA graduate of Yale School of Art and Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Quarles in the past few years has exhibited across the globe in some of the most prestigious institutions and group exhibitions, from the landmark Radical Figures at Whitechapel Gallery to last year’s Venice Biennale, and has had solo exhibitions at the Hepworth Wakefield and Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, but today we meet her in Menorca, at Hauser & Wirth, for her newly opened exhibition Come In From An Endless Place, which I can’t wait to find out more about. THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/ ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
8/10/202344 minutes, 50 seconds
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The Story of Art Without Men (Surrealism -- Audiobook!)

In this episode, of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel reads 30 MINS of her chapter on SURREALISM from her book – and audiobook! – The Story of Art Without Men. The Story of Art Without Men is published by Penguin (UK), WW Norton (US). AUDIO BOOK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Story-of-Art-Without-Men-Audiobook/B09P1RK3GV?utm_source=Authorpost BOOK: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-story-of-art-without-men/katy-hessel/9781529151145 https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-story-of-art-without-men-katy-hessel/1141471389 Taking its name from Gombrich’s Story of Art (now in its sixteenth edition, which includes just one woman!), this book aims to retell art history with PIONEERING non-male artists who spearheaded movements and redefined the canon. Beginning in the 1500s and ending with those defining the 2020s, this ~FULLY illustrated 500+ page~ book is divided into five parts pinpointing major shifts in art history. It goes across the globe to explore and introduce you to myriad styles and movements, interweaving women, their work and stories, within! To avoid artists ever being seen as the wife of, the muse of, the model of, or the acquaintance of, I have situated the artists (over 350!!) within their social and political context. I hope this book will be your GUIDE and BIBLE to art history, providing introductions and overviews of major movements from the last 500 years, because, what was the Baroque anyway? Who were the Spiritualist artists in the 19th century? Explore the Impressionists, the quilt-makers paving the way, the Harlem Renaissance trailblazers, the postwar artists of Latin America, the St Ives group, GUTAI, Abstract Expressionists, those reinventing the perception of the body in art, the feminist movement of the 1970s, art since the millennium and SO MUCH MORE! PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. By: Katy Hessel Narrated by: Katy Hessel Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins Unabridged Audiobook THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/ ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
6/27/202327 minutes, 49 seconds
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Ruth Ozeki on 'looking'

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, I interview one of the most important, pioneering and impactful writers and novelists working today, Ruth Ozeki.  In this episode, we deep dive into looking, writing, observation and perception in a fascinating discussion that traverses objects, the written form, imagination and memoir. She is the author of four novels, My Year of Meats (1998); All Over Creation (2003); A Tale for the Time Being (which was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize in 2013 and won the LA Times Book Prize); and more recently, The Book of Form and Emptiness (for which she won the Women’s Prize for Fiction) – an extraordinary novel centred on 14 year old Benny who, after his father dies, begins to hear voices, with other objects in a magical realist sense taking on roles to speak. Ozeki’s work is powerful, it breaks boundaries and reinvents storytelling and often melds ancient ideas with contemporary ones – looking at how they relate to our technology, religion, politics or pop culture.  In addition to her writing work, Ozeki is a Zen Buddhist priest, ordained in 2010 and a role that has influenced her two most recent novels; and a filmmaker, hailed for her 1995 work Halving the Bones, that looks at three generations of Ruth’s maternal family history from Japan, to Hawaii and to a suburb in Connecticut.  But, aside from this, it is also Ozeki’s non-fiction work that I highly admire, in particular her 2016 book “Timecode of a Face” – a part-memoir, part-experiment – influenced by a Harvard art historian that saw her sit in front of a mirror for three hours and examine her face as she traces each line, mark, crease and feature back to story from her past – which I cannot wait to get into in this episode! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/
6/13/202355 minutes, 41 seconds
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Anna Weyant

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, I interview one of the most exciting artists working in the world right now, Anna Weyant. From girls on the cusp of adolescence swept up in an eerie atmosphere to dollshouses with doors only slightly ajar, the subjects of Weyant’s paintings are nothing short of haunting, humorous, witty, and tense. Rooted in a style that feels like a cross between Old Master Painting and the unnerving perfection of Disney animations, Weyant’s works feel at once familiar, but starkly detached, leaving us to question if they are scenes from the real world, the past, or the ones in our head?  Often centred on a young girl – often waiting, thinking, watching or screaming who appears to be around the pre-teen and teenage years described as the “most frivolous and the most intense periods of human experience – Weyant’s paintings are full of contradictions. Unrooted in place and time, they sit on a threshold between good/evil, absent/present, strength/vulnerability, being watched/ watching, historic and the contemporary. And, by grounding her work in the traditional genre of still lifes and portraits – genres only afforded to women who were restricted to large-scale history painting before the 19th century – she allows us to question what we already know and don’t know from these historic paintings, or,  what we know and don’t know about our female protagonist and her own experiences.  Based in New York, and educated at RISD, Weyant, despite being 27, has already held shows to acclaim in the city. Last November, she took over Gagosian’s spaces with 7 new works – one as large as 9 feet tall, alongside many of her drawings – and I can’t wait to find out more.  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/
6/6/202344 minutes, 36 seconds
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Mickalene Thomas

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, I interview one of the most renowned artists working in the world right now, Mickalene Thomas. Working across painting, photography, installation, film, collage and more, Thomas, for the past two decades has been instrumental in forging an identity for figuration in the 21st century. Positioning her subjects – bold, beautiful women – in often large-scale work that commands the same power as that of Old Master Painting, Thomas lionises her subjects, whether they be friends, family members or lovers, by imbuing them with glittering rhinestone crystals and rich, colourful patterning, in atmospheres that are full of freedom, full of liberation. Drawing from pop culture and history – think Grace Jones to the 19th century French painters – and striving to encapsulate the beauty and glamour she witnessed in Jet magazine when growing up, Thomas also re-stages, reclaims, art-historical compositions by reworking paintings from the lens of a Black queer woman. In 2013, she said: ‘Portraits are very powerful. They have a great representation and dominance in the world... of trying to capture the essence of someone’ and just to prove how powerful this was on her own career, it was after seeing legendary photographer Carrie Mae Weems’s Kitchen Table Series, 1990 that Thomas was inspired to pursue art. Switching from law and enrolling in art school at the Pratt Institute, Thomas then went on to earn her MFA from Yale, and has since worked indefatigably to elevate the presence of Black women in art. Thomas has exhibited at the world’s most prestigious institutions, from the Brooklyn Museum to MOCA Los Angeles, Spellman College to the ICA in Boston, but she has also been a force at uplifting the careers of others – such as, in recent shows, curating exhibitions alongside her own featuring younger names, making for a more exciting and inclusive art history, that others have followed her in doing. Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/
5/30/202334 minutes, 59 seconds
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Kiki Smith

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, I interview one of the most pioneering artists alive today, Kiki Smith! Born in 1954, in Germany, raised in New Jersey, and now based in the Catskills and New York City, where we are recording today, Kiki Smith is an artist who works across a whole range of mediums ranging from sculpture to printmaking, tapestry to collage. She focuses on subjects of mortality and decay, the body and the earth, what it means to be human and our relationship to nature. She has said: "Our bodies are basically stolen from us, and my work is about trying to reclaim one's own turf, or one's own vehicle of being here, to own it and to use it to look at how we are here.” But it is this notion of collage that seems to be at the heart of her oeuvre – as she works with multiple forms, hybridised figures, and looks at both ancient mythology and contemporary politics, such as tragic events such as the AIDS crisis or the cruel laws around abortion. As a result, she has used materials such as bodily fluids to investigate subjects around death, reproduction and birth. Working indefatigably since the 1970s, Smith, although having briefly studied at Hartford Art School in Connecticut, is for the most part self taught. She has described herself as a “thing-maker” and it is this desire and hunger for experimentation that makes her work so captivating and engaging. Studying the world by living and surrounding herself with nature, she has also since gone on to train as an emergency medical technician. A professor at NYU and Columbia University, Smith has exhibited across the globe – from the Whitney museum to MoMA, The Whitechapel to, most recently, the Seoul Museum of Art in South Korea – and is in collections of some of the most renowned museums in the world. I couldn’t be more excited to be interviewing her today. Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/
5/23/202338 minutes, 42 seconds
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Adriana Varejão

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, I interview one of the most renowned artists living today, Adriana Varejão Best known for her sculptural, almost architectural, paintings that extend far beyond the frame, Varejão has tackled themes of Brazilian cultural identity, challenged ideas of modern monuments, and in her art exposes colonial truths through traditional processes. Drawing upon the visual language of the European Baroque, Chinese Song ceramics as well as Brazilian and other South American traditions – just as she once said: interest lies in the interactions between different latitudes of the world. At once gory and theatrical, Varejão's work is all about what lies under the surface – literally – under the layers of canvas or plaster but also metaphorically, asking whose stories are being hidden, what violence is being covered up. She has exhibited all over the world with major exhibitions in Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, at the ICA in Boston, and in 2016 designed the Brazilian Olympic Aquatics Stadium. Today, Varejão's practice continues to break ground in how we interpret cross-global intersections and ideas. Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/
5/16/202338 minutes, 46 seconds
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Marilyn Minter

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, I interview the renowned painter, photographer and filmmaker, Marylin Minter!  A legend on the New York art scene for over 50 years, Marylin Minter is a pioneer of electrically graphic, photorealist paintings which take the form of some of the most criticised elements of culture – from high fashion to female desire – and explore how advertising and the the media have set the stereotypes of beauty, behaviour and sexuality… Cropping her images, and zooming in on highly charged – at time erotic – images, Minter’s brightly saturated paintings of a tongue or high-heel are highly ambiguous in both subject and aesthetic value. From the contradictory questions around, is it beautiful? Is it abject, is it pretty or is it dirty? The work almost forms into an abstraction – with acidic tones and hazy finishes – making it unclear as to whether we are looking at a photograph or painting… Minter doesn’t stop at traditional art: she has taken to the mainstream and made works to appear on Times Square billboards or the backdrop of a Madonna concert. She is invested in all forms of culture, assessing wherever art has become disregarded and interpreted as low culture, opening up the question even wider…  Born in Louisiana, Minter Grew up in and attended university in Florida, and it was when studying when she embarked on her first well known photographic series of her mother – swept up in the impossible fantasy of glamour – that she was praised by the late Diane Arbus, who at the time was a visiting tutor.  In the 70s, Minter moved to NYC. Settling in the East Village scene, she challenged how both popular media and pop art treated women as unrealistic – as subjects of comparison rather than real people, in subjects often considered “debased”. She has since exhibited across the globe, and this Spring will open a new exhibition at LGDR featuring portraits of the likes of Lizzo to Lady Gaga, Gloria Steinem to Monica Lewinsky. And I can’t wait to find out more.  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/
5/9/202345 minutes, 9 seconds
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Siri Hustvedt on Artemisia Gentileschi, Louise Bourgeois, and more

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview the acclaimed novelist, essayist and author of 18 books, SIRI HUSTVEDT! From memoir to poetry, non-fiction to fiction, Hustvedt’s writing has touched on the topics of psychoanalysis, philosophy, neuroscience, literature, and art. Long-listed for the Booker Prize and winner of the Los Angeles Times Book Prize for Fiction, Hustvedt’s The Blazing World is a provocative novel about an artist, Harriet Burden, who after years of being ignored attempts to reveal the misogyny in art by asking three male friends to exhibit her work under their name. It is of course a triumph, and other bestsellers include What I Loved and The Summer Without Men. Born in Northfield, Minnesota to a Norwegian mother and an American father, and based in NYC since 1978, it wasn’t until 1995 that Hustvedt began writing about art. Since then, her art writing oeuvre has expanded enormously with numerous books and essays published to acclaim – which often focus on the fate of female artists in history, the biases of history making, and discuss the likes of Louise Bourgeois, Alice Neel, Adrian Piper, Lee Krasner, Betye Saar, Joan Mitchell, Dora Maar, among others – which I can’t wait to get into later on in this episode… Hustvedt’s writing is both eye-opening and groundbreaking. She has questioned how we measure greatness, if art has a gender, the effect of art and literature existing in our memory and the future of fiction. She has looked at the masculine traits of the mind and the female traits of emotion, the domestic vs the intellectual, and analysed how historians have not just told the narrative of art, but the narrative of the world. She has asked why absence is so prevalent and explored how women have reconfigured the body after years of what she calls ‘fictive’ spaces… I love her writing and it’s allowed me to unlock elements (and see things differently) in books, art, and more that exist in my memory. Favourite books include A Woman Looking at Men Looking At Women: Essays on Art, Sex and the Mind and, more recently, Mothers, Fathers and Others – which is part memoir, part psychological study. So I couldn’t be more delighted to have her on the podcast today. Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/
5/2/202358 minutes, 22 seconds
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Sarah Sze

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview one of the most renowned artists working today, SARAH SZE! Working across sculpture, painting, drawing, printmaking, video, and installation – and the culmination of them – Sze’s creations often take the form of a planetarium, a colosseum, a work-in-progress laboratory. Often held up by precarious stick-like structures and formed around everyday objects (and, more recently, moving images), her works behave – for me – as the greatest visual microcosm for the information and images inundating today’s fast moving, internet-filled world. In dialogue with art historical predecessors who worked with the readymade at the start of the 20th century – as well as challenging traditions in genres, such as the still life – Sze borrows from everyday materials. These include wire, congealed paint, tape measures, scissors, newspapers – as well as images and films taken on her iPhone as if to give prominence to mundane, mass-produced objects. Born in Boston, Sze earned a BA from Yale University and an MFA from the School of Visual Arts. Already when she was just in graduate school, an exhibition at MoMA PS1 saw her transform both the museum and sculpture itself. This quickly progressed to Sze working with projections and objects – from plastic water bottles to razor blades, q-tips and ladders – and work on an immersive scale that activated the viewer to be part of the time-based work, as well as challenging the notions that everything in her artworks is actually what is used to require to make the piece itself. In 2003, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship; in 2012 she took over New York’s High Line; in 2013 she represented the US at the Venice Biennale; in 2017, her permanent mural “Blueprint for a Landscape” opened at the 96th Street station of the Second Avenue subway in Manhattan. Last month she opened a monumental exhibition titled “Timelapse” at the Guggenheim, and next month will transform a disused Victorian waiting room at Peckham Rye station in London into an installation commissioned by Artangel. FURTHER LINKS! https://www.guggenheim.org/exhibition/sarah-sze-timelapse https://www.victoria-miro.com/artists/33-sarah-sze/ https://gagosian.com/artists/sarah-sze/ https://www.artangel.org.uk/project/sarah-sze/ https://www.ted.com/talks/sarah_sze_how_we_experience_time_and_memory_through_art#t-542032 Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA: https://ocula.com/
4/26/202350 minutes, 59 seconds
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Pamela Bannos on Vivian Maier

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview author, artist, writer, and academic, Pamela L Bannos on the very private yet supremely inquisitive street photographer who spent her days working as a nanny, VIVIAN MAIER!! Maier (1926–2009) was street photographer who has been compared to the likes of Helen Levitt or Diane Arbus. But here’s the thing: despite taking pictures incessantly and amassing more than 100,000 negatives, she never published or exhibited her work in her lifetime. This is one of the most fascinating stories in art history. Maier’s photographs reveal a woman who had empathy for her subjects – from children to the elderly – and who were often unaware of her presence. She famously worked with a Rolliflex camera which she would use for several decades, allowing for her signature square format, but which didn’t need to be brought up to one’s eye – enhancing even further how she could catch her subjects off guard. When asked about her occupation by a man she once knew, she’d say “I’m sort of a spy… I’m the mystery woman.” Tracing the people, politics, and landscape of mid to late 20th century North America, Maier’s extensive oeuvre recorded life as it passed her by. And here’s the thing, because she never exhibited or published her work during her lifetime, she was predominantly known for her primary role as a nanny to children in the Chicago area. So much remains to be missing, which is why I can’t wait to speak to Pamela, who has looked at tens of thousands of these images; traced Maier’s footsteps from the US to France, and delved into the archive in search of everything we might know about the photographer. Pamela Bannos is a professor at Northwestern University, and the author of Vivian Maier: A Photographer’s Life and Afterlife, 2017: http://vivianmaierproject.com/. Here is the TV interview of her discussing the book 10 min: https://news.wttw.com/2017/10/19/new-book-focuses-life-work-mysterious-photographer-vivian-maier FURTHER LINKS! Finding Vivian Maier: https://vimeo.com/452963941 Her official website by Maloof - including portfolio of pictures: https://www.vivianmaier.com/about-vivian-maier/ NYT review of the book by Pamela Bannos: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/31/books/review-vivian-maier-biography-pamela-bannos.html Roberta Smith on Vivian Maier: https://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/20/arts/design/vivian-maier.html?_r=0 The New Yorker on Maloof film: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/vivian-maier-and-the-problem-of-difficult-women WSJ: https://www.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052970204879004577110884090494826 Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/18/202348 minutes, 9 seconds
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Sonia Boyce

WELCOME BACK TO SEASON 9 of The GWA PODCAST! This week, we interview one of the most influential and groundbreaking artists alive, SONIA BOYCE! Born and raised in London, where she still lives today, Boyce has been taking the art world by storm since the 1980s when she and other trailblazing artists – such as Lubaina Himid and Claudette Johnston – emerged collectively onto the art scene as the Black Arts Movement. Putting images of women and their stories centre stage, they exhibited in shows such as Five Black Women in 1983 at the Africa Centre, Thin Black Line at the ICA in 1985, and The Other Story at the Hayward in 1989.  Since then, Boyce's indefatigable practice – spanning drawing, printmaking, photography, installation, video and sound – has constantly evolved, focusing on collaboration, often with an emphasis on improvisation as she works with other artists to create immersive installation environments. Taking on a broader ethos of "collage" and what it means today – both literally and metaphorically – Boyce's practice has brought together a multitude of people, places and perspectives to provoke invaluable conversations about the world we live in today. Often involving sound pieces, when I find myself amongst one of Boyce’s works, it becomes easy to lose oneself inside this very special, unusual but gripping world.  Since 2014 Boyce has been a professor of Black Art and Design, at the University of Arts London. In 2016, she was made a Royal Academician, in 2019 received an OBE for her services to art, and of course in 2022 became the winner of the Golden Lion award at the Venice Biennale, which she won for Feeling her Way – an immersive exhibition filled with bejewelled wallpaper and improvisatory song by women musicians – which is currently on view at Turner Contemporary in Margate before travelling to Leeds and later the Yale Centre for British Art.  https://turnercontemporary.org/bio/sonia-boyce/ https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/sonia-boyce-obe-794  https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2018/mar/19/hylas-nymphs-manchester-art-gallery-sonia-boyce-interview  https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/sonia-boyce-ra-magazine-venice-biennale  https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/13/arts/design/sonia-boyce-venice-biennale.html https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/m001f0q7/imagine-2022-sonia-boyce-finding-her-voice  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Mikaela Carmichael  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY OCULA.COM
4/11/202351 minutes, 21 seconds
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Nellie Scott on Sister Mary Corita

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, to end this season, we interview Nellie Scott, Director of the Corita Art Center in California, on SISTER MARY CORITA! Sister Mary Corita Kent is the legendary Los Angeles icon, pop artist, activist, nun, and educator, known for her prints and posters filled with luminous block colours and text that reflected her concerns about poverty, racism, and war, and which are filled with messages of peace and social justice. Born in 1918 to a working class Catholic family in Iowa, when the Corita was five she moved with her family to Hollywood. In 1936, aged 18, Corita graduated from the Los Angeles Catholic Girls’ High School and entered the religious order of the Immaculate Heart of Mary where she took the name Sister Mary Corita (where she went on to head up the art dept!)  Corita's work ranges from figurative and religious to incorporating advertising images and slogans, popular song lyrics and passages from the Bible. In the ‘60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider poverty, racism, and injustice. She was a groundbreaker and considered by many to be at the front of the Pop Art movement ~ whilst also teaching (and being a nun!) full time.  Reappropriating symbols for a spiritual message, such as Aeroplanes for guardian angels; Wonder Bread as the eucharist; Corita's art gained attention for its ability to find joy in the everyday. She infused pop elements into her work, and throughout the ‘60s, her work became increasingly political, urging viewers to consider the social injustices of the time. -- LINKS: Ten Rules Audio Project with Dublab Radio here: https://www.corita.org/tenrules Ten Rules Chronicle Book (April 2023) here: https://www.chroniclebooks.com/products/new-rules-next-week Baylis Glascock film here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1hRjih1uLmampB8DI2s2n4Nup7i3Pmacc/view Thomas Conrad film here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vBcaCDRMLRAINXBYVDP3TyJmt2IL5fOD/view Rebel hearts doc on IHC here: https://www.rebelheartsfilm.com/ ENJOY! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
12/21/202247 minutes, 22 seconds
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Tere Arcq on Remedios Varo

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, for the very special 100th EPISODE, we interview art historian and leading curator of Surrealist and feminist art in Mexico and beyond, Tere Arcq on REMEDIOS VARO! Born in Spain, and raised in a strict Catholic schooling – from which she rebelled – Varo, in 1937, moved to Paris to join the Surrealists. After the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War and unable to return to her home country, Varo, by 1941, escaped to Mexico. It was here where she found refuge, befriending the likes of Leonora Carrington and Kati Horna, and made the most extraordinary and meticulous paintings. Often exploring alchemy and magic, her paintings tend to focus on a single, isolated figure in an otherworldly realm. With striking features – allegedly based on her own looks – her protagonists, often female, appear like hybridised creatures. One of my favorites is (image 1) – The Call, from 1961, presents a woman, holding a pestle and mortar, walking through a corridor of tree-like figures who meditavely loom by the side, emphasising the sounds of silence, an aura of mystery, and the idea of practising something in secret! Whenever I see a painting by Remedios Varo, I feel transfixed by their mystical and metaphysical atmosphere. They are meticulously rendered - almost renaissance-like - works of these women who seem to be trapped in towers, on a quest to reach a higher state of consciousness or living in another surrealist world. They are at once haunting, mesmeric, glowing and magical. A professor in art history based in Mexico City, Tere Arcq has been the Chief Curator of the Museum of Modern Art in Mexico and has curated exhibitions on women surrealists around the world. In 2012 she curated In Wonderland: The Adventures of Women Surrealists LACMA in addition to exhibitions at the National Museum of Fine Arts in Quebec and here in the UK where she was a co-curator of the 2010 exhibition Surreal Friends: Leonora Carrington, Remedios Varo and Kati Horna at Pallant House gallery. With more curatorial projects in the pipeline, very excitingly, Tere is a co-curator of the upcoming retrospective at the Chicago Art Institute for summer 2023 on the artist we are very excitingly talking about today, the Surrealist Remedios Varo.  -- 2021 New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/24/obituaries/remedios-varo-overlooked.html  NMWA biography: https://nmwa.org/art/artists/remedios-varo/  2000 New York Times on her scientific interest: https://www.nytimes.com/2000/04/11/science/scientific-epiphanies-celebrated-on-canvas.html  Artnews: https://www.artnews.com/feature/who-is-remedios-varo-and-why-is-she-important-1234574762/  Website with all her works: https://totallyhistory.com/remedios-varo-paintings/ Guardian review of Pallant House exhibitions Surreal Friends with Leonora Carrington and Kati Horna https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2010/jun/18/surrealist-muses-who-roared-mexico Eyes on the table (1938) https://totallyhistory.com/remedios-varo-paintings/ Harmony (1956)https://usaartnews.com/auctions/the-mystical-scene-by-spanish-surrealist-remedios-varo-set-a-world-record The Juggler (The Magician), (1956)https://www.moma.org/collection/works/291307 Audio guide: https://www.moma.org/audio/playlist/296/3792 Celestial Pablum (1958) https://brooklynrail.org/2017/10/criticspage/Hidden-Figures  Triptych: Towards the Tower (1961) Embroidering the Earth’s Mantle (1961) The Escape (1962)https://www.gallerywendinorris.com/artists-collection/remedios-varo https://www.nytimes.com/2021/09/24/obituaries/remedios-varo-overlooked.html -- ENJOY! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
12/14/202242 minutes, 3 seconds
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Mary Beard on Classical Women (100th episode special!)

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, for the very special 100th EPISODE, we interview one of the world’s leading cultural commentators and most important voices in Classics, Professor Dame MARY BEARD!! A specialist in Roman history and art, Mary Beard is Professor of Classics at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Newnham College, where she has been since 1984. She is also Professor of Ancient Literature at the Royal Academy, Classics editor of the TLS and a Fellow of the British Academy and International Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. One of the most important writers of our age, Mary Beard has written groundbreaking scholarship, books, documentaries and articles on the subject such as The Parthenon, Pompeii: Life in a Roman Town, Laughter in Ancient Rome, and SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome, And more recently, Women and Power: A Manifesto and Twelve Caesars: Images of Power from the Ancient World to the Modern about Roman Emperors in Renaissance and later art, two books which shifted my understanding of the perception and role of women in society today and the nature of power in our Western word … and I couldn’t be more honoured to have her on for this very special episode of the Great Women Artists Podcast. In this episode we discuss the women artists in the ancient world, the perception of women from ancient times to the present day – looking at Livia, Melassina, Agrippina, and Cleopatra – and the effect of the depictions of women from the ancient world – Venus, Medusa, Athena, Lilith – and how they filter into society today. -- Twelve Caesars (2021): https://www.waterstones.com/book/twelve-caesars/mary-beard/9780691222363 Women & Power (2017): https://www.waterstones.com/book/women-and-power/professor-mary-beard/9781788160612 Lecture by Mary Beard on women of the 12 Caesars: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iB7W0UzVP24 Edmonia Lewis The Death of Cleopatra (completed 1876) https://americanart.si.edu/artwork/death-cleopatra-33878 Detail from The House of the Surgeon, a panelled painting in Pompeii (c.50-79 AD) - shows a woman in front of a painted canvas holding a paintbrush and mixing her paints: https://www.theancientartblog.com/post/women-painters-in-antiquity Women artists in antiquity: https://www.theancientartblog.com/post/women-painters-in-antiquity -- ENJOY! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
12/7/202247 minutes, 18 seconds
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Jerry Saltz on Gillian Wearing, Tracey Emin, Kara Walker (and more!)

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview one of the most well-known and prominent art critics of the 21st century, JERRY SALTZ on various artists including Gillian Wearing, Tracey Emin, and Kara Walker! Since the 1990s, Saltz has been an indispensable cultural voice and has attracted an enormous following of contemporary readers.  Only beginning to write at around 40 when he was still a long-haul truck driver, Saltz is now the senior art critic for New York magazine and its entertainment site Vulture. In 2018 he won the Pulitzer Prize for criticism and had twice been nominated when he was the art critic for The Village Voice between 1998 and 2007.  He has spoken at the likes of MoMA, the Guggenheim, as well as Harvard, Yale, Columbia, the RISD +  is the bestselling author of How to be an Artist published in 2020 which provides invaluable insight into what is really important for up and coming artists from originality to persistence, and self-belief.  But, the reason we are talking with Jerry today is because on the first of November, Jerry published his next book, Art is Life: Icons & Iconoclasts, Visionaries & Vigilantes, & Flashes of Hope in the Night which is collection of his writings from 1999 to 2021 and surveys the ups and downs of the time between 9/11 and the Pandemic through the lens of visionary artists shaping how we see art today.  ENJOY!! LINKS: Jerry's Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/jerrysaltz/?hl=en  Jerry's Twitter:  https://twitter.com/jerrysaltz?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Eauthor  Jerry's writing for New York magazine:  https://nymag.com/author/jerry-saltz/  How to Be an Artist (2020):  https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/612484/how-to-be-an-artist-by-jerry-saltz/#:~:text=From%20the%20first%20sparks%20of,of%20qualities%2C%20self%2Dbelief.  Art is Life (2022):  https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/612485/art-is-life-by-jerry-saltz/9780593086490/  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
11/30/202250 minutes, 40 seconds
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Sonal Khullar on Amrita Sher-Gil

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview Sonal Khullar on one of the most acclaimed artists of the 20th century, AMRITA SHER-GIL! Amrita Sher-Gil (1913–41) was India’s foremost artist in the early twentieth century. Her paintings give prominence to real people at real moments, and exude pathos and strength. “I can only paint in India, Europe belongs to Picasso, Matisse, Braque and the rest. But India belongs only to me.” Born in Budapest and raised in Shimla, northern India, between 1929 and 1932 Sher-Gil attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, as the first Indian student to do so, where she was able to study from nude models. Acclaimed for her Expressionistic figurative painting, she exhibited at the Paris Salon. Soon enough, she was drawn back to India: "I began to be haunted by an intense longing to return to India, feeling in some strange inexplicable way that there lay my destiny as a painter." Abandoning her European style, Sher-Gil’s figurative work transformed into studies of saturated colour with fluorescent fabrics and glittering textures. The subject of solo exhibitions, and a recipient of multiple prizes, Sher-Gil showed her work in Delhi and Bombay. But soon after set- tling in Lahore with her new husband, she was overcome with illness and died at the age of twenty-eight. Her acute sensibility is evident in her paintings, which capture not just the electricity of colour, and the merging of global styles, but also the world of her sitters, no matter what their status. Dr Sonal Khullar received her BA from Wellesley College, and her MA and PhD from the University of California Berkeley in art history, and has taught in the History of Art and Gender Studies departments of the University of Washington, and since 2020, at the University of Pennsylvania. Her research, specialising in work from the 18th century onwards, focuses on conflict, collaboration and globalisation in contemporary art from South Asia, and has looked at postcolonial art worlds, feminist geography, and the anthropology of art. LINKS: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/20/obituaries/amrita-shergil-dead.html?smid=tw-nytobits&smtyp=cur http://amrita-sher-gil.com https://artsandculture.google.com/story/amrita-sher-gil-artworks-from-the-collection-of-national-gallery-of-modern-art-national-gallery-of-modern-art-ngma-new-delhi/twWRBeSmWwQA8A?hl=en https://web.archive.org/web/20210121160223/https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/amrita-sher-gil/amrita-sher-gil-room-1-early-years-paris Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
11/23/202248 minutes, 46 seconds
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Dorothy Price on Käthe Kollwitz

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview Dr Dorothy Price on one of the most acclaimed artists ever to live, the great German Expressionist, KATHE KOLLWITZ! Dorothy Price is an indefatigable pioneer. Not only has she been instrumental as a specialist in German Expressionism, Weimar Culture and Black British Art, with a specific focus on women artists, but she has authored numerous books and articles in both areas. But today we are meeting because her latest exhibition, Making Modernism, opens at the Royal Academy of Arts, London this month, focussing on a group of women artists all of whom were active in Germany in the first few decades of the twentieth century. The exhibition seeks to look again at histories of modernism through the eyes of its female practitioners and is the first group exhibition of women artists at the Royal Academy for over 20 years: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/making-modernism So today we are going to be discussing one of these artists: Kathe Kollwitz, the pioneering German Expressionist who documented, through a socially conscious lens, the working classes and unemployed, and was a master at capturing the emotive intensity of her subjects, their vulnerabilities and hardship. Primarily a printmaker, Kollwitz took psychological intensity to new heights with her often stark portrayals of the grief-stricken and oppressed. Depicting mothers and children wrenched apart by death; individuals filled with anguish and in mourning; poverty, love, hatred and war ‒ Kollwitz’s compassionate images reveal the grim rawness of reality observed through a deeply sensitive lens. Socially conscious and created with acute feeling (she once wrote, ‘I agree with my art serving a purpose’), her work still speaks truth to the world we live in today. Born in Eastern Prussia, Kollwitz, having witnessed the physical and emotional effects of industrialisation, used printmaking to record the bleakness and inequalities of life. Immediate, accessible and at times cheap, printmaking enables an artist to produce both intricately detailed images and bold graphic forms. Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- Making Modernism:Paula Modersohn-Becker, Käthe Kollwitz, Gabriele Münter and Marianne Werefkin at the RA: https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/making-modernism https://www.kollwitz.de/en/biography https://www.kaethe-kollwitz.berlin/en/kaethe-kollwitz/biography/ https://www.britishmuseum.org/collection/term/BIOG34072 Print cycle: A Weaver's Revolt (1892-97): https://www.kollwitz.de/en/cycle-weavers-revolt-overview -- Head of a Child in its Mother's Hands (Study of the Down Trodden) (1900): https://www.germanexpressionismleicester.org/leicesters-collection/artists-and-artworks/kaethe-kollwitz/head-of-a-child-in-its-mothers-hands-(study-of-the-down-trodden)/ https://www.kollwitz.de/en/cycle-peasants-war-overview https://www.kollwitz.de/en/woman-with-dead-child-kn-81 https://www.kollwitz.de/en/pair-of-lovers-sculpture-en-bronze Print cycle: War (completed 1921-1922) https://www.kollwitz.de/en/series-war-overview -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
11/16/202254 minutes, 11 seconds
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Jenna Gribbon

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview one of the most exciting painters working today, Jenna Gribbon. Drawing on the traditions of oil paint by focussing on figuration, Jenna Gribbon is known for her sensual, washy and almost electrically-coloured canvases that predominantly portray her partner, Mackenzie, as well as her son. Working on a surface, which, when witnessed in real life, appears to be constantly moving, the bodies in Jenna’s paintings erupt like landscapes or waterfalls collapsing in on each other. Get up close, and revealed are three, four, five, SIX layers of unexpected colour: light blues, purples, oranges, yellows, hot pinks. Existing in both natural and synthetically-lit source – I am especially drawn to those with electric lights, almost appearing as a spiritualist glow – Jenna’s paintings transport you to places of both intimacy and isolation, such as that moment when you’re with one other person and it feels like you’re the only people in the world. Although we often see the same people crop up, by their very nature the paintings feel universal, like fleeting memories that you want to hold onto forever, and, most significantly, intimate – the latter being a key aspect of her work. Based in Brooklyn, NYC, where we are recording today, Jenna has exhibited across the globe at Fredericks and Freiser in New York, Massimo de Carlo in London, most recently at the Frick Madison which paired her work with Old Master Paintings in the Met Breuer’s former brutalist building. Current exhibitions include at the Collezione Maramotti in Reggio Emilia, and she is housed in museum collections across the globe. Jenna Gribbon in conversation at the Frick: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qt1ot3Cy2UY Cultured Magazine: https://www.culturedmag.com/article/2022/02/16/jenna-gribbon-and-her-musician-muse-mackenzie-scott-blend-love-and-paint Interview with Juxtapoz https://www.juxtapoz.com/news/magazine/features/jenna-gribbon-the-pleasure-of-looking/ Interview with Whitehot Magazine: https://whitehotmagazine.com/articles/dialogue-with-painter-jenna-gribbon/3880 Frieze: https://www.frieze.com/article/five-up-coming-painters-follow Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
11/9/202243 minutes, 52 seconds
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Catherine Opie

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview one of the most renowned photographers working in the world right now, Catherine Opie! A photographer of portraits of people, landscapes, the urban environment and American society, Opie uses the tool of the camera to explore sexual and cultural identity. First picking up a camera aged nine, it was in the 1990s that she began to gain recognition for her studio portraits of gay and transgender communities who appear painterly and defiant, powerful and regal. Travelling across the world, and in particular different areas of North America, Opie has documented masculinity through high school footballers; politics and culture through her images of the 2008 presidential election; the landscape through images of sparse urban environments; and memorial through images of house belongings once owned by Elizabeth Taylor. Linked by notions of complexity, community, visibility and empathy, Opie’s photographs tell a story about the society in which we live. Speaking about her work she has said, “From early on, I wanted to create a language that showed how complex the idea of community really is, how we categorize who we are as human beings in relation to places we live.” Born in Ohio, and now based in Los Angeles, where she is a professor of photography and the chair of the UCLA department of art, Opie has exhibited in the world’s most prestigious museums, from MOCA Los Angeles to the Guggenheim in New York, and at the Whitney Biennial and many more. But the reason why we are speaking with Opie today is because this summer she opened a solo show at Thomas Dane Gallery in London – To What We Think We Remember. Taking its title from a Joan Didion quote, this exhibition focuses on community, collective responsibility and how to move forward while faced with the potentially devastating challenges of climate change, and the erasure of personal and political freedoms. -- LINKS: Thomas Dane show: https://www.thomasdanegallery.com/exhibitions/268/ New Yorker: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/03/13/catherine-opie-all-american-subversive New York Times 2021: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/08/18/arts/design/catherine-opie-photography-monograph.html Art review: https://artreview.com/catherine-opie/ Opie essay for CNN: https://edition.cnn.com/style/article/catherine-opie-beauty/index.html Hilton Als 2021: https://www.regenprojects.com/attachment/en/54522d19cfaf3430698b4568/Press/610b3b9460b7b53c1b733db9 i–D: https://i-d.vice.com/en_uk/article/g5gvk7/catherine-opie-interview-2021-life-in-photos New York Times 2019: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/02/t-magazine/catherine-opie.html?action=click&module=RelatedLinks&pgtype=Article -- Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
11/2/202241 minutes, 27 seconds
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Bloum Cardenas on Niki de Saint Phalle

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview Bloum Cardenas, none other than the granddaughter of the trailblazing, French-American sculptor, painter, performance artist and more, NIKI DE SAINT PHALLE!! Born in 1930 in France and living throughout the 20th century between America and Europe – she passed in 2002 – Saint Phalle is one of the century’s greatest creative personalities. She pioneered not only the boundaries between painting, performance and conceptual art in Paris during the 1960s, but explored large scale immersive environments through her joyous, glittering sculptures. These include the Tarot Garden in Tuscany – this incredible paradisal sculpture park filled with these colossal Nana-style sculptures of these bulbous women, glittering in mosaics – or her 1966 work at Moderna Museet in Stockholm, Hon - the Cathedral, where visitors would enter through the giant open legs of one of her Nana figures a world complete with a 12-seat cinema, a bar, a playground for kids, a fish pond and sandwich vending machine. In the early 1960s she worked on her Shooting Paintings – violently shooting at canvases with bags of coloured paint that exploded and dripped onto a plaster surface. She used her ‘shooting events’ to fight against political corruption and the patriarchy. Employing large-scale canvases and masochistic gestures to emulate (and poke fun at) her male contemporaries, it was also through chance encounters and group efforts that Saint Phalle pioneered early concepts of Performance Art. By the mid-1960s, Saint Phalle had taken a different direction, abandoning her Shooting Paintings for her Nana sculptures: voluptuous and bulbous figures that reclaim the female form and celebrate the ‘everywoman’. Speaking about them in 1972, she said: ‘Why the nanas? Well, first because I am one myself. Because my work is very personal and I try to express what I feel. It is the theme that touches me most closely. Since women are oppressed in today’s society I have tried, in my own personal way, to contribute to the Women’s Liberation Movement.’ Bloum Cardenas, from 1985–1990, Bloum worked in the archives of her grandmother and in 1997, moved to San Francisco to help organise Saint Phalle’s archived there. Since 2002, she has been a trustee for the for the Niki Charitable Art Foundation. She is also the president of the beloved Tarot Garden in Tuscany. ENJOY!!! -- Peter Schjendahl: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2021/04/05/the-pioneering-feminism-of-niki-de-saint-phalle New Yorker on The Tarot Garden 2016: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2016/04/18/niki-de-saint-phalles-tarot-garden New York Times 2021: https://www.nytimes.com/2021/04/08/arts/design/Niki-de-Saint-Phalle-MoMA-PS1-Salon-94.html Artforum: https://www.artforum.com/print/202105/johanna-fateman-on-the-art-of-niki-de-saint-phalle-85478 Niki de Saint Phalle Foundation website: http://nikidesaintphalle.org/niki-de-saint-phalle/biography/#1930-1949 Tate etc on living with Niki: https://www.tate.org.uk/tate-etc/issue-12-spring-2008/living-niki Tate shots on Niki de Saint Phalle: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XV7aJ7XHeB4 Nouveau Réalisme: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/n/nouveau-realisme Gutai: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/art-terms/g/gutai Shooting Paintings / Tirs https://www.moma.org/collection/works/150143 Hon - A Cathedral http://nikidesaintphalle.org/50-years-since-hon/ // https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jNfQt2FsUD4&feature=emb_logo // https://womennart.com/2018/08/22/hon-by-niki-de-saint-phalle/ The Tarot Garden http://ilgiardinodeitarocchi.it/en/ -- Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
10/25/202258 minutes, 11 seconds
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Louise Giovanelli

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview one of the most esteemed young painters working in the world right now, LOUISE GIOVANELLI! Giovanelli’s paintings bridge art history and modern pop-cultural narratives and explore the tensions between representation/ abstraction, fiction/ reality, historic/ contemporary, painting/ digital sphere. Retaining the meticulousness of renaissance paintings and coalescing it with 80s and 90s music videos, Giovanellis’s delicate and electrically luminous scapes offer a language rooted in history yet feel completely otherworldly. On a screen they feel like one thing, but meet them in the flesh, and they become real, with dabs of white oil paint SPARKLING off the canvas. For me, they are time-based. Sit with these paintings and it’s like their surfaces are constantly moving. Born in the 90s and now based in Manchester, Giovanelli has quickly risen up the ranks as one of Britain’s leading young painters. Having completed her BA at Manchester School of Art, and her MA at the Stadeschule in Frankfurt with professor Amy Silman in 2020, Louise Giovanelli has since exhibited all over the world, including at Grimm Gallery, the Hayward Gallery’s Mixing it Up, Manchester Art Gallery, and more recently, at White Cube in London. Giovanelli’s paintings are theatrical and stage-like. She creates a language that feels like a heightened version of reality that looks to renaissance painting and film stills and encompasses photography, classical sculpture, architecture and painting. They feel almost too good to be true, full of mystery and enigma. As the artist has said herself – ‘These curtains, once thrown back, offer this promise to enter another realm – and once closed, contain that promise. The painting hangs in a suspended state, leaving us wondering whether the show is over, or in fact just beginning.’ -- Frieze review of White Cube: https://www.frieze.com/article/louise-giovanelli-as-if-almost-2022-review AnOther interview: https://www.anothermag.com/art-photography/14447/daniel-arsham-on-bringing-his-first-exclusively-outdoor-exhibit-to-the-uk FT article: https://www.ft.com/content/a0bfd459-e1f3-4940-8ec6-93546ccb7047 Ocula interview: https://ocula.com/advisory/perspectives/louise-giovanelli-white-cube/ Artsy: https://www.artsy.net/article/artsy-editorial-figurative-works-black-artists-self-expression-redress-british-colonialism White Cube show: https://whitecube.com/exhibitions/exhibition/Louise_Giovanelli_White_Cube_Bermondsey Dissolving Realms show: https://www.kasmingallery.com/exhibition/dissolving-realms-2022 ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
10/18/202241 minutes, 30 seconds
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Amy Sherald

THIS WEEK on the GWA Podcast, we interview one of the most acclaimed painters working in the world right now, AMY SHERALD! With their striking elegance and commanding yet inviting gazes, Amy Sherald’s subjects exude grace, dignity, power, and joy. Unrooted in time, place, or space – and on the threshold between surreality and reality – they feel at once familiar yet utterly otherworldly as they glow in hues of gold, pinks, blues and oranges, often meeting our gaze with their dazzling aura. Sherald, through figurative painting, documents the contemporary African American experience in the United States. By engaging with the traditions of photography and portraiture, she opens up discussions about who has been immortalised, historicised, and who has been able to write, paint and dictate these narratives. As a result, her paintings open up vital debates about race and representation. But they’re also just as much about capturing and creating a record of the joy and everydayness of life. With a process that includes working from photographs that she stages and takes of individuals that capture her interest, the artist has said: “The works reflect a desire to record life as I see it and as I feel it. My eyes search for people who are and who have the kind of light that provides the present and the future with hope”. And it is this that we see in her paintings. Born in Columbus, Georgia, Sherald received her MFA in painting from Maryland Institute College of Art and BA in painting from Clark-Atlanta University. Sherald was, in 2016, the first woman and first African-American artist to receive the prestigious Portrait Competition from the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., and in 2018, was selected by First Lady Michelle Obama to paint her portrait. Depicted as both triumphant and approachable (with the pattern on her billowing dress referencing the Gee’s Bend Quiltmakers), Obama’s gaze is full of wisdom and optimism. Now in some of the most prestigious museum collections in the world, we meet Sherald today in London, at Hauser & Wirth, where she has just opened her first ever European solo exhibition, The World We Make. -- LINKS:::::: They Call Me Redbone but I’d Rather Be Strawberry Shortcake (2009) https://nmwa.org/art/collection/they-call-me-redbone-id-rather-be-strawberry-shortcake/ Miss Everything (Unsuppressed Deliverance) (2013) https://portraitcompetition.si.edu/exhibition/2016-outwin-boochever-portrait-competition/miss-everything-unsuppressed-deliverance After winning this award, Sherald was put forward as a contender for First Lady Michelle Obama’s official portrait. Michelle Obama Official Portrait (2018) https://npg.si.edu/Michelle_Obama EXHIBITION: ‘The World We Make’ at Hauser &Wirth (until 23 Dec) https://www.hauserwirth.com/hauser-wirth-exhibitions/38424-amy-sherald-the-world-we-make/ MORE – Simone Leigh, Amy Sherald and Lorna Simpson for NYT Mag: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2019/10/08/magazine/black-women-artists-conversation.html https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/12/arts/design/amy-sherald-michelle-obama-hauser-wirth.html NYT interview on Michelle Obama portrait: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/23/arts/design/amy-sherald-michelle-obama-official-portrait.html New York Times Magazine, Amy Sherald and others on being Black cultural leaders and being seen: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/23/t-magazine/black-artists-white-gaze.html Peter Schjeldahl on the Amy Sherald Effect for the New Yorker 2019: https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2019/09/23/the-amy-sherald-effect -- ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
10/11/202240 minutes, 7 seconds
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Tracey Emin

WELCOME BACK TO SEASON 8 OF THE GREAT WOMEN ARTISTS PODCAST!! ...and what better way to kick it off with than an INTERVIEW with the world renowned artist, TRACEY EMIN! -- TW: This episode contains discussions around abortion and suicide. -- Tracey Emin's an oeuvre that encompasses painting textiles, sculpture, neons, film, installations and more, and is some of the most frank, personal, confessional, and visceral to ever exist. She speaks universal two truths on a personal level, drawing on love, desire, loss and grief. Whether it be her 18.2 tonne or nine metre high bronze, The Mother – as recently installed outside the Munch Museum in Oslo – or an intimate watercolour drawing, Emin’s works holds so much power. They are alive with energy and have the ability to send us to places that resonate, that make us feel, that are somehow incredibly familiar, but make us question so much. Just as she has said, “True art should resonate. It should make you feel it's not a picture. It's not a thing. It's not an object. It is a true thing that has energy. That's what makes it art.” Born in Croydon, and raised in Margate -- where the artist resides today and where she has just been named a free woman -- Emin studied at Maidstone Art College, followed by the Royal College of Art. It was in the 1990s that she came to the fore with a shop she ran with fellow artist, Sarah Lucas, in 1993. And her hugely significant biographical works, from Everyone I Have Ever Slept With (1963–1995) to My Bed, 1998, works that changed the course of art history and have been just as contemporary and relevant today and in the years to come. In 2007 She represented Britain at the Venice Biennale, and in 2008, she had her first major retrospective at the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art. In recent years, she has installed a poignant Nan in St. Pancras station, I Want My Time With You; taken painting to new heights with her incredibly strong and emotive works -- as recently exhibited at her joint exhibition with Edvard Munch at the Royal Academy of Arts -- and her current exhibition at Jupiter Artland in Scotland. Following a severe illness in 2020, she has, in her words, made her most “honest and complete” work to date, as witnessed in her incredible show earlier this year, a journey to death at Carl freeborn gallery in Margate, Tracey Emin, Tracey Early Works: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/nov/23/tracey-emin-unseen-paintings-bed-margate-first-time Tracey The Shop (1993): Interview and Hilton Als and others on The Shop: https://www.frieze.com/article/tracey-emin-and-sarah-lucas-shop Fun short video of them partying in the shop: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p06pn6mh Last night of the Shop (1993): https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/emin-lucas-the-last-night-of-the-shop-3-7-93-t07605 Tracey on How it Feels (1996): https://whitecube.com/channel/channel/tracey_emin_on_how_it_feels/type/Tracey%20Emin My bed (1998): https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/emin-my-bed-l03662 Tracey at Venice 2007: https://www.theguardian.com/arts/gallery/2007/jun/07/emin I Want My Time With You (2018) https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/exhibition/terrace-wires-tracey-emin The Mother in Norway (2022): https://www.munchmuseet.no/en/about/the-mother-at-inger-munchs-pier/ -- ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ -- THIS EPISODE IS GENEROUSLY SUPPORTED BY CHRISTIES: www.christies.com
10/4/202258 minutes, 44 seconds
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The Story of Art Without Men (Audiobook Taster!)

In this very special BONUS EPISODE of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel reads the first 30 MINS of her upcoming book (and audiobook!), The Story of Art Without Men! The Story of Art Without Men is published by Penguin and out on the 8 SEPTEMBER!! AUDIO BOOK: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/The-Story-of-Art-Without-Men-Audiobook/B09P1RK3GV?utm_source=Authorpost BOOK: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-story-of-art-without-men/katy-hessel/9781529151145 Taking its name from Gombrich’s Story of Art (now in its sixteenth edition, which includes just one woman!), this book aims to retell art history with PIONEERING non-male artists who spearheaded movements and redefined the canon. Beginning in the 1500s and ending with those defining the 2020s, this ~FULLY illustrated 500+ page~ book is divided into five parts pinpointing major shifts in art history. It goes across the globe to explore and introduce you to myriad styles and movements, interweaving women, their work and stories, within! To avoid artists ever being seen as the wife of, the muse of, the model of, or the acquaintance of, I have situated the artists (over 350!!) within their social and political context. I hope this book will be your GUIDE and BIBLE to art history, providing introductions and overviews of major movements from the last 500 years, because, what was the Baroque anyway? Who were the Spiritualist artists in the 19th century? Explore the Impressionists, the quilt-makers paving the way, the Harlem Renaissance trailblazers, the postwar artists of Latin America, the St Ives group, GUTAI, Abstract Expressionists, those reinventing the perception of the body in art, the feminist movement of the 1970s, art since the millennium and SO MUCH MORE! PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying PDF will be available in your Audible Library along with the audio. By: Katy Hessel Narrated by: Katy Hessel Length: 10 hrs and 44 mins Unabridged Audiobook **This episode is brought to you by Christie's Auction!** www.christies.com ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
8/30/202234 minutes, 28 seconds
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Marina Abramović

In this very special BONUS EPISODE of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most renowned artists alive today, Marina Abramović. *BOOK NEWS!* I have written a book! Order The Story of Art without Men here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-story-of-art-without-men/katy-hessel/9781529151145 **This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.com – use the code "The Artist is Present" at checkout for 15% off!** The “grandmother” of Performance Art, Marina Abramovic has been instrumental in pioneering the genre as a visual art form for the last five decades – a genre defined by risk taking; being present; a state of mind; emptying yourself; and connecting the energies with the surrounding public. Born in Belgrade, the capital of Yugoslavia in 1946, to communist hero parents, Marina Abramović experienced a strict upbringing. Until the age of 29, she was under a curfew of 10 o’clock – resulting in the artist running away a few months later. Since the beginning of her career in the 1970s, Marina Abramović has stretched the limits of the body and mind as both object and subject. Early works include Rhythm 0 (1974), where she became an object of experimentation for the audience – laying out 72 objects, including a pistol, and stating they could be used on her as desired; or Rhythm 5 (1974), where she lay in the centre of a burning five-point star. She has withstood pain, exhaustion, and danger in her quest for emotional and spiritual transformation. Never slowing down, in 1997 she won the Golden Lion at the Venice Biennale for a work that commented on war in Yugoslavia, and in 2010, she took over MoMA for The Artist is Present, where she sat motionless in a chair for eight hours a day – the show broke records, attracting 850,000 visitors. In 2012, she founded the Marina Abramović Institute (MAI), a non-profit foundation for performance art, and has since exhibited at the world’s most prestigious institutions, earning her a global following. And in 2023, she will be the first woman to have a solo exhibition in the main galleries of the Royal Academy of Arts, London. TODAY Marina Abramović launches The Hero 25FPS – @artistispresent / NFT.CIRCA.ART For her first performance launching today on the blockchain, Marina Abramović revisits one of her most personal and autobiographical works ‘The Hero (2001)’ to present in collaboration with The Cultural Institute of Radical Contemporary Art (CIRCA) this digital exploration of time, immateriality and audience participation. Filmed at 25 frames per second, never before seen footage has been separated into 6,500 unique frames to create The Hero 25FPS, a genesis NFT collection by the warrior of performance art. A call for today’s new heroes! Upon completion of THE HERO 25FPS, Marina Abramović, @nadyariot (Pussy Riot) and CIRCA will award a series of Hero Grants to people working within Web3 who demonstrate a desire to make the world a better place. ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
7/24/202252 minutes, 59 seconds
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Caroline Bourgeois on Marlene Dumas

In episode 88, and the SEASON FINALE of Season 7 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed curator, Caroline Bourgeois on MARLENE DUMAS! *BOOK NEWS!* I have written a book! Order The Story of Art without Men here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-story-of-art-without-men/katy-hessel/9781529151145 **This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.com | use the code TGWA20 at checkout for 20% off!•• A painter of the face, the figure and the human psyche and form, Marlene Dumas is one of the most influential painters alive today. Collecting raw emotion and translating it visually onto the canvas through paint, Dumas derives her work from second hand images. In turn, she creates internal portraits that trigger every sense in your body. Contradictory and complex, verging on the sublime and full of seduction, they are also enveloped in pain. Made without any prior studies, she holds a feeling, an emotion, movement and life in the second of the moment. Although her figures are still, it is like they are moving, and although they are immortalised, it is like they are breathing. I couldn't be more excited to say that she is the artist who we will be discussing today with Caroline Bourgeois, the curator of "Marlene Dumas: Open––End” at Palazzo Grassi in VENICE!! https://www.palazzograssi.it/en/exhibitions/current/open-end-marlene-dumas/ I was astonished going round this exhibition at Palazzo Grassi. I have seen a few works in the flesh by Dumas, but walking around, it was electrifying. Not only do these paintings pulsate with colour and exude sensuality, but they appear full of motion. Dumas captures this raw, internal human emotion that is at once full of strength but vulnerability. Not existing in any physical space, her works teeter on the threshold between life and death, internal and the external… It is like they are memories that are familiar, protective, but also ghoulish and haunting. LIST OF PAINTINGS DISCUSSED HERE: https://www.palazzograssi.it/site/assets/files/9808/guide_marlene-dumas_eng.pdf ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
5/17/202241 minutes, 2 seconds
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Antonia Showering

In episode 87 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the very brilliant young painter, ANTONIA SHOWERING!!! *BOOK NEWS!* I have written a book! Order The Story of Art without Men here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-story-of-art-without-men/katy-hessel/9781529151145 Acclaimed for her richly layered paintings of family, friends, lovers and more that occupy spaces between reality and surreality, memory and imagination, Antonia Showering paints her subjects full of conviction and full of emotion. Layered with narratives of, in her words, ‘stacked recollections’, her paintings can appear at once haunting and ethereal, ghoulish yet protective, and although they are personal to her, they can speak for us all. Infused with both an acidic and muted colour palette, with thick impasto and washy strokes, Antonia’s paintings deal with universal subjects on a personal level. Speaking about the canvas, she has said: “I see the canvas as a physical space where feelings of belonging or displacement, love or loneliness, intergenerational memory, superstitions and regrets can be turned into something visual and shared with the viewer.” Born in London, and raised in Somerset, to an English father and Swiss-Chinese mother, Antonia’s upbringing, family and heritage play central roles in her work. Having completed her foundation year at Chelsea, her BA at City and Guilds, and then her MFA at the Slade School of Art, Antonia, in just a few years, has become one of the most exciting young painters of her generation. Featured in exhibitions at Stephen Friedman Gallery and TJ Boulting, New Contemporaries and of course The Great Women Artists Residency at Palazzo Monti, Antonia recently had her first solo exhibition at Timothy Taylor which was met with acclaim. ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
5/10/202246 minutes, 36 seconds
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Susan Weininger on Gertrude Abercrombie

In episode 86 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed scholar Susan Weininger on the surrealist sensation, GERTRUDE ABERCROMBIE!!! Gertrude Abercrombie (1909–1977) was a formative contributor to mid-century American painting. Based in Chicago, Abercrombie was a surrealist painter and self-dubbed ‘queen of bohemia'. Working independently from the Surrealist group in Europe, Abercrombie spent most of her life immersed in the Chicago jazz scene. With a penchant for cats, crescent and full moons, sinister desert-like landscapes that feature as paintings in bleak, cold interiors, stairs that lead to nowhere or a series of rhythmically coloured doors, Abercrombie forged a unique style, and presented her sometimes postage-stamp-sized paintings in flamboyant frames. Painting some of the most innovative, surrealist, haunting, eerie, bizarre and brilliant, paintings I’ve ever seen – whether they be slightly larger landscapes with moons, cats, doors, or stairs to nowhere, or miniscule paintings of portraits, domestic scenes or still-lifes, or levitating bodies with limbs floating in the air – Abercrombie's works are utterly fascinating. ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
5/3/202244 minutes, 56 seconds
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Patricia Albers on Tina Modotti

In episode 85 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed writer Patricia Albers on TINA MODOTTI! Tina Modotti (1896–1942) was a trailblazer. Born in Italy, she found herself at the centre of Hollywood in the 1920s, the post-Revolution era of Mexico, in the midst of Communism with the Muralists, the latter of which she captured through raw images, using her camera - her tool - to engage with political and social issues. Nothing short of a revolutionary, Modotti documented the spirit of era. Her own life was never far from drama. Raised in Italy, in1913 she migrated to the US to join her father. Adored for her striking looks, she soon began work as a model, then an actor, starring ina string of Hollywood silent films.  Taking up photography, in 1923she moved to Mexico City to join the cultural avant-garde and experimented with intimate, hazy studies of close-up wilted flowers and light-filled architectural environments – some of the earliest examples of abstraction in photography.  As the 1920s progressed, and her involvement in the Communist movement deepened (officially joining the party in 1927), Modotti turned her lens towards social documentary, photographing empathetic, yet I think triumphant, portraits of locals and labourers, and took her camera to anti-fascist, leftist rallies (with friends Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera).  However, following the assassination of her then-lover, the Cubist revolutionary Julio Antonio Mella, she was forced to leave Mexico and abandon photography entirely. Fleeing Mexico for WeimarBerlin, Soviet Russia and then Spain, in 1939 she returned to MexicoCity, but died three years later in the back of a taxi... Some still question the cause of her death, viewing it with suspicion due to her ardently leftist politics!!!!  ONE OF THE GREATEST STORIES IN ART HISTORY! ENJOY! Patricia is the author of Shadows, Fire, Snow: The Life of Tina Modotti and curator of the formerly travelling exhibition, Tina Modotti and the Mexican Renaissance, a show and a book focussing on one of the greatest photographers of the early twentieth century: Tina Modotti. F ollow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/26/202251 minutes, 24 seconds
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Marina Warner on Kiki Smith and Helen Chadwick

In episode 84 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the historian, mythographer, critic and novelist MARINA WARNER on Kiki Smith and Helen Chadwick!!! A writer of fiction and cultural history, with a special focus on myths and fairy tales and the role of women, Marina Warner is one of the leading art writers, and in the past few years published an extensive collection of essays in Forms of Enchantment: Writings on Art and Artists. This incredible book, exploring discussions on myths, transformation, and alchemy, includes texts on the two artists we will discuss today: Kiki Smith and the late, great British artist, Helen Chadwick. Kiki Smith (b.1954) is an American artist who works across tapestry, sculpture and more, exploring ideas of mythology and regeneration. Inspired by the changes in the seasons and her own perception of animals as they change throughout the year, in her work, Smith addresses the social and spiritual aspects of human nature. Fusing images of medieval folklore with mysticism, Smith’s work blends the earthly and the fantastic, and deals with the fragility of life as well as drawing us to the details of our own ecosystem.  Helen Chadwick (c.1953–1996) was a feminist pioneer. One of the first women artists to be nominated for the Turner Prize, Chadwick was known for challenging stereotypical perceptions of the body in unconventional forms. Reinventing what a female nude could be in her work, her famous works include Ego Geometria Sum (https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/chadwick-ego-geometria-sum-the-labours-i-x-74215) and The Oval Court, part of the installation 'Of Mutability'. Chadwick had used the a range of dead animals in the installation and used the scanner of the photocopier to position the animals in animated poses as if in life. She used a blue pigment toner in this work to suggest other physical spaces such as the sea (https://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O1032036/the-oval-court-sphere-chadwick-helen/) ENJOY! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/19/202239 minutes, 21 seconds
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Barbara Bloemink on Florine Stettheimer

In episode 83 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed scholar, Barbara Bloemink, on the Jazz Age visionary, FLORINE STETTHEIMER!! *BOOK NEWS!* I have written a book! Order The Story of Art without Men here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-story-of-art-without-men/katy-hessel/9781529151145 A feminist, multi-media artist, Jazz-Age saloniste, poet and designer who captured the vibrancy and momentum of New York City’s growth between the World Wars, Stettheimer worked across words, painting, furniture and even costume design. To me was a revelation – and just as Georgia O'Keeffe so aptly observed in her friend: "Fantasy and reality all mixed up. She was perfectly consistent with any of her inconsistencies." Although painting the glittering world of Europe and New York at the start of the twentieth century, Stettheimer was so much more than that. Above all, she was a visionary, who pioneered every field she found herself in, whether it be making costumes for Getrude Stein’s opera or boldly presenting herself in a fully-nude self portrait aged 46, reclaiming Manet’s Olympia. Inventing a new language for modernism which was so brilliantly, charmingly and uniquely her own, with its whimsical figures who burst among the skyscrapers of NYC, Stettheimer drenched her paintings in bright shimmering colours and rich thick, textures. ENJOY! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/12/202245 minutes, 15 seconds
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Magdalene Odundo

In episode 82 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most renowned living artists working in ceramics, Magdalene Odundo. *BOOK NEWS!* I have written a book! Order The Story of Art without Men here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Story-Art-without-Men/dp/1529151147/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1647348710&sr=8-1 [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Born in Kenya, and now living and working in the UK, where we are recording today, Odundo produces ceramic objects filled with beauty and gracefulness with their voluptuous forms and glittering surfaces. Created using a hand-coiled technique, Odundo’s laboriously produced clay-based sculptures, that range from red-orange to black, are executed in an exquisite manner. Akin or reminiscent to the shape of the female body, she has said of her medium, I’ve always equated clay with the humanity that’s within us, fragile like our bodies. It can tip over. You have it on its toes, but if you push just slightly on the wrong pivot, it will break your heart. Born in 1950, Odundo received her initial training as a graphic artist in Kenya before moving to the United Kingdom in 1971 where she enrolled on the foundation course at the Cambridge School of Art. In 1976 Odundo graduated in Ceramics, Photography and Printmaking from the University for the Creative Arts, and later completed her Postgraduate studies at the RCA. In museum collections that range from the British Museum to the the Brooklyn Museum, the V&A and the Met, Magdalene has exhibited across the globe, a recent favourite exhibitions was her spectacular display at the Hepworth Wakefield, where she put her work in dialogue with myriad artworks and artefacts from across time and from across the globe. In 2019, she was appointed Chancellor of the University for Creative Arts (UCA) and was made a Dame in the Queen’s New Year Honours list 2020. But the reason why we are speaking with Magdalene today is because not only is she currently the subject of a major exhibition at the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, but because she will also feature in this year’s Venice Biennale, a show that will feature a staggering 180 women artists, and that I can’t wait to find out more about. ENJOY! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/5/202244 minutes, 42 seconds
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Jeffreen M. Hayes on Augusta Savage

In episode 81 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews Jeffreen M. Hayes on the Harlem Renaissance pioneer, Augusta Savage!! *BOOK NEWS!* I have written a book! Order The Story of Art without Men here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Story-Art-without-Men/dp/1529151147/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1647348710&sr=8-1 [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Overcoming poverty, racism, and sexual discrimination, Savage is one of the greatest American artists of the 20th century and is famed for her emotionally tender and stoic life-size figures and plaster portrait busts. Raised in a strict family in Florida with a father who opposed her artistic pursuits, she arrived in New York with just $4.60, and in 1922 enrolled at The Cooper Union School of Art. Coming to the fore in the 1920s, Savage mastered emotionally tender and stoic life-size figures and plaster portrait busts (painted with shoe polish for a bronzed effect), and her subjects ranged from dignified everyday Black figures to influential Harlemites, including W. E. B. Du Bois. Working with images to elevate Black culture into mainstream America, Savage was also a key community organiser, exhibitor and teacher to so many. Not only did she become the first African American woman in the US to open her own private art gallery, she was also appointed the first director of the Harlem Community Art Center. As confirmed by Jeffreen, who has previously said: “I don’t think about Augusta Savage as someone who only made objects … [but rather as someone who] has really left behind a blueprint of what it means to be an artist that centres humanity.” ENJOY! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
3/29/202244 minutes, 55 seconds
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Sheila Hicks

In episode 80 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the legendary SHEILA HICKS! *BOOK NEWS!* I have written a book! Order The Story of Art without Men here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Story-Art-without-Men/dp/1529151147/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1647348710&sr=8-1 [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Working across textiles, fibre, colour and form, Sheila Hicks’s six-decade-and-counting-career has seen her work across multiple mediums, processes and disciplines. From her cascades of colour that pour out of museum ceilings to her smaller woven drawings – she likes to call ‘minimes’ – Hicks pushes all boundaries of fibre in all different environments. Born in 1934, Hicks was educated at Yale in the 50s, where she was taught by Josef Albers and George Kubler, whose teaching inspired her to venture to Chile to witness the weaving culture in the Andes. Moving to Mexico, then Paris, Hicks has designed film sets to a 1000 thread-based medallion sculpture for the Ford Foundation, NY. Recent international exhibitions include the 2020 exhibition at MAK Vienna, the 2017 Venice Biennale, the 2014 Whitney Biennial, plus a major solo presentation at the Pompidou in Paris! But! One of the reasons why we are speaking with Hicks today is because this spring she will unveil a major exhibition at the Hepworth Wakefield, a show featuring over seventy of her vibrant works which collapse all boundaries between art, architecture and design, breaking down all tensions, which in turn create environments where we can be at one with the work. Info about the Hepworth Wakefield show!!! https://hepworthwakefield.org/whats-on/sheila-hicks/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
3/23/202233 minutes, 53 seconds
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Alexandra Munroe on Yoko Ono

WELCOME BACK TO SEASON 7 of the GWA Podcast! I have some exciting news... I have written a book! The Story of Art without Men will be published by Penguin on 8 September 2022, and is available to pre-order now: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Story-Art-without-Men/dp/1529151147/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1647348710&sr=8-1  Taking its name from Gombrich’s Story of Art (which includes just one woman!!), this book aims to retell art history with PIONEERING non-male artists who spearheaded movements and redefined the canon. Beginning in the 1500s and ending with those defining the 2020s, this ~FULLY illustrated 500+ page~ book is divided into five parts pinpointing major shifts in art history... ...BACK TO THE PODCAST! In episode 79 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews Alexandra Munroe on YOKO ONO! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] A pioneering authority on modern and contemporary Asian art and transnational art studies, Dr Alexandra Munroe is both the Director, Curatorial Affairs, at the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi, and Senior Curator, Asian Art at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City, where she has also led the museum’s Asian Art Initiative.  Yoko Ono – a visionary, performance art and fluxus pioneer, whose extensive career has spanned from the 50s to the present day – is one of the world's leading artists. An advocate for world peace who has trailblazed both music and art, in pieces that continue to raise vital questions about the world we live in today, Yoko Ono is nothing short of an icon. Now aged 89, her extensive career has seen her fight for global injustices and make protest part of her art. She works with her body, uses objects familiar to us, employs words that I find speak to us on such a universal level, an example being her “instructions” series that open up the world in such illuminating ways it’s impossible to not to see the world in an entirely new way. A pioneer in Performance Art, Yoko Ono (born 1933) set the precedent for disruptive performance pieces that simultaneously challenge and enforce a dialogue between artist and viewer. Raised in Japan, by 1953 she had settled in New York, and it was here that she became involved in the city’s avant-garde Fluxus group: a predominantly political group of artists, poets and musicians who were invested in chance encounters and the unpredictability of performance. In this episode we discuss Ono's upbringing in Japan and the state of the country postwar, her foray into the NYC Downtown avant-garde scene, her first encounter with John Lennon who was mesmerised by her 'YES' work, her radical performances, such as Cut Piece, 1964, which questioned the power of trust and was one of the earliest works to invite audience participation. Plus, her Wish Trees, music and poetry, and more!!! MORE LINKS: LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
3/16/202248 minutes, 29 seconds
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Deborah Levy on Francesca Woodman, Lee Miller, Paula Rego, Leonora Carrington

In episode 78 – and SEASON FINALE – of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the very brilliant writer, DEBORAH LEVY on photographers Francesca Woodman and surrealist Lee Miller, and painters Paula Rego and surrealist Leonora Carrington!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] The author of seven novels, Levy is one of the leading writers of our time having been shortlisted twice each for the Goldsmiths Prize and the Man Booker Prize. She has also written for The Royal Shakespeare Company and her pioneering theatre writing is collected in Levy: Plays 1. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and, she has also taught writing at the Royal College of Art for ten years. But the reason why we are speaking with Deborah today is because over the past few years, she has brought out one of the greatest – and most emotionally daring – trilogy of memoirs, which she sees as a living autobiography on writing, gender politics and philosophy: Things I Don't Want to Know, The Cost of Living, and Real Estate, which throughout unexpectedly make short segues to female artists – from Francesca Woodman to Louise Bourgeois – as though their work becomes a character, an emotion, or reminds you of elements in your daily life. It is such a beautiful and relatable way about talking about art, and as an art lover, captivating to see artists’ work interwoven like this. So, I thought what better way to celebrate this special episode by looking into the lives and works of four women artists from her brilliantly unique perspective. I am so delighted to say that today we will discuss photographers Francesca Woodman and surrealist Lee Miller, and painters Paula Rego and surrealist Leonora Carrington…  LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Some links: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/253221/things-i-don-t-want-to-know/9780241983089.html https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/295634/the-cost-of-living/9780241977569.html https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/295635/real-estate/9780241977583.html and more books! https://www.penguin.co.uk/authors/7514/deborah-levy.html THANK YOU FOR LISTENING TO SEASON 6 OF THE GWA PODCAST! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
12/15/202147 minutes, 42 seconds
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Bisa Butler

In episode 77 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the fantastic artist, BISA BUTLER!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] One of the leading artists working today, Butler uses the medium of textile for her vivid and vibrant portraits of subjects that weave personal and historical narratives of Black life. From integrating members of her own family derived from old photographs to immortalising celebrated figures from Chadwick Boseman to Frederick Douglass, or those unknown from depression-era photographs, Butler’s oeuvre aims to, in her words, “tell the story – the African American side – of American life”. Born and raised in New Jersey, where she still resides today, Butler studied for her BA at the prestigious Howard University – where she was taught under the AfriCobra group – and for an MA at Montclair State University, it was here when she first began using the medium of textiles after assembling together a portrait quilt for her grandmother. Working as a high school art teacher for more than a decade, Butler worked on her fibre creations in school holidays and at the weekend, exhibiting at churches and community centres. And it is this medium which she has come to pioneer – not only by integrating portraits in such meticulous ways, but by fusing a range of fabrics in her work – from her father’s homeland of Ghana, batiks from Nigeria, and prints from South Africa. Butler’s rise has been astronomical. Having had her first solo exhibition in 2017, within just a few years she has had solo exhibitions at the Art Institute of Chicago and the Katonah Museum of Art; made two covers for TIME Magazine, as well as a cover for New York Magazine featuring Questlove, and for those in Los Angeles, her work is currently and prominently on view at LACMA’s hotly anticipated exhibition, Black American Portraits. LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/17/202158 minutes, 57 seconds
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William J Simmons on Cindy Sherman

In episode 76 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews William J Simmons on the legendary CINDY SHERMAN!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Emerging in the late 1970s and early 1980s with the “Pictures Generation”, Cindy Sherman, one of the greatest living artists, once said, “through a photograph you can make people believe anything". Transforming herself into unsettlingly convincing identities evocative of Hitchcock films, horror movies, clowns, housewives, supermodels, or valley girls, Sherman’s works so brilliantly hold a mirror up to our complicated and warped society. She explores our ever-changing, superficial, abject, aspirational or society obsessed identities, of which she has said “mask the life that we put on daily”. Born of her own frustrations with societal expectations of women, Sherman began to use her body as a political tool. Playing on society’s obsession with youth, artifice, and the so-often silent, objectified female character in movies, she began work on her Untitled Films Stills, 1977–80, a series which we discuss in depth. Made up of 69 small, black-and-white images of unnervingly familiar (and disturbing) filmic characters, she plays the blonde pin-up, the perfect housewife, and the secretarial graduate about to take on the big city. At other times, she appears stranded on the road alone. The power of Sherman’s work is that she shows us versions of the truth; making us question both the reality for women, but also the context in which this character exists. Cementing her name and earning much acclaim in the New York art world, as the 70s and 80s progressed Sherman continued to reinvent the wheel. From the valley-girl-style Centrefolds, she then went totally against society and the art market’s idea of beauty and switched her lens to one of abjection for Fairy Tales and Disasters, 1985–89. Later, she turned to history and then in 2008, her Society Portraits: with Sherman playing uncomfortably lifelike, wealthy socialites, blown up to the scale as if hung in the subject’s grandiose hallway – complete with gilded frames. Their faces are filled with prosthetics, their bodies fashioned from fake nails, visible wigs, warped tights, and dolly-like shoes, the closer you look, the clearer it becomes that they are visibly and intentionally complete living façade!!!! A curator, writer, and poet based between Los Angeles and New York, Simmons is also an expert on the Pictures Generation, a group of American artists who came of age in the early 1970s known for their critical analysis of media culture, one of whom includes the great Cindy Sherman. Sherman – who today rarely ever gives interviews, as she has said it is not her place to speak about her work – is known for redefining portraiture with her performative works in which she produces, stars and directs. MORE LINKS: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000775t https://www.npg.org.uk/whatson/cindy-sherman/exhibition/ https://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/31810-cindy-sherman LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/10/202144 minutes, 12 seconds
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Kudzanai-Violet Hwami

In episode 75 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most exciting young painters working today, Kudzanai-Violet Hwami !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Born in Zimbabwe and raised between there, South Africa, and the UK, Hwami is fast becoming one of the leading artists of her generation. Having received her BA from Wimbledon College of Arts, where she was shortlisted for the Bloomberg New Contemporaries, among many other prizes; this year, Hwami completed an MFA at the Ruskin School of Art at Oxford University. In 2019, she represented her country of birth at the 58th Venice Biennale alongside three artists, and in the same year had her first institutional solo show at Gasworks in London called (15,952km) via Trans – Sahara Highway N1. Rich in colour, subject, and scale, Hwami’s exuberant and vivid paintings of self-portraits and her extended family draw on the artist’s autobiographical history. Sourced from images ranging from the internet to family photo albums, they explore representations of the black body, along with notions of sexuality, gender and spirituality. Experimenting with photography and digitally collaged images, and often incorporating other media such as silkscreen, pastel or charcoal, Hwami’s bold painting’s offer an insight into a deeply personal world, whilst also appearing universal and familiar; the artist has said, ‘with the collapsing of geography and time and space, no longer am I confined in a singular society but simultaneously I am experiencing Zimbabwe and South Africa and the UK, in my mind. I’m in the UK, but I carry those places with me everywhere I go.’ But the reason why we are speaking with Kudzanai-Violet today is because she is currently the subject of and featured in two of my favourite exhibitions up in London right now: the Hayward Gallery’s painting show “Mixing it Up” and her solo exhibition, “when you need letters for your skin” at Victoria Miro Gallery, a show i found utterly spellbinding with its poignant, personal and raw paintings -- painting she describes as “visual letters”. https://www.victoria-miro.com/artists/240-kudzanai-violet-hwami/ https://www.gasworks.org.uk/exhibitions/kudzanai-violet-hwami-2019-09-19/ https://www.instagram.com/mwana.wevhu/?hl=en LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/3/202139 minutes, 56 seconds
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Flavia Frigeri on Marisol

In episode 74 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the acclaimed art historian, Flavia Frigeri on 60s Pop sensation, MARISOL!!!!!!  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Venezuelan-American artistMaria Sol Escobar (who went by the name of ‘Marisol’) (1930–2016) was hailed for her wooden sculptures with their deadpan expressions and awkward, playful stances. Merging hand-carved woodenfigures with real life objects, (forks, hats, boots, bags), she mocked right-wing America, commented on female identity, challenging Western ideals. Raised between Paris, Caracas, and Los Angeles, Marisol arrived in New York City in 1950, and quickly became a central part of the development of ‘Pop’. She attracted enormous attention in the early 60s(when she was more famous than her friend, Andy Warhol). Thousands queued up for her 1966 exhibition at Sidney Janis’s Gallery. Blank-faced, boxed in, comical and disturbing, Marisol’s hand-carved sculptures reflect the silenced and sexualised women idealised by 1960s media. Her women stare blankly ahead, void of personality, connection or interest, but draped in the high fashions of the day: sporting headbands, minidresses and heeled leather boots. Working at a time when male Pop artists favoured the ‘factory-like’ approach to working(with their entourage of assistants and engagement with hard-edged, industrial materials), Marisol hit back and formed her own version of Pop. Influenced by Pre-Colombian and folk art, she hand-carved each sculpture alone, perhaps to emphasise the only ‘human’ aspect of the figures who had otherwise been stripped of their identities, personas, (and brains), all for the purpose of pleasing or fitting into society. They are a stark reminder of the trappings of femininity, still very much alive today. Currently the ‘Chanel Curator for the Collection’ at the National Portrait Gallery, London, Flavia Frigeri has held numerous curatorial posts such as at Tate Modern, where she co-curated The World Goes Pop (2015), which told a global story of pop art, breaking new ground along the way. From Latin America to Asia, and from Europe to the Middle East, this explosive exhibition explored art produced around the world during the 1960s and 1970s, showing how different cultures and countries responded to the movement, including one of the greatest artists, of the 20th century, Marisol Sol Escobar. LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/26/202144 minutes, 6 seconds
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Jordan Casteel

In episode 73 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most trailblazing artists alive today, JORDAN CASTEEL !!!!!!!  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Born and raised in Denver and now based in New York City, Casteel is hailed for her portraits and landscapes imbued with expressivity and authenticity, gestural brushwork and bold swathes of colour, which capture the fleeting and very real moments of life, closeness, and honest relationships.   Since receiving her BA from Agnes Scott College, Georgia for Studio Art in 2011, and her MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Yale School of Art, 2014, the past seven years for Casteel have been monumental. In 2020, she presented a critically-acclaimed major solo exhibition titled “Within Reach,” at the New Museum, New York; and other recent institutional solo exhibitions include “Jordan Casteel: Returning the Gaze,” presented at both the Denver Art Museum, CO (2019), and the Iris & B. Gerald Cantor Center for Visual Arts at Stanford University, CA (2019–20).   In recent years, she has participated in exhibitions at institutional venues such as SF MoMA; Art Institute of Chicago; the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Crystal Bridges; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; MoCA Los Angeles, CA (2018); The Studio Museum in Harlem, NY (2017 and 2016), where between 2015–16 she participated in their prestigious residency programme, among many others. Casteel’s paintings have graced the front cover of American Vogue, Time Magazine, and in 2019 were blown up to 1,400 square foot for Manhattan’s High Line. As of 2021, Casteel is also the recipient of a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship.   But the reason why we are speaking with Jordan today, in London I might add, is because she has just unveiled one of the most hotly anticipated exhibitions of the year, and her first ever UK solo exhibition at Massimo De Carlo: “There is a Season”, a show focussing on the minutiae of daily interactions, conversations, and connections, which embraces the ebb and flow of lived experiences, articulated by the rhythmic tick of time, which I cannot wait to find out more about… FURTHER LINKS! https://www.massimodecarlo.com/exhibition/521/there-is-a-season http://www.jordancasteel.com/ https://caseykaplangallery.com/artists/casteel/ https://www.instagram.com/jordanmcasteel/?hl=en https://www.macfound.org/fellows/class-of-2021/jordan-casteel https://www.newmuseum.org/exhibitions/view/jordan-casteel-within-reach LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us:Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hesselSound editing by Nada SmiljanicResearch assistant: Viva RuggiArtwork by @thisisaliceskinnerMusic by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/20/202146 minutes, 25 seconds
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Tacita Dean

In episode 72 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most trailblazing artists alive today, Tacita Dean!!!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Working across drawings, photographs to installations and found objects, Tacita Dean is perhaps best known for her incredibly pioneering and staggeringly beautiful work in film. Interested in capturing the “truth of the moment, the film as a medium, and the sensibilities of the individual”, it is particularly her eloquent 16 and 35mm analogue films that are carried by a sense of history, time and place, which at times become portraits of the medium itself. Painterly, unpredictable, physical and truthful, she has described her films as “depictions of their subject and therefore closer to painting than they are to narrative cinema.” Born in Canterbury, UK, Tacita studied at the Falmouth School of Art, and earned her MA from the Slade. Rising to acclaim in the 1990s and early 2000s with films such as The Green Ray and Disappearance at Sea, the latter of which earned her a nomination for the prestigious Turner Prize, Tacita now lives between Berlin and Los Angeles. A royal academician and recipient of numerous prizes, such as the Hugo Boss Prize at the Guggenheim and Sixth Benesse Prize at the 51st Venice Biennale, Tacita has exhibited all over the world, from solo exhibitions at the Tate Britain, The Royal Academy, The National Gallery and the The National Portrait Gallery; between 2014–15 she was an artist in residence at the Getty Research Institute; and in 2011 she filled Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall with her mammoth, 13-metre-high film, Film, which has been described as a lovingly spliced poem of hand-tinted images. But the reason why we are also speaking with Tacita Dean today, is because she is about to unveil her most recent commission: the set design and costumes for a new ballet The Dante Project: a collaboration with the Royal Ballet’s choreographer Wayne McGregor at the Royal Opera House, London. And she is also the subject of solo exhibitions across both Frith Street spaces, featuring these forthcoming designs, plus incredible films such as 150 years of painting, featuring a conversation between Julie Mehretu and Luchita Hurtado, and Pan Amicus, which was filmed entirely on the estate of the Getty Center and Villa. Further links: https://www.frithstreetgallery.com/artists/5-tacita-dean/ https://www.roh.org.uk/tickets-and-events/the-dante-project-by-wayne-mcgregor-details https://www.mariangoodman.com/exhibitions/459-tacita-dean-the-dante-project-one-hundred-and-fifty/ LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/12/202138 minutes, 54 seconds
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Charlie Porter on Louise Bourgeois, Anne Truitt, Sarah Lucas, Martine Syms

In episode 71 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the acclaimed writer, fashion critic, and art curator, Charlie Porter on Louise Bourgeois, Anne Truitt, Sarah Lucas and Martine Syms !!!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] In this episode, which will work slightly differently from normal, we will focus on four artists mentioned in Charlie's latest book, one of my favourite books of this year: What Artists Wear!!! An incredibly fascinating book that chronicles the lives and careers of artists through their clothes and how they have worn, incorporated, used, recycled, referenced, and drawn from garments from the early 20th century to the present day. From chapters dedicated to Louise Bourgeois and Martine Syms, an in-depth look into the history of the suit (think Frida Kahlo to Georgia O’Keeffe); a focus on the subject of workwear with the likes of Agnes Martin and Barbara Hepworth, and how they dressed ‘for the studio’. What ‘casual’ means today, how artists have worn jeans, how they integrate clothing for performance or made ‘wearable art’, to those who use garments as their chosen medium or for acts of transformation. This book, for me, provided such a rich, fascinating insight into artists and their work, mostly for the reason that it offered an alternative viewpoint. Never has something made me think so deeply about how artists presented themselves, and in effect our own identities, but also how clothing has been used in art in so many different ways, circumstances, and for so many different reasons. ENJOY!!!!!! A visiting lecturer in fashion at the University of Westminster, Charlie is one of the leading cultural commentators of our time and has been described as one of the most influential fashion journalists of his generation, with many of his garments now in the collection of the V&A. Further links: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/314/314590/what-artists-wear/9780141991252.html#:~:text=In%20What%20Artists%20Wear%2C%20style,at%20home%20and%20at%20play. https://lismorecastlearts.ie/read-watch-listen/curator-of-palimpsest-charlie-porter-gives-an-introduction-to-the-exhibition LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Sound recording by Amber Miller Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/5/202149 minutes, 49 seconds
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Nick Willing on Paula Rego

In episode 70 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the SON, Nick Willing, of one of the greatest living artists, his mother, PAULA REGO !!!!!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Wow is this one of the most joyous, brilliant, electric and INSIGHTFUL episodes. Nick speaks so beautifully on his mother, her life, her art, her commitment to painting, her greatness at telling stories and twisting them on its head. A few years ago, Nick, a director and writer, made an incredible documentary, "Secrets and Stories", where he filmed and interviewed his mother over the course of a year.  Rego, now 86, is currently the subject of a MAMMOTH exhibition of her work at Tate Britain. Featuring paintings, drawings, collages and more, spanning from the 1950s up until recent years, Rego’s works have dealt with both epic and personal stories on large and small scales. Painting our deepest secrets, desires, fears, or the familiar stories we learnt in childhood – but question as adults – freedom, family dynamics, art history, and so much more, I don’t think there is a single artist whose works have captured me so much. After all, she has said: “Art is the only place you can do what you like. That’s freedom.” Born in 1935, Rego grew up in Portugal under the military dictatorship of Salazar. She enrolled at London’s Slade School in the 50s. Already as a teenager was Rego able to look deep into people and paint expressive truths, as seen in an early portrait of her father. Returning to Portugal, she painted the bloody reality of life as a human, but most importantly, as a woman.  Through her paintings, she gave (and gives) women a voice. For the record, until 2007, women couldn't have a legal abortion (a change in law in part thanks to Rego’s propagandistic, brave, but painful images of women experiencing unsafe abortions). Rego documented life living with an unfaithful husband (her work The Dance says it all: the male protagonist’s untrustworthy gaze that catches our eyes, beautifully described by Nick), who became progressively ill in his later years, and who she cared for.  But although her works are personal to her, they speak universally, spanning time, age, cultures. They feel utterly contemporary, but also historic. They address epic themes on an epic scale. They feel Baroque, operatic, theatrical. But always so real, with Rego always bringing it back to the personal. I hope you enjoy this episode! Further links:  Tate show! https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/paula-rego https://www.victoria-miro.com/artists/238-paula-rego/ Nick's documentary!!!! You can't miss: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7eNo6goFeg&t=1s&ab_channel=Byrnzie400 LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant + sound recorder: Viva Ruggi  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinnerMusic by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
9/28/202157 minutes, 17 seconds
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Leilah Babirye

In episode 68 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the great sculptor, Leilah Babirye !!!!!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Working across painting, sculpture, to assemblage; on paper, ceramics, wood and more; using carving, burnishing, weaving and wielding, since graduating around ten years ago, Babirye has become one of the most acclaimed and forward thinking sculptors of this generation. Hailed for her experimental processes, Babirye is also renowned for her vital addressing of narratives surrounding identity, sexuality, and human rights, and her frequent use of traditional West African masks as a way of exploring queer identities.  Born in Kampala, Uganda, and now working in Brooklyn, NYC, Babirye studied art at Makerere University in Kampala, where she was exposed to some formative teaching by some formidable female sculptors. However, in the wake of Uganda’s 2013 anti-homosexuality bill, Babirye went to NYC where she participated in the acclaimed Fire Island Artist Residency. In 2018, she was granted asylum in the US, and has since risen to prominence with two major solo exhibitions in New York City at Gordon Robichaux.  Babirye’s work is like nothing I’ve ever seen before. Both mighty and intimate, heroic and fragile, whether it be her paintings, ceramics or sculptures, they never fail to blow me away. Often using wood or ceramics as a base, she then embellishes them with discarded objects collected from the streets, and what results are towering, powerful, glittering regal-like figures, who unite in the form of imagined queer clans. Speaking about her work she has said:  “Through the act of burning, nailing and assembling, I aim to address the realities of being gay in the context of Uganda and Africa in general. Recently, my working process has been fuelled by a need to find a language to respond to the recent passing of the anti-homosexuality bill in Uganda.” But! The reason why we are speaking with Leilah today, is because last summer she had an AMAZING exhibition at London's Stephen Friedman Gallery, which we discuss in depth! I hope you enjoy this episode! Further links:  https://www.stephenfriedman.com/artists/66-leilah-babirye/ http://www.gordonrobichaux.com/leilah.babirye.html https://www.theartnewspaper.com/interview/leilah-babirye https://www.newyorker.com/goings-on-about-town/art/leilah-babirye LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
9/21/202141 minutes, 30 seconds
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Phyllida Barlow

In episode 68 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the great sculptor, PHYLLIDA BARLOW !!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Simultaneously colossal and intimate, precarious and triumphant, stoic and ephemeral, Phyllida Barlow’s all-engulfing sculptures, made from cement, cardboard, fabric, to chicken wire, don’t just force a redressing of sculpture in art history, but they question the limitless potentials of the versatile medium. Taking influence from her surroundings, and in turn influencing and challenging ours, they distort all sense of perspective, challenge sculptural conventions, and make us breathe, inhabit, and experience the medium in ways that no artist has done before. Full of tension and awkwardness, but also the familiarity of the everyday, for over fifty years Barlow's sculptures have questioned not only the history of the medium, but the role of monuments in modern day society. Born in Newcastle, and raised in postwar London, Barlow studied at Chelsea School of Art, and went on to complete her MA at the Slade, the latter of which she taught at for four decades, until 2009. Barlow has exhibited across the globe at the world’s most renowned museums including, the Serpentine, taking over the Tate’s Duveen Galleries, Haus de Kunst, and in 2017, represented Britain at the Venice Biennale. She is also a Royal Academician. But the reason why we are speaking with Barlow today is because she has not only just published an incredible book on her collected lectures, writings, and interviews – of which a favourite of mine is her on Eva Hesse, aptly titled, Lost for Words – but she is currently the subject of a solo presentation at London’s Highgate Cementary AND an exhibition at Hauser and Wirth, the latter of which features a large-scale ‘sculptural intervention’ consisting of over 100 brightly coloured cement posts more than 20 feet tall, forming a circular barricade, which in typical Barlow style, blocks, stunts, distorts our normal viewing space and forces us to re-situate ourselves in the galleries, resulting in new paths forged, new sight lines experienced. I hope you enjoy this episode! Further links: www.hauserwirth.com/hauser-wirth-ex…phyllida-barlow www.royalacademy.org.uk/article/digit…t-documentary www.hauserwirth.com/artists/2826-phyllida-barlow www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-bri…4-phyllida-barlow hausderkunst.de/en/exhibitions/phyllida-barlow LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
9/14/202147 minutes, 52 seconds
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Raquel Cecilia Mendieta on Ana Mendieta

In episode 67 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the filmmaker Raquel Cecilia Mendieta on her aunt, one of the greatest artists ever to live: Ana Mendieta.  The day of this episode's release: 8 September 2021, is the 36th anniversary of Ana's death, who died aged 36 in 1985.  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] "I use the earth as a canvas and my soul as an instrument." A pioneer of Performance Art who used the body as her primary tool, Mendieta’s career was radically experimental. Born in pre-revolutionHavana, Cuba, Mendieta’s life changed when Castro came to power, and her father(an enemy of the new regime) was imprisoned. Exiled from Cuba and sent toAmerica – arriving in Florida then settling in Iowa, aged 12 – Mendieta remained separated from her parents and birth country for years. Enrolling in the University of Iowa, it was here where she thrived. First experimenting with painting, Mendieta went on to employ the body as her primary medium. Constructing her 'Facial Cosmetic Variations' and 'Facial Hair Transplants', she pioneered the use of props and prosthetics as 'acts of transformations'. But being "possessed by nature",  by 1973, she was exploring her siluetas.  Interrogating themes of memory, history, displacement, and rebirth, Mendieta used her body as her instrument when conducting more than 200 performative and ephemeral ‘sculptures’ (which she called siluetas). Through methods of burning, carving, or planting, Mendieta sought to ‘become one with the earth’, moulding the outlines of her body onto the soil of Iowa, Mexico, and from 1980, Cuba.  In this episode we discuss the pure POWER of Mendieta's work, her connection to the Earth, life in Iowa and NYC and her later career at the American Academy in Rome. Ana was a true pioneer. And speaking to the fantastic Raquel, who has made many beautiful films on her aunt, we get an insight into who she was, her rebellious spirit, love and care for those around her, and pure excitement for her life and work.  Enjoy!!! Further links:  https://www.galerielelong.com/artists/estate-of-ana-mendieta https://jeudepaume.org/en/evenement/ana-mendieta-2/ https://alisonjacques.com/artists/ana-mendieta LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
9/7/202151 minutes, 3 seconds
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Lisa Yuskavage

In episode 66 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the acclaimed painter, LISA YUSKAVAGE! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Commanding and vulnerable, inviting and resisting, psychologically intense, addressing shame and provocations, Lisa Yuskavage began her paintings of doll-like, pre-pubescent, semi-naked women in the early 1990s. Often emerging from a technicolored, acid-like pool of saturated pinks, greens, reds, or yellows, Yuskavage combines art historical colouring techniques for her images that are as much about an exploration of light and colour, as they are about the female figure. Belonging to no one but themselves, her figures claim the gaze free from authority and own their sexuality. Born in Philadelphia, and having received her BFA from the Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in 1984 and her MFA from Yale, since the early 1990s, Lisa Yuskavage has been a force in the New York painting scene, whose incredible influence has spread worldwide, especially for younger artists working today – as often mentioned on this podcast – for her bold, radical, pioneering and innovative use of colour, subject, style and form. In museum collections worldwide, including the Hammer, Hirshhorn, ICA Boston, The Met, MoMA, Whitney, SF MoMA and many more, Yuskavage’s work has been the subject of numerous solo exhibitions, including at Institute of Contemporary Art, University of Pennsylvania, Museo Tamayo Arte Contemporáneo, Mexico City, the Aspen Art Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art, the latter of which is currently on view until 19 September 2021. But… the reason why we are speaking with Yuskavage today is because this September, 2021, she will unveil a series of new works for an exhibition with David Zwirner in NYC, where she is represented. Titled, New Paintings, the exhibition brings together her signature color-field compositions saturated in jewel-like pigments of red, green, yellow, and pink, with figurative depictions full of theatricality, tension, dynamism and vulnerability, depicting models – which recall the tension between seer and seen – or dramatic scenes derived from the studio or art-school classrooms, all of which are rooted in both art history and the present day. Further links: https://www.davidzwirner.com/artists/lisa-yuskavage https://artbma.org/exhibition/lisa-yuskavage-wilderness https://yuskavage.com/ https://www.davidzwirner.com/exhibitions/2021/more-life/jesse-murry LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
8/31/202150 minutes, 8 seconds
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Eileen Myles on Joan Mitchell

WELCOME BACK TO SEASON 6 OF THE GWA PODCAST! In episode 65 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the acclaimed poet EILEEN MYLES on the legendary painter, JOAN MITCHELL! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] A resident of New York City since 1974, Eileen Myles has been one of the greatest living poets of the last few decades. Their recent poem Eight Poems and Joan Mitchell’s City Landscape, is featured in the most extensive book of Joan Mitchell to date (published by Yale University Press: https://yalebooks.yale.edu/book/9780300247275/joan-mitchell); a text exploring Myles’s own relationship to the late great artist, whose tough, bold, gestural, almost indestructible 1955 painting, City Landscape, is described by them as “bitch work. It’s tooth and claw”. One of the foremost Abstract Expressionist painters, Joan Mitchell was born in 1925 in Chicago. A competitive figure skater as a kid, Mitchell entered the NY art scene in 1950, and a year later, exhibited in the iconic 1951 Ninth Street Show.  A frequenter of the hard-drinking Cedar Tavern, immersed in the NY 50s poetry scene (she was a great friend of Frank O'Hara) and famed for her feisty personality, as a painter Mitchell was a genius at transforming paint into gusts of light, energy and movement.Applying her oils with strokes that varied from feathery and translucent to thick and aggressive, she looked to the French Impressionists for influence.  Whereas in the first half of the 1950s, Mitchell’s work resembled lyrical, loosely formed shapes, as the decade progressed(following her regular travels to France from ‘55), her work transformed into more intense compositions. At times working on paintings far taller than she was, you can almost imagine her jumping up, fighting the work with industrial, heavyweight brushes.  Whether it be rage at the system or anger at her father, the vigour of her gesture proves her worthy of being recognised as one of the greatest artists of the 20th century. Not to mention the dazzling tones these paintings emits. Witness one in the flesh, and you get lost in her world. As one of the leading poets ALIVE, Myles's take on Mitchell is fascinating -- listen out for the poem they wrote about preparing for the podcast too!  Further links:  https://www.joanmitchellfoundation.org/joan-mitchell https://www.davidzwirner.com/artists/joan-mitchell https://artbma.org/exhibition/joan-mitchell/ https://www.eileenmyles.com/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gTWH2rRJKXA&ab_channel=LouisianaChannel LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Nada Smiljanic Research assistant: Viva Ruggi Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
8/24/202146 minutes, 15 seconds
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Ali Smith on Barbara Hepworth, Pauline Boty, Tacita Dean, and Lorenza Mazzetti

In episode 64 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the acclaimed writer ALI SMITH (!!!!) on Pauline Boty, Barbara Hepworth, Tacita Dean and Lorenza Mazzetti !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] The FINAL episode of Season 5 of the GWA Podcast, we speak to one of the GREATEST authors and writers in the world, Ali Smith, about the artists who act as the 'spine' for her recently-completed series of four stand-alone novels, grouped as the Seasonal Quartet: Pauline Boty in Autumn, Barbara Hepworth in Winter, Tacita Dean in Spring, and filmmaker Lorenza Mazetti in Summer, who in their own way, as presences as people, spirits, or their work, interweave into each story so beautifully.  Written in the space of four years, between 2016–2020, these books track and are witness to, some of the most unprecedented, and extraordinary events in living history. Beginning with Autumn, known as the first-Brexit novel, the final book in the series, Summer, was written in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic. Born in Inverness, Scotland, and now based in Cambridge, Ali Smith is acclaimed for her fictional work, and non-fiction writing on some of my favourite artists. The author of Public library and other stories, How to be both, Shire, Artful, and MANY OTHERS, Smith has been shortlisted for the Booker Prize, the Orange Prize, The Man Booker Prize, and has won the Bailey's Prize, the Goldsmiths Prize and the Costa Novel of the Year Award for her brilliant novel, How To Be Both. PAULINE BOTY – AUTUMN One of the most important artists to change the face of British Pop Art (as well as being an Actress, TV star, radio commentator, who read Proust) Pauline Boty EPITOMISED the possibilities of the modern Pop woman. She captured the glamour and vivacity of the 1960s, including those of music stars to film icons, think Marylin to Elvis, Boty worshipped the proliferation of imagery available in the post-War era.  BARBARA HEPWORTH – WINTER The Titan of British sculpture, Hepworth set up a studio in St Ives during World War II, and is hailed for her small-to-colossal hand-carved wooden sculptures. Cast in stone and bronze, sometimes embedded with strings or flashes of colour, and  fluctuating between hard and soft, light and dark, round and straight, solid and hollow, the spirit of Hepworth's work is at the spine of Spring and through Ali's incredible writing makes us SEE differently.  TACITA DEAN – SPRING Filmmaker and artist, Dean, seven-metre-wide work The Montafon Letter is a vast chalk drawing on nine blackboards joined together, looms in Spring (and is also an exhibition visited by the protagonist Richard at the Royal Academy). Dean says in some ways the work about Brexit and about hope; “hope that the last avalanche will uncover us”. Much like Smith's post-Brexit novels.  LORENZA MAZZETTI – SUMMER A new artist for me, this story of the Italian-born filmmaker who came of age in the 1960s is one of the most profound in the history of art. I am not going to tell you anything else other than listen to Ali tell her story.  LINKS TO ALI'S BOOKS! https://www.waterstones.com/book/autumn/ali-smith/9780241973318 https://www.waterstones.com/book/winter/ali-smith/9780241973332 https://www.waterstones.com/book/spring/ali-smith/9780241973356 https://www.waterstones.com/book/summer/ali-smith/9780241973370 We also discuss How To Be Both at the very start! https://www.waterstones.com/book/how-to-be-both/ali-smith/9780141025209 LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Winnie Simon Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
5/11/20211 hour, 5 minutes, 17 seconds
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Emma Ridgway on Ruth Asawa

In episode 63 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed curator Emma Ridgway of Modern Art Oxford on the majorly influential, RUTH ASAWA (where she is set to have an exhibition in 2022!!!).  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Artist, educator, trailblazer and sculptor, Ruth Asawa is up there with the greatest and most influential artists of the entire 20th century, Best known for her looped-wire sculptures that expand form, defy structure, and blurring all illusions between hard and soft, tall and small, strongand fragile, RuthAsawa's works ranged from colossal to small enough to fit in your hand.   The fourth of seven siblings, Ruth Asawa was brought up on a rural farm in California by immigrant parents of Japanese descent. Curious and energetic, she spent her childhood helping out on the farm by wiring beans, and attending Japanese calligraphy classes. But as it was the 1930s, the racial prejudice against people of Japanese heritage was worsening. Following the attack on Pearl Harbour, around 120,000 Japanese-Americans were placed in internment camps, including a teenage Ruth Asawa. Which in this episode, we speak about in great depth.   But against the demonstrative conditions and dehumanising set up, communities came together.Providing education for the young people in the camps, professional artists stepped up, and Ruth was taught by some of the greatest Disney animators of the day. Shaped by her teachers, Asawa set out to be an educator herself. However, despite training for three years, was denied a job due to racial prejudices.  So, in the summer of 1946, she enrolled at Black MountainCollege, and it was here where she flourished: ‘I spent three years there and encountered great teachers who gave me enough stimulation to last me for the rest of my life.’ Taking classes with Josef and Anni Albers to Buckminster Fuller (whose hair she cut for a bit of extra money!), Asawa took the BMC approach to her career, by inextricably linking art with life, and life with art.  Moving to SF in '49, Asawa's legacy in setting up art education is tough to compete with. And it is there that she still remains an icon, with the Ruth Asawa School of Arts still very much in full swing today.  I am not exaggerating when I say this may be the most extraordinary, hopeful, brilliant story in art history. I really hope you enjoy this as much as I did.   LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! FURTHER LINKS! https://www.davidzwirner.com/artists/ruth-asawa https://www.modernartoxford.org.uk/event/citizen-of-the-universe/ https://ruthasawa.com/life/black-mountain-college/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Winnie Simon Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/ Ruth Asawa: Citizen of the Universe is curated by Emma Ridgway and Vibece Salther, organised in partnership by Modern Art Oxford UK and Stavanger Art Museum Norway, supported by the Terra Foundation for American Art.    Opens 28 May - 21 Aug 2022 at Modern Art Oxford then 1 Oct 2022 - 22 Jan 2023 at Stavanger Art Museum. I CAN'T WAIT!
5/4/20211 hour, 2 minutes, 8 seconds
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Cindy Kang on Berthe Morisot

In episode 62 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed curator CINDY KANG of the Barnes Foundation on the Impressionist giant, BERTHE MORISOT! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW is this an incredible insight into Morisot, who was the FIRST woman to ever exhibit with the Impressionists in 1874, and THE woman who paved the way for the Modern Parisian woman.  Praised for her quick, feathery, brushstrokes, infused with light and vivid colouring, Morisot's subjects ranged from family life to the fashionable women of Paris. Unlike her male counterparts, Morisot had access to the private boudoirs of women, who she captured full of vivacity, and radiating in modernity. Born into an upper-middle class family, along with her sister, Edma, she showed great passion and skill for art from an early age. As a result, they were encouraged and financed by their wealthy parents, who hired one of the foremost tutors in Paris, who told them they were so good it was a CATASTROPHE!  For the next decade, Morisot would become fully immersed in Parisian life, exhibiting, socialising, and befriending the likes of Édouard Manet, whose brother, Eugène, she would go on to marry. He was fully supportive of her career. Morisot was written about by Émile Zola, and had her work sold by the best picture dealers in Paris.  Continuing to radicalise conventions in painting, during the 1880s, Morisot’s brushwork became increasingly loose. Towards the end of her life, Morisot was veering towards working in a Symbolist fashion, as executed in one of her final paintings of her daughter, Portrait of Miss J. M. (Julie Dreaming), 1894, created the year before her life was sadly cut short due to a battle with pneumonia. LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! FURTHER LINKS! Cindy's exhibition:  https://www.barnesfoundation.org/whats-on/morisot https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/29/berthe-morisot-woman-impressionist-emerges-from-the-margins https://nmwa.org/art/artists/berthe-morisot/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Winnie Simon Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/27/202149 minutes, 17 seconds
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Stephanie Rosenthal on Yayoi Kusama

In episode 61 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed curator and Director of Berlin's Gropius Bau, Dr Stephanie Rosenthal on the legendary artist, YAYOI KUSAMA!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW is this an incredible insight to the iconic Japanese artist, who works across film to painting, performance, sculpture to installation, drawing and collage, to her famous Infinity Mirror Rooms, who is about to be the subject of a MAJOR exhibition at Gropius Bau (curated by Stephanie!!). Info here: https://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/en/berliner-festspiele/programm/bfs-gesamtprogramm/programmdetail_299677.html Born in Matsumoto City, Japan in 1929, to parents who ran a plant factory, the young Kusama studied painting in Kyoto. Establishing herself in the Japanese art scene from her early twenties, it was after a brief correspondence with none other than GEORGIA O'KEEFFE in the 50s, that she abandoned her native country. She arrived in NYC in 1958, with a suitcase of drawings and one aspiration: “To grab everything that went on in the city and become a star”.  Formidably ambitious, with “mountains of creative energy stored inside myself”, she succeeded. Situating herself amongst the cultural New York avant-garde elite, Kusama immediately began to make paintings evocative of the American style, as seen in her Infinity Net series. However, she went one step further with her microscopic, miniscule, repetitive and monochromatically coloured gestures that bridged both the emotive and visible brush mark of Abstract Expressionism and technical precision of Minimalism.  She went on to create thousands of soft sculptures of in which phallic protrusions covered household objects. Kusama also pushed forward ways of working with performance, installation and underground films... however was often copied by her male contemporaries! In 1973, she moved back to Japan, however in 1993, she returned to the spotlight when representing Japan at the Venice Biennale where she showcased all-encompassing mirror rooms. Re-catapulted to stardom in the western art world, Kusama today remains (arguably) the most famous female artist on the planet: between 2013–2018 she drew in FIVE MILLION visitors alone! LISTEN NOW + ENJOY!!! FURTHER LINKS! Stephanie's exhibition:  https://www.berlinerfestspiele.de/en/berliner-festspiele/programm/bfs-gesamtprogramm/programmdetail_299677.html https://www.victoria-miro.com/artists/31-yayoi-kusama/ For those in NYC! https://www.nybg.org/event/kusama/ ...and in LONDON THIS SUMMER!  https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/yayoi-kusama-infinity-mirror-roomsWhitney Museum collection!  https://whitney.org/exhibitions/yayoi-kusama#exhibition-artworks https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/yayoi-kusama-8094/introduction-yayoi-kusama https://www.davidzwirner.com/artists/yayoi-kusama Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Winnie Simon Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/20/202149 minutes, 28 seconds
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Julie Mehretu

In episode 60 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviewsone of the greatest artists of our time, the inimitable JULIE MEHRETU !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Revolutionising abstract painting for the twenty-first century, filled with frenzied vortexes and orderly and disorderly lines, Mehretu is acclaimed for her all-encompassing, large-scale, gestural paintings built up through layers of acrylic paint, and overlaid with frenetic mark-making. Referencing art history – from the Old Masters, dynamism of the Italian Futurists to the enveloping scale of Abstract Expressionism – and past civilizations while addressing the most immediate conditions of our contemporary moment, including migration, revolution, climate change, global capitalism, and technology, Mehretu’s points of departure are architecture, people and the city. In particular, the densely populated urban environments of the 21st Century. Working on a colossal scale, with intricate details and pockets of information when witnessed up close, step back and Mehretu’s paintings enable you to survey a world from afar. Erupting with colour, line, energy and movement, they evoke histories both evolving and collapsing, much like the conflictingly progressive, yet backward, world we find ourselves in today. Born in Ethiopia, and from an early age, raised in the United States, where she lives and works today, Mehretu studied at the Kalamazoo College, Michigan, followed by RISD. An artist-in-resident at the esteemed Studio Museum in Harlem in the early 2000s, Mehretu has since gone on to exhibit extensively around the world, from solo exhibitions at the Louisiana in Copenhagen to the Guggenheim in New York City, to numerously participating in Biennales all over the globe, from Venice to Sydney to Istanbul. She is a recipient of the American Art Award from the Whitney Museum of American Art, the prestigious MacArthur Fellows Award, and has been awarded the US Department of State Medal of Arts Award. But the reason why we are speaking today, is because Mehretu is currently the subject of a major touring retrospective of her work from the last 25 years, co-curated by esteemed curators Christine Y. Kim with Rujeko Hockley, which is currently on view at The Whitney, was previously at LACMA and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, Georgia, and will go on to the Walker Art Center, Minneapolis. And unsurprisingly, has been met with astonishing reviews! Check out her Whitney show here: https://whitney.org/exhibitions/julie-mehretu And WOW, is this one of the most enriching, enlightening conversations I have ever had. THANK YOU JULIE!!! Works discussed:  Migration Direction Map (Large), 1996 Untitled (Yellow with Ellipses), 1998 Renegrade Excavation, 2001 Stadia Series, 2004 Mogamma Seres, 2012 Conjured Parts (eye), Ferguson, 2016 FURTHER LINKS! https://whitecube.com/artists/artist/julie_mehretu https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/mehretu-mogamma-a-painting-in-four-parts-part-3-t13997 https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/julie-mehretu https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/21/arts/design/julie-mehretu-and-success.html Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Winnie Simon Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/13/202153 minutes, 32 seconds
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Jennifer Higgie on Suzanne Valadon

In episode 59 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews acclaimed writer JENNIFER HIGGIE on the great Parisian painter, Suzanne Valadon (1863–1938) !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW, is this one of the greatest stories in art history of the acrobat-turned-artist-model-turned-artist Valadon (born Marie-Clémentine), who grew up in Montmartre, the bohemian quarter of Paris; supported herself from the age of ten; but whose life took a turn after a fall from an acrobat in her early teens!  Modelling for the likes of Renoir to Toulouse-Lautrec, despite her lack of finances to afford formal art classes, she learnt via the backdoor: by studying her male acquaintances, and close friend Edgar Degas oversaw drawing.  Known as a wild character (who spent earnings on lavish fur coats), Valadon had a complicated personal life and was often caught up in passionate love affairs (including breaking the heart of composer, Erik Satie). Taking influence from the glittering, shard-like surfaces as pioneered by the Impressionists, at the dawn of the new century, she had developed a distinct language. By 1909, she was painting professionally. Defying all gender conventions and exuding the new freedoms of women, she painted herself nude alongside Utter, (her electrician lover twenty-one-years-junior), swept up in an overgrown Eden as characters Adam and Eve.  In 1911, at aged 46, Valadon had a solo exhibition at the gallery of renowned dealer (and former clown!) Clovis Sagot, and soon cemented herself as a regular exhibitor at the Paris Salon. Within the next few years, she would stage more successful exhibitions, and in the 1920s produced her best work yet. One of which was her monumental self-portrait, The Blue Room, 1923. Lying leisurely in striped trousers and a strapped top, with a cigarette hanging out her mouth and books pushed to the back of the bed, Valadon affirmed her independence and room of one’s own with assured confidence and character. She was a modern Parisian woman in the 1920s, who could do whatever she wanted, whenever she pleased. She rose to the peak of her fame in the 1920s, and had four major retrospective exhibitions during her lifetime. Through her paintings and prints, Valadon transformed the genre of the female nude by providing an insightful expression of women’s experiences. Don't miss this AMAZING story as told by Higgie, whose INCREDIBLE book "The Mirror and the Palette: 500 Years of Women's Self Portraits" has just been released! See here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-mirror-and-the-palette/jennifer-higgie/9781474613774 WORKS DISCUSSED! The Blue Room (1923)  Adam and Eve (1909) The Joy of Life (1911)  Family Portrait (1912) Self Portrait (1927) Portrait of Erik Satie (1892) PAINTINGS FEATURING VALADON! The Hangover (1889) by Toulouse-Lautrec Dance at Bougival (1883) by Renoir Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Winnie Simon Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/6/202144 minutes, 16 seconds
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Diane Radycki on Paula Modersohn Becker

In episode 58 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed art historian, Diane Radycki, on the groundbreaking German Modernist PAULA MODERSOHN BECKER!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW, is this one of the most incredible stories in art history. A precursor to German Expressionism, Modersohn Becker was not only one of the first German artists to bring the intense and dazzling colours and brushstrokes to her home country, but the first woman artist in HISTORY to paint herself nude!!  Born in 1876, Modersohn Becker was raised in Bremen, attended art school in St John's Wood, London, went on to study at the traditional Society of Berlin Women Artists, and after spending a summer visiting the Worpswede art colony, settled with the group from 1898. However, she wasn't satisfied.  On the stroke of a new century, 1 January 1900, Modersohn Becker took a train heading for Paris, and it was here where she became enraptured by the French Modernists, their vibrant, fragmented forms. But most importantly, where she was exposed to drawing from the nude figure! Taking up portraits and scenes of peasant life, Modersohn-Becker’s work exuded strong, sun-drenched intense colouring and dynamism, full of expression and emotion (in 1902 she recalled, ‘personal feeling is the main thing’). But having returned to Germany, during this time she was stifled by her marriage, sucked into Worpswede life and longing for Paris. Retuning for the last time in 1906, she abandoned her life: ‘I have left Otto Modersohn and stand poised between my new life. What will it be like? And what will I be like in my new life? Now it is all about to happen.’  During spring and summer of 1906, Modersohn-Becker produced dozens of paintings. Predominantly self-portraits and portraits of un-idealised, unconventional, and un-sensual looking women, she filled with canvases with simplified flattened forms. Radickye makes the convincing case that Modersohn Becker was even the influence behind Picasso's Gertrude Stein! Immersed in her life in Paris, attending exhibitions, Modersohn-Becker was enjoying life as a free woman. But having returned to Germany in 1907, where she was to give birth that October, aged 31, she died just a few days later, leaving behind over 700 paintings and 1000 drawings.. Don't miss this AMAZING story as told by Radickye – the woman responsible for MoMA's acquisition of a Self Portrait by Paula. Further links: Diane's book! https://yalebooks.co.uk/display.asp?k=9780300185300https://www.moma.org/artists/4037 https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/paula-modersohn-becker-kunsthalle-bremen/UAKCairRWHB0KQ?hl=en https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/paula-modersohn-becker-modern-paintings-missing-piece https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/26/arts/design/paula-modersohn-becker-and-her-thwarted-ambitions.html https://www.newyorker.com/books/page-turner/paula-modersohn-becker-modern-paintings-missing-piece Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
3/30/202145 minutes, 4 seconds
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Katarina Jerinic on Francesca Woodman

In episode 57 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the esteemed curator of the Woodman Foundation, Katarina Jerinic on the GROUNDBREAKING photographer, Francesca Woodman!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW is this an incredible insight to the American photographer, who in her short career produced an extraordinary body of work (over 800 photographs) acclaimed for its unique style and range of innovative techniques. Born in Colorado in 1958, at the age of thirteen Francesca Woodman took her first self-portrait. From then, up until her untimely death in 1981, aged just 22, she produced incredibly visceral, expressive, dreamlike and gothic-like photographs. From the beginning: she was both the subject and object in her work.  Fragmenting her body hiding behind furniture, using reflective surfaces such as mirrors to conceal herself, or simply cropping the image, Woodman uses photography to emphasise the isolated body parts of the human figure. Slightly surrealist, her hauntingly narrative, small-scale photographs are almost akin to plays. They are at once theatrical, Baroque and operatic, as well as still and silent. In this incredibly in-depth insight into her career as told by Jerinic, who was close to Francesca's artist parents, Betty and George Woodman, we are given a full appreciation for Woodman's life and work. From growing up in Italy, attending RISD, and her final years in New York.  Since 1986, Woodman's work has been exhibited widely and has been the subject of extensive critical study in the United States and Europe. Woodman is often situated alongside her contemporaries of the late 1970s such as Ana Mendieta and Hannah Wilke, yet her work also foreshadows artists such as Cindy Sherman, Sarah Lucas, Nan Goldin and Karen Finley in their subsequent dialogues with the self and reinterpretations of the female body. ENJOY!! Further links: https://www.woodmanfoundation.org/ WORKS DISCUSSED: Self Portrait, Aged 13, 1972 https://www.woodmanfoundation.org/artworks/self-portrait-at-13 https://www.victoria-miro.com/artists/7-francesca-woodman/ Space 2 Series (Nature Lab), 1975–76 https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2014/aug/31/searching-for-the-real-francesca-woodman#img-2 Space2 Series, 1976 https://www.woodmanfoundation.org/artworks/untitled-13 Polka Dots Series, 1976 https://www.woodmanfoundation.org/artworks/from-polka-dots Angel Series, Rome, Italy, 1977 https://www.woodmanfoundation.org/artworks/from-angel-series Untitled, 1977–78 https://www.woodmanfoundation.org/artworks/untitled-4 Eel Series, Venice, 1978 https://www.woodmanfoundation.org/artworks/from-eel-series Blueprint for a Temple, 1980 https://www.woodmanfoundation.org/artworks/blueprint-for-a-temple Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
3/24/202147 minutes, 55 seconds
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The Gee's Bend Quiltmakers!

In episode 56 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews Loretta Pettway Bennett and Mary Margaret Pettway of the GEE'S BEND QUILTMAKERS! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Located in a small, remote and rural community in Alabama, USA, officially known as Boykin, which is surrounded on three sides by river and has a population of around 700, the women of Gee’s Bend have been creating hundreds of quilt masterpieces dating from the early twentieth century to the present day. Electric, off-beat, full of flair, as well as both vivid and vibrant, for decades, the women of Gee’s Bend have adopted a wide range of material for their improvisatory, jazzy and geometric quilts. From denim to old patterned clothes, which they have referred to as, making something shine from something that has been thrown away.  Often quilting - and singing - in groups as they configure their stunning works, some of the women of Gee’s Bend are in the collection of the Souls Grown Deep Foundation, a non-profit organisation dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the contributions of African American artists from the Southern states, of which our guest and quilter extraordinaire, Mary Margaret Pettway is chair.  Although having been quilting for decades, with some claiming the tradition stemming from the 1800s, it has only been in recent years that the women have come to international renown and attention, exhibiting at major museums all over the world, from the Whitney Museum, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, New York’s The Met, Margate’s Turner Contemporary, and now, their first ever solo exhibition in my hometown of London at Alison Jacques Gallery, which shows quilts spanning nearly 100 years. I should add that our guests today are first cousins, who come from an important lineage of female quilters and are showing alongside three generations worth of ancestors.  Described by the New York Times as having created some of “the most miraculous works of modern art America has produced”, the women of Gee’s Bend are rightfully forcing us to readdress the art historical canon, and I couldn’t be more delighted to have them on the show today.  ENJOY!!! FURTHER LINKS! The Gee's Bend website!  https://www.soulsgrowndeep.org/gees-bend-quiltmakers Their show at Alison Jacques Gallery (don't miss if you're in London!) https://www.alisonjacquesgallery.com/exhibitions/192/overview/ More:  https://www.nytimes.com/2002/11/29/arts/art-review-jazzy-geometry-cool-quilters.html https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YHEqYVzSs7U Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
3/17/202141 minutes, 28 seconds
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Sue Tate on Pauline Boty

In episode 55 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews Dr Sue Tate on the incredible British Pop Artist, PAULINE BOTY !!!!!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] One of the most important artists to change the face of British Pop Art (as well as being an Actress, TV star, radio commentator, a blonde who read Proust) Boty EPITOMISED the possibilities of the modern Pop woman. Known for capturing the glamour and vivacity of the 1960s, including those of music stars to film icons, think Marylin to Elvis, Boty worshipped the proliferation of imagery available in the post-War era. Born in Croydon in 1938, Boty studied stained glass at the Royal College of Art (when it was not deemed necessary to include female loos in the school), before going onto painting, and thrived. Translating the energy of contemporary life onto her flat-paned and bold early-mid 60s canvases, it was with warmth, mischief, humour, and fun, that Boty portrayed film stars to music icons that didn’t just explore the potential of the proliferated image, but captured them from a distinct and female point of view. “It’s almost like painting mythology, a present-day mythology – film stars, etc. The 20th-century gods and goddesses. People need them, and the myths that surround them, because their own lives are enriched by them. Pop art colours those myths.” A true great whose paintings – and personality – reflected, challenged, and emulated the time, Boty's life was sadly cut short aged 28 by cancer, in the summer of 1966, five months after giving birth. But it is through the vibrancy of her electric work that keeps the spirit of her soul alive. And my god does this story break my heart.  Dr Sue Tate is THE leading expert in Boty's life and work. Without sue’s work, conducting important primary research starting in the early 90s when Boty was barely known, in 1998 co-curating, for two London Galleries, the first solo show of Boty’s work in the UK for 35 years, In 2013 curating a major retrospective of Boty’s work at Wolverhampton Art Gallery, that toured to Pallent House Chichester and to Lodz, Poland, and authored the brilliant accompanying book Pauline Boty Pop Artist and Woman, we would not know about this brilliant, important and formative artist.  ENJOY!!! FURTHER LINKS! Pop Goes The Easel:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00drs8y/monitor-pop-goes-the-easel Read Ali Smith on Pauline Boty:  https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/oct/22/ali-smith-the-prime-of-pauline-boty NY Times Obituary:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/11/20/obituaries/pauline-boty-overlooked.html Boty's Stained Glass Self Portrait:  https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw272908/Pauline-Boty?LinkID=mp10131&role=sit&rNo=0 Boty's works as discussed:  https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/pauline-boty-2684 https://artuk.org/discover/artists/boty-pauline-19381966 Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
3/10/202144 minutes, 28 seconds
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Howardena Pindell

In episode 54 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the LEGENDARY artist Howardena Pindell !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Working across a variety of mediums, from painting to film, and who has employed a range of unconventional materials, such as glitter to talcum powder; since the late 1960s, Howardena Pindell has examined a wide range of subject matter, from the personal, historical, political and social for her highly important and activistic like work that deals with racism, feminism, violence and exploitation. Born in 1943 in Philadelphia, Pindell first studied painting at Boston University and later Yale University, and upon graduating, accepted a job in the Department of Prints and Illustrated Books at the Museum of Modern Art, where she remained for 12 years, from 1967 to 1979. A co-founder of the pioneering feminist A.I.R Gallery, Pindell is also a professor at the State University of New York, Stony Brook, where she has been since 1979.  Renowned early works include her mesmeric and labour intensive, pointillist paintings of the 1970s, created by spraying paint through a template, and Free, White and 21, a video made in 1980 in which the artist plays herself and, wearing a mask, a white woman, whose conversation relays Pindell’s own experiences of racism, which was first shown at artist Ana Mendieta’s curated exhibition at AIR in 1980.  Currently the subject of a major exhibition right now at New York’s The Shed, a show examining the violent, historical trauma of racism in America and the therapeutic power of artistic creation, other recent museum solo exhibitions have included at the MCA Chicago, Rose Museum, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, as well as an upcoming exhibition at Kettle’s Yard in Cambridge.  Pindell has also featured in recent landmark group exhibitions such as the touring Soul of a Nation: Art in the age of Black Power, We Wanted a Revolution: Black Radical Women, 1965–1985 at the Brooklyn Museum, and WACK! Art and the Feminist Revolution, at LACMA. Among many many others.  Addressing important subjects that continue to educate people around the world, when asked about her viewers Howardena recently said in an interview, “I want them to look at the hidden history instead of the history we were taught”. And that is why we are so lucky to have her work out on the world stage, and I couldn't be more delighted to be speaking with her today. ENJOY!!! FURTHER LINKS! https://www.howardenapindell.org/https://theshed.org/program/143-howardena-pindell-rope-fire-water https://mcachicago.org/Exhibitions/2018/Howardena-Pindell https://www.garthgreenan.com/artists/howardena-pindell https://www.victoria-miro.com/artists/216-howardena-pindell/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
3/3/202146 minutes, 43 seconds
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Elizabeth Smith on Helen Frankenthaler

WELCOME BACK TO SEASON 5 of the GWA PODCAST! In episode 53 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the renowned curator and executive director of the Helen Frankenthaler Foundation, Elizabeth Smith, on the trailblazing and legendary HELEN FRANKENTHALER (1928–2011) !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] With a career spanning six decades, Helen Frankenthaler has long been recognized as one of the great American artists of the twentieth century. A member of the second generation of postwar American abstract painters, she is widely credited with playing a pivotal role in the transition from Abstract Expressionism to Color Field painting. Through her invention of the soak-stain technique, she expanded the possibilities of abstraction, while at times referencing figuration and landscape in highly personal ways. She produced a body of work whose impact on contemporary art has been profound and continues to grow. Born on December 12, 1928, and raised in New York. She attended the Dalton School, where she received her earliest art instruction from Rufino Tamayo. In 1949 she graduated from Bennington College, and by the early 1950s had entered into the Downtown New York Art Scene. Exhibiting at the infamous Ninth Street Show in 1951 (alongside Krasner, Mitchell, and others), Frankenthaler's breakthrough came in 1952 when she created Mountains and Sea, her first soak-stain painting. She poured thinned paint directly onto raw, unprimed canvas laid on the studio floor, working from all sides to create floating fields of translucent colour. The work catalysed the Colour Field School and was particularly influential for artists of her generation. In 1959, Frankenthaler had won first prize at the Premiere Biennale de Paris, by 1960 had her first major solo exhibition at the Jewish Museum in New York, and by 1969 was one of four artists to represent America at the Venice Biennale. Oh! AND she had a Whitney Museum solo exhibition of the same year. She was invisible. I LOVED recording this episode with Elizabeth Smith about the fascinating life and work of Frankenthaler. ENJOY!!! Works discussed: Nature Abhors a Vacuum, 1973 Cloud Burst, 2002 Pink Lady, 1963 Mountains and Sea, 1952 Jacob's Ladder, 1957 Flood, 1967 FURTHER LINKS! https://www.frankenthalerfoundation.org/artworks/paintings https://www.dulwichpicturegallery.org.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/2021/may/helen-frankenthaler-radical-beauty/ https://www.guggenheim.org/artwork/artist/Helen-Frankenthaler https://www.tate.org.uk/visit/tate-modern/display/studio/helen-frankenthaler https://gagosian.com/news/museum-exhibitions/pittura-panorama-paintings-by-helen-frankenthaler-museo-di-palazzo-grimani-venice/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
2/24/202148 minutes, 40 seconds
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Rebecca VanDiver on Lois Mailou Jones

In episode 52 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the renowned art historian Rebecca K. VanDiver on the trailblazing and legendary LOIS MAILOU JONES (1905–1998) !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Born in Boston, had her first exhibition aged 17, and found herself in the midst of the Harlem Renaissance in the 1920s, Lois Mailou Jones had an EXTENSIVE artistic career that spanned almost an entire century, and an oeuvre that ranged from traditional portraits, Haitian landscapes, to African-themed abstraction. Born to accomplished, upper-middle-class, professional parents in Boston, Jones spent her early years surrounded by the cultural elite on the island of Martha’s Vineyard, including sculptor Meta Warwick Fuller, a mentor to the young Jones and encouraging her to study in Paris. Continuously awarded scholarships to the School of the Museum of Fine Arts associated with the Boston Museum, the always highly determined Jones originally pursued textiles (however soon retracted after finding out that designers’ names weren’t recognised in the same as painters). An educator for nearly 50 years, she first got a job at PalmerMemorial School (which she would drive down to in her sports car, as well as coach basketball!), and in 1930 was personally recruited to teach at Howard University, the epicentre of Black intellectualism (her students included Elizabeth Catlett, and painter Alma Thomas was her neighbour in DC!). Spending many summers of the 1920s immersed in the Harlem Renaissance, between 1937–8 Jones ventured to Paris on sabbatical, where she adopted an impressionist-like style, painting ‘en plein air’. Like so many of her contemporaries of the Harlem Renaissance, Jones felt welcome as an artist in Paris. Developing her negotiations with African themes in her work, such as Les Fetiches, 1937, a small painting of African masks, it was on her return to America that she was encouraged by Harlem Renaissance gatekeeper, Alain Locke, to further embrace the everyday life of African American people. Honoured by numerous presidents, granted a Lois Mailou Jones Day AND Avenue in America, it wasn't until her elderly age that she took America by storm. And WOW. Has she had an impact on American art. ENJOY!!!! Rebecca K Vandiver is a RENOWNED scholar, and has just written a book on LMJ! See here: https://www.waterstones.com/book/designing-a-new-tradition/rebecca-vandiver//9780271086040 FURTHER LINKS! https://www.rebeccavandiver.com/ https://americanart.si.edu/artist/lo%C3%AFs-mailou-jones-5658 https://nmwa.org/art/artists/lois-mailou-jones/ https://hyperallergic.com/600201/lois-mailou-jones-an-artist-and-educator-who-made-history/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
12/9/202050 minutes, 56 seconds
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Polly Nor

In episode 51 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the incredible London-based illustrator and artist, POLLY NOR! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Best known for her dark and satirical drawings of women and their demons, Polly’s work interweaves themes of identity, sexuality, and emotional turmoil in her bold, bright, hilarious and disturbing semi-surrealist dream-like work. Looking at sexuality and the female experience in the internet age, Polly’s incredibly imaginative drawings tell the story of often house-bound women and their demons in the form of an all-consuming devil-like character that appear in her hand-drawn and digital illustrations, sculptures and installations. Creating worlds around them – whether that be from their bedrooms to the bottom of the sea – Polly’s all-consuming drawings have the ability to transport us to the deepest part of our minds, that feel more relatable than work found in any museums.  Although graduating in 2011, Polly’s rise to fame has been predominantly online, having amassed over one million followers on Instagram with her art inspiring a generation of illustrators worldwide who are breaking taboos around the female experience.  Having had numerous solo shows, as well as creating extraordinarily brilliant animations for Chelou’s Half to Nowhere video – genuinely the most incredible music video I have ever seen – and now narrative-based animations with director Andy Baker for WeTransfer, Polly’s characters, who are based on real, non-judgmental women going about their private life, are some of the most fascinating, complex, real, hilarious, I have ever witnessed in my life, and that is why I am so excited to say that she is the artist who we will be speaking to today! FURTHER LINKS: Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/pollynor Works discussed: https://www.instagram.com/p/CDtqUpYD0jX/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CA5eYTkjuMO/ https://www.instagram.com/p/BzOxN7bl9hH/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CGr7Gu8DxXN/ https://www.instagram.com/p/CF7zWDLj_EX/ Chelou music video:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BgP9tzt9_Z8 Latest animation, 'How Have You Been?':  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rjVCVdx8kKk&has_verified=1 Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry (@lghendry) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
12/2/202046 minutes, 6 seconds
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Griselda Pollock on Alina Szapocznikow

In episode 50 (!!!) of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the legendary, trailblazing, feminist art history ICON, GRISELDA POLLOCK on the pioneering Polish Jewish artist, Alina Szapocznikow.  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Author, editor, curator, and Professor, Griselda Pollock's 43-year-plus career as an art historian is nothing short of LEGENDARY. Having co-authored (with Rozsika Parker), “Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology”, written 26 books, and edited many more, Pollock's indefatigable career has seen her spend decades developing an international, queer, postcolonial, feminist analysis of art’s diverse histories. Writing extensively on artists Eva Hesse, Lubaina Himid, Georgia O’Keeffe, to Tracey Emin, Pollock has curated numerous museum exhibitions, made several films, and has two forthcoming publications out for release.  But the reason why we are speaking to Griselda today is because as well as being a social and feminist historian of  19th and 20th century and contemporary art she is also a transdisciplinary cultural analyst focussing in Cultural Studies and Jewish studies, which is where her fantastic, tireless work on the great sculptor, Alina Szapocznikow comes into play. Born in Poland to an intellectual Jewish family of doctors in 1926, Alina Szapocznikow survived internment in concentration camps during the Holocaust as a teenager. [TW: we discuss The Holocaust]. At her liberation in 1945, she moved first to Prague, and then to Paris, where she studied sculpture and took up a job at a stonemasons, and then was forced back to Poland in 1951 after suffering from tuberculosis. When the Polish government loosened controls over creative freedom following Stalin’s death in 1952, Szapocznikow moved into figurative abstraction and then a pioneering form of representation. By the 1960s, she was radically re-conceptualizing sculpture as an intimate record not only of her memory, but also of her own body. First casting parts of the body as fragments, on her return to Paris as part of 'Nouveau Realisme', she began to move into casting bulbous shapes cast in resin from human bellies, lipstick red lips, nipples and lips growing from slender stems like flowers and serving as lamps. Surrounded by an artistic community that included Niki de Saint Phalle and more, in this episode we discuss Szapocznikow's incredible life and career, her involvement in the evolution of new materials and new ways of thinking, whilst simultaneously trying to deal with the horrors of the past – as with her American contemporaries, Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, and Hannah Wilke.  AS's Self Portrait: https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2012/alina-szapocznikow-sculpture-undone-1955-1972 Photosculptures (chewing gum): https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2012/alina-szapocznikow-sculpture-undone-1955-1972 Lamp works: https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2012/alina-szapocznikow-sculpture-undone-1955-1972 Tumour series: https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2012/alina-szapocznikow-sculpture-undone-1955-1972 Further images and information: https://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/16711-alina-szapocznikow?modal=media-player&mediaType=artwork&mediaId=16719 Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/25/202055 minutes, 50 seconds
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Mona Chalabi

In episode 49 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the incredible data journalist and artist, MONA CHALABI!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Currently the Data editor of the Guardian US, a position she has held for the past seven years, the London-born but now New York-based Chalabi is known for her outstanding data-informed visualisations and drawings that range from addressing stats around gender imbalances in museums, to hate crimes and immigration issues to what time of day Americans might eat pizza. Bold, full of colour, and often hand-drawn directly onto graph or square paper, it is with humour and wit that Chalabi pushes boundaries to challenge societal assumptions and habits that have come to affect the way we live and think.  Having exhibited at the Tate, Design Museum, the V&A Glasgow and more, and created illustrations for the New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Netflix – as well as to her 400,000+ strong Instagram following, where you can find so much of her work – Chalabi has also written and presented for the BBC, National Geographic, Channel 4 and VICE, and was nominated for an Emmy for her video series Vagina Dispatches for the Guardian.  Commended by the Royal Statistical society, nominated for a Beazley Design of the Year award, and a former columnist for Five Thirty Eight called Dear Mona, Chalabi is translating spreadsheets into written pieces, illustration, audio and film for the modern-day consumer, allowing us all to enjoy, interact with her reliable data sources, as she breaks down the wall between complex information, art and illustration.  And on a personal level, it has been this year more than ever, with the current Coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter Movement and the American election, that Mona’s data-informed works have resonated with people around the world. By using the power of art and illustration, she has allowed us to consume complex information in ways that I never thought possible.  WORKS + CHART DISCUSSED IN THE EPISODE! MONA'S INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/monachalabi/ MONA'S WEBSITE: https://monachalabi.com/ Trump's Federal Income Tax: https://www.instagram.com/p/CFr6e73lkK6/ Mandatory paid vacation: https://www.instagram.com/p/CE1kpM5FhWR/ Rectal bleeding: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc-WtaRF-zg/ Mark Zuckerberg's donation to Coronavirus: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-StLvnFtOE/  Museum statistics: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxGBMU7HuUh/ 100 New Yorkers: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBTKeNNl4NZ/ US Police Training: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBLWZM8lmUL/ Understanding Police Brutality: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAz86y0FYqM/ Breonna Taylor: https://www.instagram.com/p/CFh6Uu1Fpn8/ Active KKK Groups: https://www.instagram.com/p/BYMAj-xFJOf/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/18/202049 minutes, 22 seconds
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Letizia Treves on Artemisia Gentileschi

In episode 48 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly esteemed National Gallery curator, Letizia Treves, on the REVOLUTIONARY Baroque artist, Artemisia Gentileschi !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW, it was on the eve of lockdown that Letizia (the show's curator) took me for a tour of "Artemisia" at the National Gallery, where we recorded this very special episode – so please come and join us!  An ICON of art history. A trailblazer. A revolutionary. And a great. Born on the cusp of the Baroque era in 1593, Artemisia Gentileschi is one of history's most famous artists, known for her STRIKING large-scale and monumental canvases of Biblical heroines, from Susanna, Judith to the Mary Magdalene.  The ultimate 17th century Baroque artist – whose exhibition marks the first EVER by a female artist on this scale at the National Gallery – never before has a show given such an incredibly well-rounded and triumphant stance to an artist. Not only do we hear from the artist herself through her many letters (to both her lovers and "illustrious patrons"), but we also hear from her through a 400 year-old transcript covering her rape trial. A document that asserts the young 17 year-old, who despite overcoming enormous amounts of personal and professional setbacks, asserts herself as a strong, courageous, dignified woman.  This exhibition of thirty DAZZLING works starts with Susanna and the Elders, made when Artemisia was still working in her father, Orazio's studio. We then move into Florence, where she moved in 1612 and became the star of the city – gaining patronage from the likes of the Medici Court. Portraying Judith Beheading Holofernes as if she were butchering a piece of meat, Artemisia was never afraid to show THEATRICALITY in her Baroque works, infused with psychological drama.  One of the greatest exhibitions I have ever witnessed, please join us as we tour this monumental show!! Artworks discussed:  Susanna and the Elders, 1610 Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1612–13 + 1620–21 Judith and Her Maidservant, 1612–13 Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, 1616 Self Portrait as a Lute Player, 1616–18 Portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi by Simon Vouet Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, 1623 Judith and Her Maidservant, 1623 Susanna and the Elders, 1652 Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, 1638 FURTHER LINKS! https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/artemisia Artemisia's rape trial:  https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/artemisia/artemisias-rape-trial Judith Beheading Holofernes:  https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/artemisia/judith-beheading-holofernes https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/artemisia-gentileschi https://www.waterstones.com/book/artemisia/letizia-treves/sheila-barker/9781857096569 https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/artists/artemisia-gentileschi Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/11/202052 minutes, 28 seconds
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Alyce Mahon on Leonor Fini

In episode 47 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly esteemed, Cambridge University Art History professor and Surrealist EXPERT, Alyce Mahon on the magical LEONOR FINI (1907–1996) !!!!  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] The MATRIARCH of 20th century painting, known for her highly original works of supernatural portraits that empowered her female protagonists in the forms of sphinxes, Fini switched up gender roles like no other and was one of the most ground-breaking painters of the twentieth century. Born in Buenos Aires of mixed Spanish, Italian, and Argentine descent, Leonor escaped Argentina when she was 18 months old with her young mother, who raised her in Trieste where she was exposed to Mannerist and Renaissance painting, and her uncle's library where she read Freud and Jung. Fini, although known for her meticulously executed paintings, was completely self-taught.  With her intelligence, famous wit and charisma, she had garnered celebrity status in the Paris Avant Garde by the early 30s, and was exhibiting in the major surrealist exhibitions. But it was her portraits made in the late 30s and images of women in the forms of sphinxes that garnered her attention.  With the predominant themes in her art being sexual tensions, mysteries and games, her favoured subjects explored the interplay between the dominant female and the passive male. In many of her most powerful works the female takes the form of the sphinx to which she felt a strong identification. Whilst many of her peers ventured to New York and Mexico after World War II, Fini moved first to Rome and then back to Paris where she became an acclaimed set and costume designer for the likes of Fellini's film, Eight and a Half, and designed dresses and masquerades for Brigitte Bardot. WORKS DISCUSSED:  Self Portrait with a Scorpion (1938) Portrait of Meret Oppenheim (1938) The Alcove: An Interior with Three Women or The Black Room (1939) The Alcove/Self Portrait with Nico Papatakis (1941) Little Hermit Sphinx (Tate Collection) (1948) The Angel of Anatomy (1949) FURTHER LINKS! Alyce's fantastic exhibition: https://www.museumofsex.com/portfolio_page/leonor-fini/ Alyce's book! https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691141619/the-marquis-de-sade-and-the-avant-garde (use the code MAHON20 for 25% off!) https://www.weinstein.com/artists/leonor-fini/ https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/leonor-fini-5287 Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Laura Hendry  Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/4/202054 minutes, 9 seconds
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Guerrilla Girls

To mark the FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of @thegreatwomenartists Instagram, in this very special episode, Katy Hessel interviews the trailblazing, fearless, ICONS Kathë Kollwitz and Frida Kahlo of the GUERRILLA GIRLS !!!!!  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] I don’t think I have ever been so excited! The anonymous feminist activist artist collective founded in 1985, who go by the guises of deceased female artists, the Guerrilla Girls are known to wear masks in public and use facts, humour, and outrageous and bold visuals to expose gender and ethnic bias in art, film, politics and in pop culture.  Working tirelessly for the past 35 years, the Guerrilla Girls have constantly fought discrimination and supported human rights for all people and all genders through their data-based artwork, which has been exhibited on buses, billboards, some of the biggest museums in the world – from the Tate to the Whitney – but also our very own bedrooms, including my own, with their aim being to spread equality and action through more than ninety posters, mugs, tea-towels, workbooks and more. Best known for their outrageous and witty statements including, “do women have to be naked to get into the met museum”, or “the advantages of being a woman artist”, it is through humour, bold graphics and data that the Guerrilla Girls catch our attention, and leave us wondering how just did museums get away with celebrating the history of patriarchy, as opposed to the history of art.  The most inspiring, encouraging, educational and unfortunately very needed artist collective out there, the Guerrilla Girls have changed – and are still changing – the story of art, one stunt at a time. I have been lucky enough to be the owner of much of their merchandise, and am delighted to say that they have just brought out a staggering new book,  The Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly, the first publication to catalog the entire career of the Guerrilla Girls from 1985 to present. ENJOY!!!!! FURTHER LINKS! https://www.guerrillagirls.com/ New book! https://www.guerrillagirls.com/store/the-art-of-behaving-badly Projects! https://www.guerrillagirls.com/projects Exhibitions! https://www.guerrillagirls.com/exhibitionshttps://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/guerrilla-girls-6858 Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/28/202048 minutes, 3 seconds
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Cecily Brown

In episode 45 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the greatest painters to ever live, the inimitable CECILY BROWN!!!!!   [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] I am SO EXCITED to release this episode which chronicles the UK-born, US-based Brown's incredible painterly career from the 1990s–present day! With her work steeped in art history, referencing the likes of Rubens, to Goya to Bacon and de Kooning, Cecily Brown is known for her all-encompassing, small-to-colossal scale paintings that portray the medium in a continual state of flux, constantly blurring the lines between abstraction and figuration, truth and fiction, liquid and solid.   Always ALIVE with erotic energy, witnessing a Cecily Brown in the flesh is like seeing four-hundred years worth of painting unfold before your eyes. Every corner and inch of the canvas is activated, frenzied and fractured so intensely that you can’t help but project ideas around desire, life, and death, with the painting’s momentous fleshy and battle-like strokes and tones.  Born in the UK in the late 1960s, Cecily Brown was granted a garage to paint by the esteemed British painter (and former GWA Podcast guest) Maggi Hambling, before going on to study at London’s Slade School of Fine Art. And in 1994, after a stint in America two years before, she relocated to New York City, where she has lived ever since, continuing the legacy of the renowned New York School artists.  The subject of solo exhibitions at major institutions around the world, including the MFA Boston, Hirshhorn in Washington, Modern Art Oxford, and my favourite Louisiana Museum in Denmark, as well as countless shows at galleries including Thomas Dane and Paula Cooper, where I have been lucky enough to witness her work, Cecily is considered one of the most influential painters alive right now.  And NOW she has recently opened a staggeringly brilliant exhibition at Blenheim Palace here in England, where she has conceived an entirely new body of work that responds to the Palace’s history, through hunting and battle scenes, as well as a brilliant commentary on the state of Britain right now and the romanticised but complex nature of British society.  FURTHER LINKS! https://www.blenheimpalace.com/whats-on/events/cecily-brown-art-exhibition/ All the Nightmares Came Today, 2012: https://www.artspace.com/cecily_brown/all-the-nightmares-came-today Current exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery: https://www.paulacoopergallery.com/exhibitions/cecily-brown-2020-10-15/selected-works Louisiana show: https://louisiana.master.re-cph.dk/en/exhibition/cecily-brown https://channel.louisiana.dk/video/cecily-brown-totally-unaware Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/20/202052 minutes, 24 seconds
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Wanda M Corn on Georgia O'Keeffe

In episode 44 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly esteemed, pioneering art historian, Wanda M Corn on the legendary painter, GEORGIA O'KEEFFE (1887–1986) !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] I am SO EXCITED to release this episode with Wanda Corn who not only **KNEW** Georgia O'Keeffe in the 1980s, but who is the curator of the staggeringly brilliant and HIGHLY successful exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern at New York’s The Brooklyn Museum in 2017, which toured around the US. This was an exhibition that looked at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted person – from the way she dressed to how she posed for photographs – expanding our understanding of who O’Keeffe was, and her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values.  The ICON of American painting Georgia O'Keeffe is one of the greatest artists to ever live. Known for her incredibly rendered paintings of magnified flowers, American skyscrapers, to skulls and landscapes evocative of the dry New Mexican landscape in which she lived, O'Keeffe captured the most serene works that didn't just reflect the world around her, but the evolution of modernism in the 20th century. No one captured nature in its many forms like O'Keeffe. Learning to paint at the turn of the 1900s, O'Keeffe transformed traditional subjects – the landscape and still life – into a modernist language. After venturing to the deep Southwest in 1929, it was through painting that she documented the starkness and alien-ness of a place that had so rarely been recorded in oil paint.  Wanda Corn is a former Professor at Stanford University, and a LEADING scholar of late 19th and early 20th century American art and photography. A writer, curator, editor and lecturer, Wanda has received countless awards and fellowships for her tireless work to art history over the past few decades! And is the MOST enthusiastic and engaging speaker. THANK YOU WANDA!! FURTHER LINKS! The book of the show! https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Georgia-OKeeffe/Wanda-Corn/Prestel-com/e516673.rhd A video of Wanda's exhibition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTYqxARzOlchttps://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/touring/georgia_okeeffe_living_modern https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-great-american-thing/wanda-m-corn/9780520231993 https://www.okeeffemuseum.org/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quG3EHonOns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v8E7460eTU Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/13/202054 minutes, 22 seconds
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Toyin Ojih Odutola

In episode 43 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most incredible artists working in the world right now, the brilliant TOYIN OJIH ODUTOLA. [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Working exclusively in drawing materials including pen, pastel, charcoal, and chalk, the Nigerian-born and New York-based artist is known for her astoundingly-beautiful, electric-like and meticulously rendered figurative works. Based on imaginary characters who inhabit opulent interiors and verdant landscapes, Ojih Odutola’s work can be exclusively monochrome or drenched in dazzling colours. With her starting point being not the pen, but rather her mind, she begins each series by creating narratives that play out through a series of works that suggest the structure of episodes or chapters, in their cinematic-like ways. As viewers, these sometimes-immersive series leave you physically and psychologically transported into other worlds as they probe questions about the state of our current world through their presentations of alternative histories, with the artist herself joining the story as she takes up fictional roles including a private secretary, or the director of a research initiative. A 2017 exhibition, To Wander Determined at The Whitney Museum in New York, which I was lucky enough to witness, presented an interconnected series of fictional portraits chronicling the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families, and her most recent exhibition, A Countervailing Theory at London’s Barbican Centre, tells the story of an ancient civilisation ruled by female warriors (the Eshu) and served by male labourers (the Koba). Referencing ancient history, popular culture, anime, fan-fiction, to contemporary politics, Toyin is reinterpreting the artistic landscape like no other. By playing with traditions of portraiture, she is pushing the genre beyond its roots into the realm to the psychological, the speculative and the seemingly impossible. And it is her most recent exhibition, A Countervailing Theory, which features a staggering cycle of forty new large-scale drawings that explore the complexities of our system, and challenge established norms!!!! WOW. I am completely blown away by Toyin Ojih Odutola in this episode. PLEASE LISTEN !!!! and thank you :) FURTHER LINKS: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2020/event/toyin-ojih-odutola-a-countervailing-theory https://www.npg.org.uk/blog/zadie-smith-and-toyin-ojih-odutola https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/17/toyin-ojih-odutolas-visions-of-power https://jackshainman.com/artists/toyin_ojih_odutola https://whitney.org/exhibitions/toyinojihodutola Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
10/6/202055 minutes, 26 seconds
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Chloe Wise

In episode 42 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the sensational painter, CHLOE WISE!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Canada-born and now NYC-based, Chloe Wise captures the strange times we are living more poignantly – and sometimes disturbingly – more than any artist I know!!  Working in a range of materials, from beautifully-rendered painting, to sculpture, video and installation, Wise’s works are filled with portraits of her friends and acquaintances, food, and everyday objects that pay particular attention to our consumer-culture-obsessed and hyper-sanitised world. Perfectly rendered with an almost airbrush-like quality, Chloe’s paintings in particular comment on how advertising, fashion, and multinational brands feed into our everyday lives. By incorporating these well-known symbols and logos into her work, she makes us question not only our everyday need to consume, but our obsession with portraying an outwardly perfect version of ourself, which is why another side of her work (the videos!) are such a great antidote to her painting, as it shows us an awkward truth of the world: unsanitized, airbrushed, and often set up in an anonymous office-like environment. Steeped in the history of art and the history of portraiture with their triangular forms, large group scenes emulating a Biblical or historical narrative, use of drapery evocative of Botticelli or Bernini, and hands connecting the emotion of each figure, it is with a wry sense of humour that Wise nods to the canon which explore the shared projected desires built around food and the female body.  ENJOY!! This is one of the funnest, most interesting, and THOUGHT PROVOKING episodes of the GWA Podcast. We discuss everything from her painting to living in Trump's America to our mass-consumed world, and of course our love for ALICE NEEL! Further links:  https://www.chloewise.com/ https://www.alminerech.com/artists/3760-chloe-wise https://alminerech.viewingrooms.com/viewing-room/11-chloe-wise-second-nature/ This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
9/29/202050 minutes, 17 seconds
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Tracey Bashkoff on Hilma af Klint

WELCOME BACK TO SEASON 4!! In episode 41 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned, Guggenheim curator and Director of Collections, Tracey Bashkoff on the staggeringly PIONEERING... HILMA AF KLINT!!!  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW. What an INSIGHT into one of the world's greatest and innovative artists: who experimented with Abstraction BEFORE the likes of Kandinsky and Mondrian, but whose paintings (who no one knew she was making!) were not discovered until 20+ years after the artist's death in 1944.  Guided by a spirit, Hilma af Klint created mesmerising, and colossal-scale work that documented the evolution of life and the world. Not telling anyone except her Spiritualist circle that she was making these (bar the Theosophist, Rudolph Steiner, who may or may not have tipped people off!!! Listen for more!), Hilma af Klint painted her series "Paintings for the Temple" (100s of paintings in just two years!) which she envisioned to be one day housed in a 'round, spiral-like temple' (!!!), which feels scarily like the actual Guggenheim....!!! And wow has she had a resurgence. Between the years 2018–2019, Tracey Bashkoff curated the most successful exhibition the Guggenheim has ever seen. An exhibition that not only stunned the world and disrupted art history for ever, but saw a record number of visitors attend (over 600,000 nearly double that of the previous year’s Giacometti show), forced the museum to extend their evening hours and be open seven days a week despite the show running for a staggering six months! This show was of course, "Hilma Af Klint: Paintings for the Future", a groundbreaking exhibition that filled every corner of the gallery by the little-known Swedish artist, whose first ever US solo exhibition it was, held 75 years after her death. ENJOY! This is genuinely the most fascinating story of an artist I have EVER witnessed! Further information: https://www.guggenheim.org/video/hilma-af-klint https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/who-was-hilma-af-klint-at-the-guggenheim-paintings-by-an-artist-ahead-of-her-time  https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/guggenheim-curators-answer-questions-about-hilma-af-klint https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/arts/design/hilma-af-klint-review-guggenheim.html  https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/22/hilma-af-klints-visionary-paintings This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
9/22/202056 minutes, 34 seconds
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Melanie Herzog on Elizabeth Catlett

In episode 40 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned art historian, Dr Melanie Herzog on the TRAILBLAZING American artist, ELIZABETH CATLETT (1915–2012). [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW! This was such an insight into one of the MOST seminal artists (teacher, pioneer, and PERSON!) who lived throughout almost the entirety of the 20th century, and whose aim in her art was to tell stories, fight for justice, and make art accessible to ALL!!! "I have always wanted my art to service my people—to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential.” Elizabeth Catlett was known for her powerful sculptures, paintings, and prints that explored themes around race, feminism, and SOCIAL JUSTICE! Born in DC, Catlett attended the ESTEEMED Howard University in the 30s under the legend who was Lois Mailou Jones, before completing her MFA at Iowa under the American artist Grant Wood who inspired her to "take as your subjects what you know best" ! She became instrumental in the Harlem Renaissance, before moving to Mexico in 1946, where she became heavily involved in political movements and joined the radical artists' collective called "Taller de Gráfica Popular". She remained in Mexico for the rest of her life, and only came back to the USA once for her major Studio Museum in Harlem exhibition. The grandchild of freed slaves, Catlett was instrumental in pioneering a style that merged abstraction and figuration in a Modernist aesthetic – curvaceous figures and features with thick sharp lines – whilst also bringing in influences from African and Mexican art traditions. Whilst alive (she passed in 2012 age 96) she divided her time between Mexico and the US which heavily informed her approach to form and printmaking. Catlett's artistic aim was to convey social messages through her heavily political work which saw her reflect the civil rights struggles in which she participated.  ENJOY!!! Further information! https://www.moma.org/collection/works/88189https://www.moma.org/collection/works/67108?sov_referrer=artist&artist_id=1037&page=1https://www.moma.org/collection/works/65050?sov_referrer=artist&artist_id=1037&page=1 This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
9/1/202050 minutes, 25 seconds
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Cornelia Parker

In episode 39 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned British artist, CORNELIA PARKER !! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW! This was such an insight into one of Britain's foremost artists known for her inventive, poetic, and quietly provocative works in sculpture, photography, performance, prints, and large-scale, and often site-specific, installations. Working in a variety of mediums since the mid-1980s, Parker's art is about destruction, resurrection and reconfiguration. Demonstrating the importance of process, she frequently transforms objects by using seemingly violent techniques such as shooting, exploding, squashing, cutting and burning. And it is through these actions that she both physically alters the object, as well as becoming an active development of its story herself.  Having studied at Gloucestershire College of Art & Design and at Wolverhampton Polytechnic before receiving her MA in Fine Art from the University of Reading in 1982, Cornelia Parker has since gone on to capture audiences from around the world, shifting our idea of what art can be, and exploring every possible potential of materials. Shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1997, made an OBE and a Royal Academician in 2010, as well as serving as the country’s Election Artist in 2017, Parker has exhibited all over the world, including the likes of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, London’s Hayward Gallery, Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery, Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as featuring in collections worldwide from the Tate, Royal Academy, Pompidou, and MoMA.  Further reading! https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/cornelia-parker-2358 https://cristearoberts.com/artists/25-cornelia-parker/ https://www.mca.com.au/artists-works/exhibitions/cornelia-parker/ https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/name/cornelia-parker-ra ENJOY!!! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
8/25/202036 minutes, 53 seconds
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Lou Stoppard on Shirley Baker

In episode 38 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the brilliant London-based writer LOU STOPPARD on the ICONIC and TRAILBLAZING street photographer SHIRLEY BAKER (1932–2014) !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW! This was such an insight into one of the greatest street photographers of the 20th century. A woman who captured 6+ decades of change in post-War Britain: from Manchester in the ‘50s and ‘60s, to the heights of Thatcherism in the ‘80s, and New Labour in the 2000s. A self-proclaimed “idler with a camera”, the fearlessly socially and politically engaged Shirley saw beauty, character and absurdity in the everyday. Documenting those often overlooked or on the outside – much like the artist herself who wasn’t recognised with a major solo exhibition until right at the end of her life at The Photographer’s Gallery – Shirley captured unnamed people who shaped our cultures, as opposed to the places themselves. Highly sensitive to change and the ageing process, Shirley Baker was skilled at observing modernity, whether it be through the rise of industrialism and technology, altering eating habits, or the abandonment of terraced houses in the North between 1955–1973 (after the Housing Repairs and Rents Act), which were abruptly replaced by large looming tower blocks. Always on the frontline of change, she captured moments that felt still amongst a fast-paced world: "I did know that fundamental changes were taking place and nobody seemed to be interested in recording the face of the people or any- thing in their lives. My interest grew into a compulsion even though the notion of someone wandering the unpicturesque streets of Manchester and Salford with a camera seemed quite crazy to most people then." But she also captured the imperfections in people – people who tried to live up to society’s expectations with whom she caught moments when their mask slipped. Wow. So much to unpick here!!! I am in awe of Shirley and Lou's brilliant take on her. An INCREDIBLY aware photographer with a fascinating story which we discuss in depth! ENJOY!!! Further reading: Lou’s fantastic book! https://mackbooks.co.uk/products/shirley-baker-br-lou-stoppard-ed https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/shirley-bakers-half-century-of-street-photography This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
8/18/202041 minutes, 26 seconds
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Bridget R Cooks on Alma Thomas

In episode 37 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned art historian Bridget R Cooks on the SENSATIONAL and PIONEERING Abstract artist, ALMA THOMAS (1891–1978) !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW. This is one of the most incredible and UPLIFTING life stories I have heard of an artist whose work I am completely in love with – partially for the reason that Alma Thomas did not become an artist until she was in her 70s!!! A schoolteacher from 1924–1960 (!), it wasn't until after retirement that Alma Thomas took up painting professionally. Enrolling in University as a senior, she quickly shot to fame and was the first Black woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney in 1972. She was a groundbreaker.  Known for her electric-like canvases, Alma Thomas transposed the way she saw the world onto the canvas through her shards of shimmering colour that represented flowers, music, science, to the first man landing on the moon and the invention of colour television. Some more muted than others, colour was Alma Thomas's lifeline: “A world without colour would seem dead. Colour, for me, is life” In this episode – one of my favourites EVER, as told by Bridget so eloquently – we discuss Alma Thomas's life in great detail – including a VERY sweet and personal story from Bridget; what made her choose to be an educator for nearly five decades; her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement despite not 'directly' addressing these issues in her work; her relevance today; looking at museums' role in promoting Black artists; and of course, Alma's global fame when none other than MICHELLE OBAMA acquired her work as the first Black woman artist in the White House Collection in 2015. This is a really beautiful, uplifting SUNNY episode. And I hope you enjoy it. WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE! Iris, Tulips, Jonquils, Crocuses (1969) Arboretum Presents White Dogwood (1972) March on Washington (1963–4) Wind, Sunshine, and Flowers (1968) Blast Off (1970) Launch Pad (1970) Cherry Blossom Symphony (1973) Pond Spring Awakening (1972) Resurrection (White House – 1966) FURTHER READING:  https://nmwa.org/art/artists/alma-woodsey-thomas/ https://studiomuseum.org/exhibition/alma-thomas https://www.whitehousehistory.org/photos/resurrection-by-alma-thomas This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
8/11/202054 minutes, 17 seconds
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Loie Hollowell

In episode 36 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the sensational artist, LOIE HOLLOWELL!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW was it fascinating to hear all about the ideas behind Loie's MIND-BLOWING, electric-like paintings that abstract the body through fragments of geometric shapes. Always using a vibrant colour palette, her PULSATING and PSYCHEDELIC works explore themes around sexuality, birth, women's bodies, which we discuss in-depth! First appearing as highly textured two dimensional works, witness them in real life and her works evolve from flat geometric masterpieces into an almost sculptural sphere that at once give the illusion of expanding and contracting, merging and converging. Having only just given birth for the second time a matter of months ago – during a pandemic! – Loie created an incredible body of work titled "Going Soft" in reaction to this, which didn't just depict how the body changed, but how the mind absorbed everything happening... Having grown up in Northern California in the 80s and 90s and now based in Queens, New York, Loie still bases much of her work on her upbringing in the expansive West Coast land, as well as citing from her influencers Agnes Pelton and Georgia O'Keeffe. Through her works, Loie is reimagining the way we don’t just see, but experience women’s bodies in painting, and I hope you enjoy our discussion around this!! WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE! Beacon (2018) A Gentle Meeting of the Tips (2018) Post Partum (2018) Birthing Dance (2018) Deep Tear (2020) Perspective from Above and Below (23 April 2020) Descent into Chaos (1 June 2020) Further reading:  https://www.pacegallery.com/artists/loie-hollowell/ https://www.pacegallery.com/online-exhibitions/loie-hollowell/ This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
8/4/202044 minutes, 51 seconds
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Natalie Lettner on Maria Lassnig

In episode 35 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned art historian and biographer, Natalie Lettner, on the FASCINATING and BRILLIANT Austrian-born artist, MARIA LASSNIG (1919–2014) !!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW. This is one of the most interesting life stories I have ever heard of an artist whose work I am COMPLETELY blown away by. Known for her psychologically charged figurative paintings, Lassnig's work is based on the extreme observation of the physical presence of the body – what she termed ‘body awareness’.  Born in 1919, in a small town in southern Austria, Maria's mother gave birth to her out of wedlock and later married a much older man, but their troubled and tempestuous relationship meant Lassnig was raised by her grandmother, who hardly spoke to her since she was six. Studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in the midst of the Second World War, where she was only exposed to classical and academic art, Lassnig quickly moved away from the state-approved academic realism and travelled around Europe in search of the avant-garde.  After experimenting with surrealism, abstraction, expressionism and constantly being treated lesser than her male counterparts, at age nearly 50 Lassnig moved on to NYC to join forces with the feminist movement. And it was here where her work turned to external realism and painted portraits, nudes and still lifes, at times combining these with her ‘body awareness’ self-portraits. Recording her psychological states through a direct and unflinching style, her work used garish greens, yellows and blues to giver her paintings a POWERFUL and DRASTIC impact.  Maria Lassnig painted like NO OTHER in the history of art. With such conviction, force, and lack of embarrassment. She was not afraid to reveal anything.  This is one of the most fascinating stories of an artist I have ever SEEN. An artist who almost predicted the influence of technology through her paintings (in the 80s she became obsessed with the machine, and addicted to television!!).  Please listen to this sensation of an episode with the brilliant Natalie who tells her story so well. Only to be recognised with a major exhibition at the age of 89 at the Serpentine Galleries.  WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE! You, or Me (2005) Expressive Self Portrait (1945) Beams (1950) Head (1956) Self Portrait as a Monster (2005) Self Portrait with Stick (1971) Chain of Tradition My Teddy is more real than me (2002) Hospital (2005) Further reading:  https://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/2795-maria-lassnig https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool/exhibition/maria-lassnig Natalie's brilliant book! https://www.abebooks.co.uk/Maria-Lassnig-Natalie-Lettner-Brandst%C3%A4tter-Verlag/22323627600/bd This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
7/28/202053 minutes, 49 seconds
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Somaya Critchlow

In episode 34 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most exciting and brilliant young painters working in the world right now, the great SOMAYA CRITCHLOW!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] A graduate of Brighton University and The Royal Drawing School, Somaya is known for her powerful depictions of bold female characters and delicately rendered objects – that she creates on both a mid-size and minute scale! Challenging and subverting cultural expectations of race, gender, and power in the history of art, Somaya’s sometimes icon-like work adopts historical and classical motifs from the likes of Rubens to Velazquez. Although rooted in historical imagery, her works fuse traditional painting with the modern day, referencing film to hip hop, which she explores in depth through commenting on the cultural, class and political dynamics of contemporary society. In this episode we discuss painting the female nude, and challenging past perceptions and institutional norms; Somaya's interest in the work of feminist writer Angela Carter; subverting cultural expectations and what feminism means today; her early interest in objects and museums; film and television; as well as an in-depth exploration into her current INCREDIBLE solo exhibition, "Underneath a Bepop Moon" at Maximillian William (on view until 15 August!). ENJOY!!!! Further reading as discussed!!   https://maximillianwilliam.com/underneath-a-bebop-moon/ https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/typescript-draft-of-the-sadeian-woman-by-angela-carter https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/sep/02/unmastered-desire-katherine-angel-review This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
7/21/202039 minutes, 50 seconds
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Lubaina Himid

In episode 33 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most groundbreaking, important, and influential artists working in the world today, the Turner-Prize winning artist, LUBAINA HIMID!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Known for working in painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, cut-outs, and installations, Himid paints onto a variety of surfaces from ceramic to wood which produce objects with performative potential intended to be encountered in a space.  A tireless champion of marginalised voices, Himid has dedicated her thirty-year-plus career to uncovering silenced histories, to valorise ‘the contribution Black people have made to cultural life in Europe for the past several hundred years’. Born in Zanzibar in 1954, Himid moved to Britain with her mother when she was just four months old. She studied Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Art, and later Royal College of Art. In the 1980s, Lubaina became one of the LEADERS and TRAILBLAZERS of Britain’s Black Arts movement, curating three shows – which we disucss in depth. Living and work in Preston, she is a CBE, a Royal Academician, the winner of the 2017 Turner Prize, and a professor at the University of Central Lancashire; in the collection of the Tate, V&A, Whitworth, Walker Art Gallery, plus more; and has had solo exhibitions at the New Museum in New York, Tate St Ives, Chisenhale, and it has just been announced that Lubaina will have a major solo exhibition at Tate Modern in November 2021.  This is really one of the greatest conversations I have EVER had. I am completely in awe at Lubaina and her BRILLIANT work that remains more present than ever. I really hope you enjoy this episode. This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
7/15/20201 hour, 18 minutes, 41 seconds
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Julie Curtiss

In episode 32 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the phenomenal, Brooklyn-based artist, JULIE CURTISS!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] One of the MOST exciting artists working today, Julie is known for her bold, graphic, highly stylised and Neo-Surrealist works of faceless and fragmented women, and food. Often swept up in an eerily dreamscape, her often cropped works allow us as viewers to interpret a world beyond what we are looking at.  Working in a myriad of mediums including painting, sculpture, and gouache on paper, Julie focuses on the relationship between nature and culture, as well as exposing and reworking female archetypes through motifs of flowing hair, long nails, and high heels.  Speaking about her work she has said: "In my images, I enjoy the complementarity of humour and darkness, the uncanny and the mundane, grotesque shapes and vivid colours." Born and raised in Paris, Curtiss studied at l'Ėcole des Beaux-Arts before moving first to Japan and then to New York. She is known for referencing 18th and 19th century French painting, as well as fusing together the pop-like imagery the Chicago Imagists, reminiscent of comic books and advertising.  But in a similar manner to the Post-Impressionist painters, she mines her subjects from contemporary, everyday life, representing and exposing its curious, small details in cropped and ambiguous compositions that are erotically charged, cinematic and dreamlike in feel.  I LOVED this HIGHLY fascinating conversation with Julie. In this episode we speak about her INCREDIBLE paintings, as well as her introduction to art through posters, her upbringing in France vs life in America, advertising, Jeff Koons, obsession with technologies entering our life, darkness in cinema, FOOD, the post-war era of the housewife, the constant upkeep of appearances for women, and MANY MORE!! Further reading: https://whitecube.com/artists/artist/julie_curtiss https://antonkerngallery.com/artists/julie_curtiss ENJOY!! WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE Lateral Embrace  Orlando  Double Selfie MoMA Guests Further reading:  http://www.houldsworth.co.uk/exhibition-thumbnails/little-is-enough-for-those-in-love-1579801608/1 https://www.goodman-gallery.com/artists/cassi-namoda This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
7/7/202044 minutes, 8 seconds
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Cassi Namoda

In episode 31 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most exciting artists in the world right now, the great CASSI NAMODA!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] WOW was it incredible to speak with the painter known for her vibrant and beautiful works that capture everyday scenes – from mundane moments to life-changing events of post-colonial Mozambique within an increasingly globalised world. Born in Maputo, and currently based in Long Island, NY, Cassi is a painter and performance artist who explores the intricacies of social dynamics and mixed cultural and racial identity. With the appearance of film stills, these fleeting snapshots sit within much larger narratives, and range from bustling, faceless crowds to close-up individual portraits. When confronted with one, they fill you with JOY with their vibrant colours and scenes full of love and appreciation, with the artist once remarking, “If you’re surrounded by love and community, you can make do with very little." I LOVED speaking with Cassi. In this episode we discuss her most recent exhibition "Little Is Enough For Those in Love" at Pippy Houldsworth in London – a show bursting with vitality, as well as exploring dualities between joy and pain; the storytelling aspect of her work and its cinematic influence; her experience growing up across continents and her aim to portray a post-independence Mozambique. ENJOY!! WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE 3 Month Old Lung Patient, 2019 Untitled (Conjoined Twins), 2019 Sad Man with Flowers, 2019 Little Is Enough For Those in Love, 2019 Costa Do Sol on Sunday Evening, 2019 Further reading:  http://www.houldsworth.co.uk/exhibition-thumbnails/little-is-enough-for-those-in-love-1579801608/1 https://www.goodman-gallery.com/artists/cassi-namoda This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
6/30/202039 minutes, 56 seconds
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Briony Fer on Eva Hesse

In episode 30 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the incredible art historian and curator, Professor Briony Fer, on the legendary EVA HESSE!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] One of the most GROUNDBREAKING artists the world has ever seen, Eva Hesse was known for her innovative sculptures made up of synthetic materials from fibreglass, plastic, to latex.  Working predominantly in NYC in the 60s, despite a short-lived career, Eva worked rigorously and prolifically, challenging every sculptural convention which came before her. Particularly deconstructing the rigidity and uniformity of Minimalism.  A pioneering feminist artist, Hesse desired, in her own words, to “challenge the norms of beauty and order.” And that's exactly what she did. She explored the body and form, and painting and sculpture, like no one had before. She painted biomorphs with wonky grids, covered cheesecloths in latex, and celebrated materials for what they were in all their irregular glory.  Born to Jewish parents in Nazi Germany in 1936, Hesse's early life was traumatic. Where her extended family were horrifically transported to concentration camps, she, her sister and their parents fled to NYC, with her mother sadly committing suicide just a few years later. Hesse channelled her anxieties into her art making, studying under the likes of Josef Albers at Yale, and taking the NY art scene by storm when she was just in her late 20s and early 30s. Earning herself major solo exhibitions and critical acclaim at a time when female artists were widely overlooked, Hesse explored wonders before her premature death in 1970, aged just 34. She has since gone on to influence millions. This discussion with world-renowned art historian Briony Fer – an old tutor of mine from UCL!! – is one of my favourites ever. Briony speaks SO wonderfully about Eva and really goes into depth about who she was, and her fiercely experimental practice. I hope you enjoy!!! Highly recommend this fantastic documentary on Eva! https://www.evahessedoc.com/ WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE: Accession https://www.dia.org/art/collection/object/accession-ii-47951 Schema  https://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/72573.html?mulR=601651032 Drawings https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hesse-untitled-t04154 Ringaround Arosie https://www.moma.org/collection/works/98638 Vertiginous Detour https://hirshhorn.tumblr.com/post/141099084095/eva-hesse-vertiginous-detour-1966-hesse-was-a Untitled or Not Yet https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/97-513-a-i/ Hang Up https://www.artic.edu/artworks/71396/hang-up Right After https://womennart.com/2018/02/21/right-after-by-eva-hesse/ Repetition 19 https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/eva-hesse-repetition-nineteen-iii-1968/ This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
6/23/202047 minutes, 51 seconds
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Helene Love-Allotey, Chloe Austin, Emi Eleode

In episode 29 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews THREE brilliant guests: African Art specialist, Helene Love-Allotey, art historian and curator-in-training Chloe Austin, and creator of @arthistorytalks, Emi Eleode.  Last week, six exciting young names in art celebrating Black culture took over @thegreatwomenartists Instagram account. To honour this takeover, this episode, as well as last week's, feature interviews with all six women about their practice and work.  And WOW. Were these women were absolutely incredible to speak with. First up we have Helene Love-Allotey who speaks in depth about her love for the great British artist, Lubaina Himid, and her experience visiting Himid's very moving and important exhibition "Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money". Housed at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery, this show highlighted how Europe’s wealthy classes spent their money in the 19th century by using enslaved African men and women, which Himid awkwardly and unapologetically portrays in vibrant cut-out sculptures placed amongst the white and male-dominated permanent collection. See more:  https://www.artscouncilcollection.org.uk/exhibition/lubaina-himid-meticulous-observations-and-naming-money @helenaloveallotey Next up is the great Chloe Austin, a curator-in-training at London's Barbican Centre, and Institute of the International Visual Arts (Iniva), a radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation, in which we speak at length about. We also discuss the institutions' position and reaction to this movement, as well as the three brilliant artists Deborah Findlater, Rosa-Johan Uddoh, and Elsa James.  See more: https://iniva.org/ https://iniva.org/programme/projects/chatting-in-the-stacks/ https://chloesinternalmonologue.wordpress.com/2020/06/06/black-boxes/ @chloejaaay  And we end with the wonderful Emi Eleode, founder of the Instagram @arthistorytalks, a page that spotlights 4–5 artists from a non-Western country each month. We discuss her own work that plays on art history, her research into the history of dance as a ritual in Brazil, as well as artists Delphine Diallo and Amrita Sher-Gil.  This is one of my favourite episodes EVER of The Great Women Artists Podcast so I hope you enjoy! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
6/16/20201 hour, 7 minutes
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Nengi Omuku, Alayo Akinkugbe, Michaela Yearwood-Dan

In episode 28 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews THREE brilliant guests: Lagos-based artist, Nengi Omuku, founder of @ablackhistoryofart Alayo Akinkugbe, and the amazing London-based artist, Michaela Yearwood-Dan. Over the past six days some of the most exciting young names in art celebrating Black culture have been taking over @thegreatwomenartists Instagram account. To honour this takeover, this episode, and the next one will feature interviews with all six women about their practice and work.  And WOW. Were these women completely incredible to speak with. We first speak to Nengi Omuku, the Slade BA and MA graduate whose work explores perceptions of race and gender, protest and notions of collective mourning, dealing with the coping mechanisms the body develops in order to be present. We speak at length about her aim to paint the mind capturing psychological notions in her sitters, as well as her interest in art as therapy. See more: http://www.nengiomuku.com/ + @nengiomuku    Works discussed: Funke, Nearing, Gathering, Male Next up is the great Alayo Akinkugbe, the 19 year-old History of Art student at Cambridge University who created the Instagram, @ablackhistoryofart which highlights overlooked artists, sitters, curators, and thinkers from history to the present day. We discuss Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Faith Ringgold, as well as her participation in Decolonising Art History at Cambridge. See more: @ablackhistoryofart And wow, we end with the sensational, Michaela Yeawood-Dan. One of the MOST exciting and phenomenal young artists working in London right now, known for her incredibly beautiful, playful, vibrant and sometimes thick impastoed canvases that explore themes around class, culture, gender and nature. We speak about the artists' work and practice, in particular the text behind her work, and of course her love for the great Carrie Mae Weems. See more: http://michaelayearwood-dan.com/ + @artistandgal  This is one of my favourite episodes EVER of The Great Women Artists Podcast so I hope you enjoy! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  50% of ad revenue for this episode will be donated to the Stephen Lawrence Trust, Black Minds Matter, Black Lives Matter UK, and The Marsha P Johnson Institute.  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
6/10/20201 hour, 12 minutes, 54 seconds
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Deborah Roberts

In Episode 27 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the phenomenal artist, DEBORAH ROBERTS!!  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] The MOST entertaining guest, the Austin-born and based Deborah is known for combining collage with mixed media in her figurative works that depict the complexity of black subjecthood, and explore themes of race, identity, and gender politics.  By using collage, she reflects the beauty, strength, and power but also challenges encountered by young black children, as they strive to build their identity, particularly as they respond to preconceived social constructs perpetuated by the black community. "With collage I can create a more expansive and inclusive view of the black experience." Inspired by Wangechi Mutu and Hannah Höch, Roberts combines a range of different facial features – from James Baldwin to Rihanna – as well skin tones, hairstyles, and a myriad of vibrant outfits. One of the leading artists in America, being in the collections of the Whitney to SF MoMA, the ICA Boston, Studio Museum, Brooklyn Museum, it has only been in the past few years that Roberts has gained the recognition she rightly deserves. i LOVED recording this episode so much. Not only was Deborah hilarious and brilliant, but we also speak about the very serious and very present underlying matters in her work, and how, through art she is helping to rectify the portrayal of young children of colour in the media, and in history. Deborah is a genius, so please do enjoy this episode!!  FURTHER LINKS: Follow Deborah on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rdeborah191/?hl=en https://www.stephenfriedman.com/artists/51-deborah-roberts/ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/12/arts/design/deborah-roberts-artist-virus-austin.html This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
5/26/202048 minutes, 14 seconds
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Flora Yukhnovich

In Episode 26 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly-acclaimed, sensation of a painter, FLORA YUKHNOVICH! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW was it an honour to interview Flora at her studio (the week before lockdown!) and discuss in-depth her INCREDIBLE works that adopt the language of the Rococo, reimagining the DYNAMISM of works by 18th century artists such as Tiepolo to Fragonard! Fusing high and low cultures through a filter of contemporary Cultural references, including film, food, and music videos – think Katy Perry to Niki Minaj! – Flora brings in painterly traditions in a more consciously feminine realm by featuring wisps of millennial pinks and purples. Variation is a driving force with mark making ranging from delicate flourishes through dramatic and gestural brushstrokes heightening the rhythmic sensuality that play that conjure up in her MASTERPIECES. Since graduating from City and Guilds in 2017, Flora has gone on to exhibited widely – including at the likes of Leeds Art Gallery, Parafin, Jerwood Gallery, as well as completing the Great Women Artists residency at Palazzo Monti (!) and has a current (now online!) exhibition at VICTORIA MIRO! Check it out:  https://www.victoria-miro.com/exhibitions/558/ In this episode we uncover Flora's meticulous process, her references, beginnings as an artist, and her love for the Rococo – as well as such an insight into its history. Wow.  We also discuss her experience living in Venice, where she visited the Tiepolos on a daily basis, and reimagined them in her masterpieces!!!  Flora is a GENIUS, and one of the most highly regarded young painters in the WORLD right now, so please do enjoy this episode!  This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
5/19/202040 minutes, 18 seconds
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Olivia Laing on Chantal Joffe, Sarah Lucas and Ana Mendieta

In Episode 25 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned writer and critic, OLIVIA LAING on Chantal Joffe, Sarah Lucas, and Ana Mendieta! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW. Was it an honour to interview Olivia: one of the greatest writers working today and the author of some of my favourite books: To The River, The Trip to Echo Spring, Crudo, and The Lonely City, which explores artists’ loneliness in New York City – the most powerful book I have ever read (http://olivialaing.co.uk/lonely-city). Just last month she published an outstanding – and very timely – collection of essays titled Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency, which features in-depth essays about artists’ lives, from Derek Jarman to Georgia O’Keeffe, love letters to the likes of David Bowie, plus her encounters and friendships with Chantal Joffe and Sarah Lucas! https://www.panmacmillan.com/authors/olivia-laing/funny-weather/9781529027648 SO, in this episode – a little different to previous ones – we talk to Olivia about her top three female artists, and wow did she speak eloquently, passionately, enthusiastically, and just brilliantly about these PIONEERING artists. We deep dive into her friendship with painter Chantal Joffe, whom Olivia has sat for on multiple occasions, and who she has also written about sitting for too! (Check out one of her essays here: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2018/may/12/chantal-joffe-paints-olivia-laing-mutual-portraits-words-and-paint) When asked about how Chantal captures people she says: "it's more that she sees a changing self. Every painting she does. It's very Virginia Woolf, the sense of somebody being so fluid through time in history, somebody moving so sinuously into different selves." Then we speak about the GENIUS who is Sarah Lucas. We discuss the immediacy of her work; how her sculptures make us feel and give precedent to how we inhabit our bodies; their POWER, humour, and comments on society. Finally we end with the great Ana Mendieta. One of the most important artists of the 20th century, Mendieta was known for exploring the body and identity through her performative and photographic works, that confront us directly as viewers: furiously, immediately, powerfully. It was a complete honour to speak with Olivia Laing, one of the greatest writers living right now. Further reading: http://olivialaing.co.uk/home I hope you enjoy the episode! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield
5/12/202050 minutes, 55 seconds
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Prudence Flint

In Episode 24 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the AMAZING artist PRUDENCE FLINT!! One of my FAVOURITE artists of 2020 – with her work particularly resonating with me at the time of lockdown – Prudence is known for her eerily quiet scenes of characters silently going about their daily lives. Swept up in her signature pastel-like palette, whilst it might at first appear as though her figures are performing seemingly mundane activities – lying on a bed to brushing their teeth – Prudence gives precedent to their actions by creating tense atmospheres in her slightly distorted and jarring environments. Painting both men and women, but focusing much more heavily on the female and the female psyche, Prudence’s work invites us into a narrative – an intimate, contemplative and private life, where we as viewers very much become an intruder, or a voyeur.  Based in Melbourne, Prudence is one of Australia's leading painters and is VERY excitingly included in an exhibition I have excitingly curated titled ‘Dwelling is the Light” at Timothy Taylor Gallery, featuring a multigenerational group of women exploring the relationship between interiors and the outdoors (https://timothytaylor.com/viewing-rooms/dwelling-is-the-light/). Speaking about women in her work she has said, “I wish for women to be at the center of things… to be all things, whole, boundless, perverse, and representative of humanity. I want to give voice to this experience of being alive, now, in this culture, as a woman.” I LOVED interviewing Prudence. It was such an insight to hear about her work in the context of the History of Art and her interest in the divine; exploring the beauty of the everyday; intensity of the home; dynamics between humans and their surroundings; and putting women at the centre of her work. Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
5/5/202040 minutes, 51 seconds
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Helen Molesworth on Alice Neel

In Episode 23 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the world's GREATEST writers and curators, Helen Molesworth on ALICE NEEL !!! The most exceptional portrait painter to ever life, and in my opinion, the most pioneering artist there ever was, Alice Neel was a visionary. Born as early as 1900 and based in NYC for her entire adulthood, Neel's life corresponded with the 20th century, which saw her live through political events, as well as a multitude of art movements and styles.   Painting her portraits in her signature thick blue and black outlines; scrutinising her sitter in every way; capturing the essence of the encounter; and owning her subject, Neel remained continuously loyal to her painterly style throughout the course of her six-decade-plus career.  Capturing art world stars such as Andy Warhol, to her cleaner Carmen and landlord's son, Benjamin, Alice Neel painted the world and community she surrounded herself, first in Harlem, and then on the Upper West Side. Dubbed 'a collector of souls' she painted people how she saw them: frank, honest, expressive, and truthful.  And then there are her revolutionary paintings of the nude: from sexualised portrayals of men to protruding pregnant women. WOW. Was she groundbreaking.  It was completely amazing to interview the genius Helen Molesworth, who is SO insightful on the life and work of Alice Neel. One of the most fun episodes I have ever recorded, we deep dive into Neel discussing her take on men, her encounters, and what her art means for the history of art.  Further reading/watching: Helen Molesworth at David Zwirner: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aULGfEQZPUA Essay by Helen Molesworth: https://www.davidzwirner.com/exhibitions/freedom-0 Hilton Als curated show, Uptown, at Victoria Miro: https://www.victoria-miro.com/exhibitions/506/ Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Enjoy 10% off using the code TGWA! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/28/202058 minutes, 20 seconds
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Jo Applin on Louise Bourgeois

In Episode 22 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned feminist art historian, Dr Jo Applin, on the legendary, LOUISE BOURGEOIS !!! Born as early as 1911 and living for nearly ONE HUNDRED years, Louise Bourgeois was a visionary. One of the most important artists ever to exist, in this episode we deep dive into her extraordinary life and pioneering work, that marked a shift in art, forever.  Known for her large-scale sculptures and cell-like installations, as well as paintings, drawings, sculptures and more, Louise Bourgeois began her artistic practice in her native Paris. Originally associated with Surrealism due to her integration of fantastic elements into her prints and sculptures, when she moved to NYC in 1938, Louise began to focus on sculpture: creating biomorphic forms that enact the physicality of the body.  Whilst the 40s saw her experiment with her 'Personages' sculptures and paintings reminiscent of the female in the domestic space, the 60s saw her move into suggestive organ-like works using unconventional materials – from resin, latex, and cloth – to allude to a tension between quintessentially male and female forms. With the 70s marking a cultural shift in feminist ideas, Louise started to garner recognition, which was cemented by a major retrospective at MoMA in 1982. The last few decades saw her create her most iconic and most experimental: the giant spiders – which we discuss in great detail (in particular the Dia: Beacon exhibit) – and cells, which capture Bourgeois's quietly screaming psyche in way that has never before been documented.  I LOVED recording this episode with Jo Applin – one day prior to lockdown! Jo is also the Head of the History of Art department at the Courtauld Institute of Art. Focussing on American art since 1960, her research addresses questions of abstraction, ageing, eccentricity, feminism, sexuality, and subjectivity.  Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
4/21/202052 minutes, 2 seconds
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Laura Smith on Eileen Agar

In Episode 21 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the brilliant Whitechapel Gallery curator, Laura Smith on the acclaimed surrealist EILEEN AGAR! One of THE leading artists of the 20th century, Agar’s extensive seven-decade career spanned vibrant painting, collage, and found objects. It saw her create monumental four-metre wide canvases, to plaster heads, infused with feathers, diamonds, ribbons, and bows that defied all gender stereotypes. Born in Buenos Aires in 1899, Agar grew up in a strict, traditional household with a mother who wanted her to be married off. But Eileen had different thoughts. Running away to The Slade in the 1920s, Eileen was taken with the flamboyancy and eccentricity artists had to offer. But again, she was fed up with the traditions of art, and fled to Paris after destroying all her art prior to 1926. In Paris she thrived. Mixing with the Cubists and Surrealists, with whom she learned composition, form, and juxtaposition of colour. Returning to London in 1930, Agar created some of her most pivotal artworks, such as Three Symbols – a colossal painting that fused Greek antiquity, industrial modernity, to the feminist statement of the ‘three patriarchal pillars’ – Angel of Anarchy, and The Autobiography of an Embryo. Always experimenting in the most bizarre and wonderful of ways, obsessing over found objects which she fused together to create a whole new dialogue and language, Agar was always inherently surreal without even meaning to be. In the 30s she garnered huge critical success and was included in the monumental Surrealist exhibitions around the world. However, with the imminence and outbreak of war. Everything changed. I LOVED interviewing Laura for this episode, who has curated Eileen’s work in numerous exhibitions including the staggering, Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings. Listen now to discover the eccentric life of one of the greatest – and sometimes overlooked – artist who deserved every recognition possible! Thank you for listening!! Works discussed in this episode: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/agar-three-symbols-t00707 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/agar-the-autobiography-of-an-embryo-t05024 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/agar-angel-of-anarchy-t03809 https://www.wikiart.org/en/eileen-agar/ladybird-1936 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/archive/items/tga-8927-8-12/agar-photograph-of-lee-miller-and-roland-penrose-on-the-beach This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
3/3/202048 minutes, 12 seconds
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Shirin Neshat

In Episode 20 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the INCREDIBLE, internationally-acclaimed artist, Shirin Neshat.  Born in 1957 in a small city in Iran, Neshat was 17 when she was sent to the United States to complete her education – first at a school in Southern California and then to Berkeley for her university education. However, due to the Islamic Revolution in 1979, she was prevented from returning to her country for close to 20 years, and although she studied art in college, it wasn’t until 1993 that she began to make art again.  Known for her work in photography, film and video that delve into issues of gender, identity and politics in Muslim countries, Neshat focuses on the relationship bewteen the personal and the political in past and present.  Her personal experiences as a Muslim woman in exile have particuarly informed her practice, and it is through the the medium of photography, film and video that she explores political structures that have shaped the history of Iran. Having just been the subject of a major survey exhibition spanning 25 years worth of work at LA’s The Broad, Shirin has exhibited at museums internationally, including the Serpentine Gallery here in London, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, as well as a major retrospective at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2013, and many more. https://www.thebroad.org/shirinneshat In 1999, Neshat was awarded the Golden Lion Award, the First International Prize at the 48th Venice Biennale, and in 2009, directed her first feature-length film, Women Without Men, which received the Silver Lion Award for “Best Director” at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. For those in London, an exhibition by Shirin Neshat, Titled “Land of Dreams”, which includes the UK premiere of her most recent body of work, is currently on view at Goodman Gallery (until 28 March). http://www.goodman-gallery.com/exhibitions/1081 Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hesselTo receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!  @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
2/25/202043 minutes, 45 seconds
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Chantal Joffe on Charlotte Salomon

In Episode 19 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most important painters in the world, CHANTAL JOFFE on the great artist CHARLOTTE SALOMON!   And WOW was it amazing to interview Chantal in her London studio on Charlotte Salomon, the Jewish-born German artist who created one of the most important and powerful artworks of the 20th century, "Life? or Theatre?", which is currently on view at the Jewish Museum here in London: https://jewishmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/charlotte-salomon/ Created between the years of 1941–43 when the young Salomon was living in Nice having escaped Berlin, "Life? or Theatre?" is a dramatised autobiography that uses sound, text, simple language, images, and music to give expression of Salomon’s struggle living in Berlin in the 1930s, and her experience during the war. It is the MOST moving, incredible, heartbreaking 'graphic novel' compiled of 769 small gouaches on paper which Salomon created when in hiding from Nazi oppressors.  The work is essentially a self portrait; storyboard; or intimate visual narrative of the artist’s existence: from a complicated family life, growing up in Berlin, the rise of the Nazis, to her exile to France, and to what ultimately led to her impending fate: age 26, five months pregnant, in Auschwitz. This challenging masterpiece tells the story of her life, with death looming from the start. In pre-first world war Berlin, a young woman called Charlotte – the artist’s aunt who she’s named after – drowns herself, and as the story unfolds, we discover many more mental health issues and sadness in the artist’s family. But Charlotte carries on, as if always seeing the positive in this ever glooming light which seems madness to even be seen as real life, as emphasised by its title.  Chantal speaks so beautifully in this episode, enlightening us about Charlotte and her experience visiting this week. Placing a particular emphasis on the redemptive power of art. When I asked Chantal why she thought the young Salomon created "Life? or Theatre?", she responded: "She just had no choice and the minute she's picked up, brush, she was safe. Suddenly it saved her and that's why we see such speed is in those drawings". Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!  @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
2/18/202045 minutes, 25 seconds
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Genieve Figgis

In Episode 18 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned Irish artist, GENIEVE FIGGIS!! And WOW was it amazing to interview Genieve, whose vibrant, loosely rendered, liquid-like works that reimagine classical scenes I have been SUCH a fan of since her inaugural London exhibition at Almine Rech back in 2015! Working in oil and acrylic and at small- to mid-scale, Genieve Figgis produces paintings rich in color, texture, and humor. Striking the balance between figuration, her marble-style and liquid-like paintings are reminiscent of the 18th century Rococo style.   Born in Dublin and now based in County Wicklow, Figgis was always interested in art, however it wasn’t until she was in her thirties with two small children, that she completed her art education in 2012. Exhibiting across Dublin galleries, it wasn’t until Figgis used Twitter to display her artwork in 2014, which caught the attention of one artist in particular – Richard Prince – who introduced Figgis to the New York art scene. Often reimagining and re-staging historical works – from Boucher, Fragonard, and Watteau – Figgis is particularly interested in scenes that feature sumptuous domestic interiors and stately country homes. It was such an honour to get to know and interview Genieve. We chat about everything from her strict Irish Catholic upbringing, what it was like entering a museum for the first time aged 19, going to art school later on in life, her ideas and interests behind her incredible painterly scenes, to her process and being an artist today.  See more of Genieve's work here:  https://www.genievefiggis.com/ Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!  @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
2/11/202038 minutes, 9 seconds
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Jadé Fadojutimi

In Episode 17 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most exciting young artists working in the world right now, JADÉ FADOJUTIMI !! And WOW was it amazing to record at Jadé's South London studio surrounded by her monumental works. She is SO brilliant and not only did we have so much fun recording this episode, but it is such a great insight to her work and also an honest experience being an artist. Working in painting and drawing, Jadé is known for her large-scale, vibrant and complex emotional landscapes that offer an insight into the artist’s quest for identity. Made up of loose, expressive and translucent brushstrokes, when witnessed in the flesh, the energy and conviction in her medium is completely infectious.  A fairly recent graduate of The Slade School of Art, where she completed her BA, and the Royal College of Art, where she completed her MA in 2017, the London born and bred Jadé has since gone on to exhibit widely across the world, including shows at Pippy Houldsworth, PEER, and more! Despite only being 26, Jadé has received high critical acclaim for her paintings, and this summer, will be included in the upcoming Liverpool Biennial as well as having a solo exhibition in Japan. Speaking about her work, she has said ‘painting is like looking into a windowpane and seeing the reflection of her self, the context in which she lives, and the distorted fusion of the two’.   See more of Jadé's works here:  http://jadefadojutimi.com/ Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!  @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
2/4/202041 minutes, 43 seconds
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Hans Ulrich Obrist on Faith Ringgold and Luchita Hurtado

In Episode 16 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the brilliant super curator and Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries, HANS ULRICH OBRIST on the legendary artists, Faith Ringgold AND Luchita Hurtado!!! And WOW was it amazing to record at Serpentine, where last summer Hans Ulrich curated monumental shows of their work. But despite both artists approaching their ninth and tenth decades, it was Luchita's first solo exhibition EVER, and for Faith it was also her first ever in-depth European institutional show ever!! https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/faith-ringgold https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/luchita-hurtado-i-live-i-die-i-will-be-reborn In this episode Hans Ulrich takes us through what he calls the "Rosemarie Trockel methodology" – his urgent interest to find out about and platform the older women artists who are yet to receive major recognition during their lifetime. And it was this that he applied to both Faith and Luchita.  In this episode we discuss Faith Ringgold, the artist and activist, who was born in Harlem in 1930 and who continues to tirelessly challenge perceptions of African American identity and gender inequality in her extensive five-decade-and-counting career. Known for her painted story quilts that combine personal narratives, history and politics, Ringgold grew up in the creative and intellectual context of the Harlem Renaissance, and was inspired by her surrounded contemporaries including writers James Baldwin and Amari Baraka. Exhibiting widely, it is only recently that Faith's career has been put into the spotlight, with one of her most famous paintings, American People #20 situated in the most prominent position of the new MoMA! https://www.moma.org/collection/works/199915 However unlike Faith, Luchita, who we also discuss (who is 99 and based in Santa Monica in California) had never had any recognition up until Hans Ulrich visited her at her studio just a few years ago! Known for her incredibly surreal paintings that play with light and perspectives, Luchita's work very much concerns itself with the environment – not only does she still continue to attend protests, but making ecologically activistic posters is an inherent part of her practice.  What is so interesting about both artists is how contemporary their ideas and approaches to art are, in addition to how timely their work feels – despite some of it made over fifty years ago!  I absolutely LOVED recording this episode with Hans Ulrich. His infectious energy and enthusiasm for these artists, and in particular platforming older women artists, was so admirable. I hope you enjoy the conversation!  Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!  @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
1/28/202039 minutes, 23 seconds
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Jessie Burton on Frida Kahlo

In Episode 15 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the brilliant best-selling author, Jessie Burton, on the great FRIDA KAHLO !!!!!!! And WOW was it incredible to record at Jessie's beautiful home surrounded by everything Frida: from mugs, cushions, candles, posters, to doorstops, Jessie has even painted her writing out-house 'Frida-blue' (!). What a hero! I first found out about Jessie's fascination with the artist after reading a beautiful essay she wrote in 2017 for Harper's Bazaar after making the pilgrimage to Frida's house, Casa Azul, around the time of the V&A Exhibition. You can read a shorter version here: https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/culture/a21341120/frida-kahlo-the-agony-and-the-ecstacy/ Frida is known to be one of the most iconic artists from history. Her image has been countlessly reproduced in the world, but how much do we really know about the woman behind the portrait...? Born in 1907 (she always claimed it was 1910 to be a 'child of the revolution'), Frida grew up in Mexico City, but life wasn't always easy. Disabled by polio as a child, Frida was involved in a horrific bus accident aged 18 which shattered her body. After being bed-bound, she began to paint – portraits of those around her, self-portraits of her reality and her constant reminder of death. But despite all the tragedy, she never let herself be the victim.  A left-wing activist, Frida married her husband, Diego Rivera – the then superstar artist of his day. The couple travelled around the world and were each other's biggest inspirations, but it wasn't always smooth – something we come to learn the more explore her work.  Through her portraiture Frida documented her life: her dual identity, love, death, religion, marriage, fertility, infertility. Portraying truthful scenarios, Jessie and I discuss the constant mask she wears and the constant search for identity in her work, whether that be mixing her European and Mexican heritage, her two selves, and her constant battle with the impending doom of death.  I couldn't be MORE excited to release this episode. Jessie tells the story of Frida through a writer's lens, calling her "a writer's dream". We go through her life story, but also her works, and ask ourselves: what is it that makes Frida so iconic, so relatable, so empowering?! Tune in NOW! :) Want to read more. Check out Jessie's brilliant books here: https://www.jessieburton.co.uk/index.html – available from all good bookshops!  Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: https://bit.ly/32HJVDk To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!  @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
1/21/202053 minutes, 32 seconds
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Emma Lewis on Dora Maar

WELCOME BACK to SEASON 2 of The GWA Podcast!! In Episode 14 (or Ep1, S2!)  of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the brilliant Tate Modern curator, Emma Lewis on DORA MAAR!!  And WOW was it incredible to record at Tate Modern where Emma has curated the HIGHLY critically acclaimed ~ and first ever UK retrospective ~ of the great French photographer and painter (on view until 15th March, don’t miss – https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/dora-maar!!) Maar was one of the most celebrated Surrealist photographers who lived in Paris in the early half of the 20th century. She exhibited widely in the 1930s, featuring in all six Surrealist exhibitions around the world, yet why is it that she has only really been celebrated since her death in 1997!? After setting up a studio in her early 20s Maar THRIVED and earned herself some of the biggest commissions from the brands of her day, creating some of the most inventive and creative adverts for shampoo to anti-ageing cream. Always capturing the ‘modern woman’, Marr also ventured to the streets of London and Barcelona where she captured the surreal aspects of the every day. In 1935 she met Picasso, with whom she collaborated and taught photography – and ended up documenting the metamorphosis of Guernica. But it was in this relationship that she took up painting agin, capturing a very tense and painful few years through her work “The Conversation”, but it is also this work that Emma reveals majorly influenced her former lover... In this episode we learn just HOW pioneering, brilliant, and radical Maar was for her day; her constant influence on the surrealists (and Picasso...!); and life post 1946, where her post-War career took a turn and she ventured for the south of France. TUNE IN NOW.  Further information:  https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/dora-maar https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/dora-maar-15766/seven-things-know-dora-maar Dora Maar EVENTS! Curator's talk with Emma Lewis at Tate Modern –  https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/dora-maar/curators-talk-dora-maar Panel discussion at Tate modern –  https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/dora-maar/surreal-nature-reality Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: artfund.org/great To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!  @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
1/14/202041 minutes, 11 seconds
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Zoe Whitley on Betye Saar

In Episode 13 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most important and groundbreaking curators working today, Dr Zoe Whitley on BETYE SAAR!! And WOW was it incredible to record with Zoe at London's Hayward Gallery – where she is senior curator – to discuss the life and work of the now 93 year-old Betye, who featured in Zoe's 2017 Tate Modern (and now touring) exhibition, SOUL OF A NATION!  Betye Saar is one of the most important artists in contemporary art, and currently has solo exhibitions on right now at both MoMA and LACMA! Known for her political collages and assemblages of found objects that mix surreal symbolic imagery with a folk art aesthetic, Saar has contributed enormously to the history of art from her involvement with the Black Arts Movement of the 1960s and 70s, right up to the present day. Growing up in the 30s and 40s in Los Angeles, Saar was inspired by Joseph Cornell’s assemblages and Simon Rodia’s “Watts Towers” nearby to where she grew up made from found scrap materials.   Raised by strong women who always encouraged her creativity, as well as identity as a black woman, Saar’s work predominately critiques American racism toward blacks. It was in the 1960s that she began collecting images of stereotypes African-American figures from folk culture and advertising of the Jim Crow era, which she transformed into figures of political protest.   A work we discuss in depth is “The Liberation of Aunt Jemima” which remains one of her most important works from this era (also exhibited at Zoe's incredible “Soul of a Nation”), a mixed-media assemblage which uses the stereotypical figure of the ‘mammy’ to subvert traditions of race and gender.   Speaking about the work she said: “I feel that The Liberation of Aunt Jemima is my iconic art piece. I had no idea she would become so important to so many. The reason I created her was to combat bigotry and racism and today she stills serves as my warrior against those ills of our society.” She is INCREDIBLE, and a force. And Zoe's enthusiasm, personal approach and expertise in Betye Saar is SO inspiring!!!   If you want to see more then DO NOT miss Zoe's co-curated "Soul of a Nation: Art in the Age of Black Power 1963–1983" currently on view at San Francisco's de Young Museum (https://deyoung.famsf.org/exhibitions/soul-of-a-nation); and for those in LA and NYC don't miss her show at MoMA (https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/5060) and LACMA (https://www.lacma.org/art/exhibition/betye-saar-call-and-response). . GO BETYE! Works discussed in this episode/ Further reading Black Girls Window (1969) https://www.moma.org/audio/playlist/302The Liberation of Aunt Jemima (1972) http://revolution.berkeley.edu/liberation-aunt-jemima/ Soul of a Nation at Tate Modern https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/soul-nation-art-age-black-power Here is also an incredible essay recently published in the NY Times https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/04/arts/design/betye-saar.html Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: https://bit.ly/32HJVDk To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!  @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Recorded by Joel Price Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
12/17/201942 minutes, 20 seconds
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Celia Paul

In Episode 12 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the foremost painters working in the world right now, CELIA PAUL!! And WOW was it incredible to record with Celia in her live-in studio – one of the most amazing places I have ever visited – which we discuss in great detail in the episode, as well as her extensive career.  Known for her intimate and expressive portraits of people and places close to her, as well as her statuesque and monumental self portraits, Celia is one of Britain's most celebrated artists who is currently the subject of an unmissable exhibition at Victoria Miro Gallery in London (closes 20 December!).  Born in 1959 in India, Celia moved to the UK with her family when she was five, and it was at age 16 that she was recognised by the Slade School of Art’s then director, Lawrence Gowing, who insisted she enrol at The Slade earlier than most, because of her precocious talent for painting.  In this episode we discuss Celia's upbringing in India; what led her to become an artist; her experience living in London for the first time to study at The Slade; the act of portraiture; painting her family; and what it means to be a female artist today – who is often wrongly cast in the shadow of her male contemporaries.  “I am not a portrait painter. If I’m anything, I have always been an autobiographer and a chronicler of my life and family”. This was one of the MOST interesting conversations I have ever had in my life, and I really hope you enjoy it. Not only is it such an insight into one of the greatest artists working today, but also a FASCINATING way to hear how an artist lives their life.  If you want to see or read more, then do NOT miss her incredible exhibition at Victoria Miro: https://www.victoria-miro.com/exhibitions/548/ If you want to find out more, read her unbelievably brilliant memoir, Self Portrait: https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/111/1118130/self-portrait/9781787331846.html (with a fantastic review by the one and only Zadie Smith: https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/11/21/muse-easel-celia-paul-lucian-freud/). WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE  My Sisters In Mourning (2015–16) https://www.victoria-miro.com/news/1361 Family Group, 1981 https://www.victoria-miro.com/news/930 Family Group, 1980 https://www.nybooks.com/articles/2019/11/21/muse-easel-celia-paul-lucian-freud/ Further works – https://www.victoria-miro.com/exhibitions/548/ Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair! @artfund: https://bit.ly/32HJVDk To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!  @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/ Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
12/10/201948 minutes, 14 seconds
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Maggi Hambling

In Episode 11 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the legendary British painter and sculptor, MAGGI HAMBLING! And WOW was it fun (and definitely an experience!) to visit the very brilliant Maggi in her South London studio to speak about her extensive and incredible five decades-and-counting career. Known for her portraits of the likes of comedian Max Wall to chemist Dorothy Hodgkin, sublime depictions of seascapes, public sculptures that include a 4-metre high steel 'Scallop' on Aldeburgh Beach, Maggi is always one to give her viewer some sort of immediate reaction, whether that be physical, emotional, or at times, controversial. Born in 1945, Maggi grew up in rural Suffolk with her two older siblings – which we discuss weren't particularly happy about her being a girl – before going on to study under Cedric Morris and Lett Haines, and later Camberwell, and the Slade School of Art. In this episode – which starts with a little surprise – we discuss the artist's upbringing and beginnings with art, what led her to become top in her class age 15, her time being the first artist in residence at London’s National Gallery in 1980, to painting the truth in comedians, dealing with grief through painting (referencing her nickname Maggi "coffin" Hambling!), and how it was through art that she could 'get closer to the man in the street'. This was one of the most incredible experiences of my life. Maggi is not just a brilliant artist but a hilarious person who tells tales from her fascinating career, all whilst smoking at least nine or so cigarettes over the course of our interview – listen out for the lighters! WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE  Dorothy Hodgkin, 1985 https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw07497/Dorothy-Hodgkin Max Wall, 1981  https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hambling-max-wall-and-his-image-t03542 Stephen Fry, 1993 https://www.npg.org.uk/collections/search/portrait/mw09544/Stephen-Fry Father, Late December, 1997  https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hambling-father-late-december-1997-t07835 Film of Maggi by Tate:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M4-4Syn1pmE Further reading on her seascapes:  https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/articles/4px9CyGCzjPWBYKFn8BgmXC/stormy-waters-maggi-hambling-returns-to-the-national Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass/ @artfund: https://bit.ly/32HJVDk To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Recorded by Joel Price Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
12/3/201934 minutes, 21 seconds
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Iwona Blazwick on Anna Maria Maiolino

In Episode 10 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the legendary Director of Whitechapel Gallery IWONA BLAZWICK on the radical Brazilian artist ANNA MARIA MAIOLINO!! And WOW is it incredible to hear one of the most important curators in the WORLD today speaking so passionately about one of the greatest Latin American artists – who also has an unmissable exhibition on right now at Whitechapel Gallery.  With a career spanning five decades and counting, 77 year-old Maiolino works across a multitude of mediums including performance, photography, and sculpture. Born in Italy during WW2, Maiolino emigrated to Venezuela and then Brazil, where she lived in extreme politically unstable times under a dictatorship.  But this fuelled Maiolino to make art that reflected these times: hidden away from the authorities, and challenging what it really meant to be a woman in this environment.  Known for her blindfolded performances where she avoided treading on hundreds of eggshells to highlight the fragility of life under a dictatorship, sculptures of the body that featured just the basic system to emulate the mere 'existence' of life under a dictatorship, Maiolino also focusses on simple shapes and forms to emphasise the universality of art and clay, substituting it for a language that, as an immigrant, never felt was hers.  I cannot STRESS how fascinating my chat with the brilliant Iwona Blazwick was. It made me realise so much about what artists do to survive when under political scrutiny, but also how much Mailino's work applies not just to artists, but to the public today.  We also discuss Iwona's role as a museum director and what that means in 2019; programming women artists exhibitions now compared to the 80s and 90s; 'exclusion' (such as women and Latin American artists) in the traditional art historical canon; the importance of diversity in institutions; and making shows relevant and accessible for everyone today.  Anna Maria Maiolino: Making Love Revolutionary is at the Whitechapel Gallery until 12 January:  https://www.whitechapelgallery.org/exhibitions/anna-maria-maiolino/ Further reading: https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/ey-exhibition-world-goes-pop/artist-biography/anna-maria-maiolino https://frieze.com/article/i-allowed-myself-be-eaten-anna-maria-maiolino-cultural-cannibalism-brazil Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass/ @artfund: https://bit.ly/32HJVDk To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/26/201934 minutes, 55 seconds
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Unskilled Worker

In Episode 09 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the brilliant London-based artist, Helen Downie, who goes under the guise of UNSKILLED WORKER!  A self-taught artist who first started painting aged 48 a mere six years ago, Unskilled Worker rose to prominence after posting her work online (instagram.com/unskilledworker), amassing nearly 300,000 Instagram followers, which led to designing collections for Gucci, and exhibiting at museums all over the world. Known for her intensely vibrant and poetic dreamlike canvases full of her very personal portrayals of people – from those in her imagination, to those who feature in her past and present – Unskilled Worker draws the viewer into a highly atmospheric world of childlike innocence. In this episode we discuss the artist's lifelong fascination with people; what led her to pick up a paintbrush age 48; picking up her subjects where she left off aged 14; painting Oscar Wilde to Radclyffe Hall; and how she learnt to live life as a painter – as well as dealing with such a dominant internet presence.   It was an honour to interview the great painter, who also speaks very movingly about dealing with grief through painting – and how occasionally, those from her past who may have got lost along the way, appear on the page in front of her.   WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE Where's Ted https://www.instagram.com/p/BujBg5eDOqD/ Faraway Boy https://www.instagram.com/p/BzLuy_sBUrv/ The Arrival https://www.instagram.com/p/Bvb9r3ujcQP/ Self Portrait https://www.instagram.com/p/BdXY9z2DgR3/ An English Idyll 2 https://www.instagram.com/p/BaMkZjpD0V5/ Radclyffe Hall and Una – The Tiger That Lost His Stripes https://www.instagram.com/p/BXNwcaPD9ST/ Oscar and Boesie https://www.instagram.com/p/BWprTZxDlv_/ Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass/ @artfund: https://bit.ly/32HJVDk To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/19/201939 minutes, 36 seconds
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Frances Morris on Agnes Martin

In Episode 08 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the Director of Tate Modern, FRANCES MORRIS (!), on the mammoth American abstract painter, AGNES MARTIN!! And WOW, is it incredible to hear such a groundbreaking curator speak SO passionately and eloquently about one of the greatest abstract painters to ever live. With a career that spanned five decades, Agnes Martin was known for her square canvases and meticulously rendered grids that translated into some of the most otherworldly pieces of art. Born in 1912, she grew up in rural Canada surrounded by nature before relocating to New York, where she worked alongside the Abstract Expressionists. In 1968 she relocated back to rural life and later settled in New Mexico, where she lived in monk-like conditions, painting everyday, up until her death in 2004. We discuss Frances's first-hand experiences with Martin's work; how she feels in front of one of her sublime paintings; what led her to curate such a spectacular exhibition in 2015; and of course, what the great artist taught her – ultimately, to look. It was such a privilege to speak to Frances Morris on Agnes Martin, and to hear such a personal response to a great artist. I hope you enjoy!!   WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE Morning, 1965 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/martin-morning-t01866 Friendship, 1963 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/79842 On A Clear Day, 1973 https://www.moma.org/collection/works/63682 Happy Holiday, 1999 https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/martin-happy-holiday-ar00179 Further information Frances's Tate exhibition:  https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/exhibition/agnes-martin Short film by Tate:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=902YXjchQsk Mary Lance's documentary on Agnes Martin:  https://vimeo.com/ondemand/withmybacktotheworld Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass/ @artfund: https://bit.ly/32HJVDk To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Recorded by Joel Price Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield Thanks to Well Fray-Smith https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
11/12/201943 minutes, 49 seconds
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Aïcha Mehrez on Lisa Brice

In Episode 07 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the amazing Tate Britain curator, Aïcha Mehrez, on one of the GREATEST painters working today, LISA BRICE!!!! And WOW. You think you know Lisa's phenomenally stunning work filled with women in moments of down-time in their private world? Think again. There are layers upon LAYERS of art historical references that she cannily interweaves that completely DISRUPTS every painting ever seen through the lens of the male gaze. Lisa is a genius and THE painter of our time.  Re-appropriating the likes of Millais' Ophelia, or Vallotton's unnamed woman, Lisa immortalises these dismissed women from art history by giving them life, their own personality, feet to stand on, and often half nude with a cigarette in hand.  We discuss the exhibition Aïcha curated at Tate Britain last year, plus Lisa's South African heritage and ties to Trinidad through the colour blue and its many different meanings. We also fan girl her ability to lure viewers into these private worlds disguised under a thin sheet or curtain, to gaze on these incredibly seductive and surreal women in their private and domestic spaces.  DO NOT MISS the last week of Lisa's phenomenal exhibition at Stephen Friedman Gallery which ends THIS SATURDAY 9 NOVEMBER!  WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE No Bare Back, after Embah, 2017 – https://bit.ly/2PM4KLiBetween This And That, 2017 – https://bit.ly/36z4d5d Midday Drinking Den, after Embah I, 2017 – https://bit.ly/2NItSzFAfter Ophelia, 2018 – https://bit.ly/2PIaSUR Screen in SFG show https://www.stephenfriedman.com/exhibitions/current/lisa-brice/1569672547_brice_at_sfg_2019_1-jpg Stephen Friedman Gallery show (until 9 November) https://www.stephenfriedman.com/exhibitions/current/lisa-brice/ Lisa Brice curated by Aïcha Mehrez at Tate Britain https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/lisa-brice Further reading Aïcha Mehrez in conversation with Lisa Brice https://www.tate.org.uk/tate-etc/issue-43-summer-2018/lisa-brice-art-now-interview-aicha-mehrez Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass/ @artfund https://www.artfund.org/national-art-pass Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield
11/5/201940 minutes, 29 seconds
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Joanna Moorhead on Leonora Carrington

In Episode 06 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews journalist Joanna Moorhead, the long lost cousin, biographer and world expert of one of the greatest surrealist painters ever to exist, LEONORA CARRINGTON!!! And WOW, will it shock you to find out that Joanna only found out about her long lost cousin a mere THIRTEEN years ago, by which point the great artist was 89. Determined to track her down, Joanna flew straight to Mexico to find her cousin – who was never allowed to be spoken about in her family since her dramatic exit in 1937... Born in 1917 in a large gothic mansion – that inspired many of her later paintings – Carrington had an isolated childhood. The only girl of three brothers, age 15 Carrington was sent to London be a debutant, but she resisted, only to head straight to art school where she ended up falling in love with Max Ernst, the married Surrealist painter 26 years her senior... After a huge row with her family – she never saw her father again – she headed straight for Paris. But this was 1936 and war was imminent. And it wasn't going to be easy for the young Leonora to venture out on her own. Listen now to discover how the young Leonora escaped Europe for Mexico, the country where Carrington resided until her death in 2011... I couldn't be more delighted to interview Joanna about Leonora and her fantastically surreal paintings – many of which echo her childhood – and to find out first hand about the artist's life and take on her work, and of course, their meeting in 2006. WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE:  Self Portrait (In of the Dawn Horse), 1937–38https://www.metmuseum.org/en/art/collection/search/492697 Portrait of Max Ernst, 1939https://www.nationalgalleries.org/art-and-artists/164061/portrait-max-ernst Do You Know My Aunt Eliza?, 1941https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/carrington-do-you-know-my-aunt-eliza-t11911 Green Tea, 1942https://bit.ly/31N9PoY Crookhey Hall, 1947https://bit.ly/2BNPhC8 Grandma Moorhead's Aromatic Kitchen, 1975https://bit.ly/2PnZGMV Further reading –  Joanna's book: https://www.virago.co.uk/titles/joanna-moorhead/the-surreal-life-of-leonora-carrington/9780349008776/ Article on the book: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2017/apr/05/the-surreal-life-of-leonora-carrington-joanna-moorhead-review BBC documentary: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SxEF1bjgt5Q&t=1121s Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the Affordable Art Fair: @affordableartfairuk Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Sound editing by @_ellieclifford Music by Ben Wetherfield
10/29/201955 minutes, 31 seconds
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Ami Bouhassane on Lee Miller

In Episode 05 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews Ami Bouhassane on the life and work of her grandmother: the model turned surrealist, photographer, war correspondent and all-round 20th century artistic giant, LEE MILLER!! And WOW will this episode blow you away. Especially when you hear that Ami’s father, Antony Penrose, was unaware of his mother’s professional photographic life until after she passed away in 1977... Born in 1907, Lee Miller first entered the world of photography in New York after falling into the arms of Conde Nast on a Manhattan street. It didn't take long before she was already on her way to Paris, in particular the studio of Man Ray, with whom she created some of the most iconic surrealist photography. Fast forward to 1932 and she's back in NYC at the height of the depression where she excelled running her own commercial photographic studio. Off again, back to Paris via Egypt, and then the UK at the outbreak of World War II, where Lee quickly adopted the role of a war correspondent, photographing on the front line, but also ensuring that she was recording women’s contribution to the war. However life took a turn after witnessing some of the most horrific scenes that war was to bring. I couldn’t be more delighted to interview Ami on her grandmother who is one of the MOST remarkable artists to live, whose story needs to be told, AND whose work needs to be seen. We recorded the episode down at Farley's Farm, on the site of Miller’s former home, where where Ami and her father Antony continue to run the archive, gallery (that you can visit!), and ensure the legacy of the great Lee Miller. See more info here: https://www.farleyshouseandgallery.co.uk/ WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE Lee Miller's front cover for Vogue https://bit.ly/2BwRqlD Paris: Nude https://bit.ly/2pFRSuY Egypt: Portrait of Space, 1937 https://bit.ly/2P5bZgR World War II images: https://www.iwm.org.uk/history/lee-millers-second-world-war Fire Masks, Hampstead: https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2015/sep/19/lee-miller-a-womans-war-exhibition-imperial-war-museum-second-world-war-dachau-hitler#img-1 Lee Miller's cookbook: https://www.leemiller.co.uk/article/Award-winning-book-Lee-Miller-A-Life-with-Food-Friends-amp-Recipes/pJV_ykrXKJusXwM7yD3-Hg..a Further reading: http://www.vam.ac.uk/content/articles/l/lee-miller/ https://www.eiderdownbooks.com/product-page/lee-miller-by-ami-bouhassane Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the Affordable Art Fair: @affordableartfairuk Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Sound editing by @_ellieclifford / @naomiabel Music by Ben Wetherfield
10/21/201951 minutes, 46 seconds
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Tschabalala Self

In Episode 04 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most highly regarded young artists working today, the Harlem-born painter, TSCHABALALA SELF!! A graduate of the Yale School of Art and a recent participant of the AMAZING Studio Museum Residency, the brilliant Tschabalala is known for her expressive, vibrant and dynamic works of human figure, that combines paint, printmaking, collage and sculpture. With her primary concern centred on the black female body, Self explores subjects around race, gender, and identity through powerful and bold images of women. In this episode we discuss Tschabalala's beginnings in Harlem, the place that has culturally shaped who she is today and the impact it's had on her work; the artists who continue to inspire her – from Faith Ringgold, Kehinde Wiley and Clementine Hunter; the stories behind the figures and the 'settings' she places them in; her artistic process; interests in the environment that surrounds her characters, in particular the bodega; and her previous and current exhibitions – one of which, "Thigh High" is on right now at Pilar Corrias Gallery in London. She is SO brilliant and SO interesting, and I couldn't be more honoured to interview someone right at the forefront of their career. She's killing it. ENJOY!! WORKS / EXHIBITIONS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE: Bodega Run –  The Hammer, LA: https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2019/hammer-projects-tschabalala-self/ Pila Corrias, London: https://www.pilarcorrias.com/exhibitions/tschabalala-self-bodega-run/ Thigh High –  Currently on view at Pilar Corrias, until 9 November: https://www.pilarcorrias.com/exhibitions/tschabalala-self/ Tschabalala Self – Parasol Unit, 2017: https://parasol-unit.org/whats-on/tschabalala-self/ Studio Museum Residency: https://www.moma.org/calendar/exhibitions/5086 Upcoming exhibitions: ICA Boston –  https://www.icaboston.org/exhibitions/tschabalala-self-out-body Artists discussed include: Faith Ringgold, Mickalene Thomas, Wangechi Mutu, Clementine Hunter Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the Affordable Art Fair: @affordableartfairuk Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Sound editing by @_ellieclifford / @_naomiabel Music by Ben Wetherfield
10/14/201937 minutes, 55 seconds
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Juno Calypso

In Episode 03 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most exciting and brilliant photographers working today, JUNO CALYPSO!!! Known for her self portraits where she stages herself as a fictional character named ‘Joyce’ in the likes of Honeymoon Hotels in America, 70s style flats in Malta, or more recently in a kitsch underground bunker on the outskirts of Vegas, Juno’s work is always very distinctly pink and elaborate, with a lot of dark undertones. After graduating from London College of Communications in 2012, Juno has since gone on to win multiple awards for her work, including the British Journal of Photography and the Royal Photographic Society, and has had six solo exhibitions across London and Milan. In this episode we discuss Juno's career so far, how she became interested in self portraiture experimenting with digital cameras in the late 90s and early 00s; her experience at university; incredible recent photographic projects, The Honeymoon and What To Do With A Million Years; her constant and refreshing examination of female self-perception; and how she's catapulted into being one of the most recognisable and exciting photographers working today. I couldn't be more delighted to have Juno as my third guest. Not only is she amazing AND hilarious, but her unnerving stories of finding the most kitsch and insanely incredible locations (you won't believe are real) are just fantastic. She has A LOT of good stories. ENJOY!!! WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE: Early Work – Popcorn Venus, 2012 https://www.junocalypso.com/joyce-ii/403ytame26ukmyc3nv2iy9oancorht Joyce – 12 Reasons You're Tired All The Time, 2013 https://www.junocalypso.com/joyce-ii/8oj5qrr18him0sra6i6ymi8qyxz0bv The Honeymoon –  Eternal Beauty, 2014 https://www.junocalypso.com/produce/k4d0u0w5q499ico00rkwiu973r0ee0 A Dream in Green, 2015 https://www.junocalypso.com/produce/yaorcuo0dsom4rtagq3bo6e3f6lt86 The Honeymoon Suite, 2015 https://www.junocalypso.com/produce/kd0v7lml0hi6gea393xmahjhcpuy9g Sensory Deprivation, 2016 https://www.junocalypso.com/produce/sensorydeprivation What To Do With A Million Years –  Tuesday in Eternity, 2018 https://www.junocalypso.com/2018/11/7/tuesday-in-eternity-2018 Subterrenean Kitchen, 2018 https://www.junocalypso.com/2018/11/7/2018/11/7/subterranean-kitchen-2018 Die Now Pay Later, 2018 https://www.junocalypso.com/2018/11/7/die-now-pay-later-2018 The Entrance, 2018 https://www.junocalypso.com/2018/11/7/the-entrance-2018 Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the Affordable Art Fair: @affordableartfairuk Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Sound editing by @_ellieclifford / @naomiabel Music by Ben Wetherfield
10/7/201944 minutes, 22 seconds
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Es Devlin

In Episode 02 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the sensational artist and stage designer, ES DEVLIN!! Known for creating some of the most memorable sets and stages the world has ever seen – including for the likes of Beyonce, Adele and Kanye West – Es is also world-renowned for her theatre and opera sets for The National Theatre to the Royal Opera House. Revolutionising the stage with her iconic and memorable sculptures, projections and cubes, Es also embarks on her own artworks including her Mirror Mazes, AI-generated poetry sculptures, and Memory Palaces, the latter of which is currently on view at Pitzhanger Manor. See more here: https://www.pitzhanger.org.uk/whats-on/current-events-exhibitions/ In this episode we discuss Es’s role to impact the collective memory of 100,000 people at one time; bringing words and music to life through sculpture and sets; her upbringing in Rye and influences as a child; as well as going through her PHENOMENAL works that I really find to be some of the most emotional I've ever witnessed. She's amazing. Have a listen! WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE: Mirror Maze at Copeland Park (2016) www.youtube.com/watch?v=IMbLlN_6AD8 Hamlet at Barbican (2015) esdevlin.com/work/hamlet-barbican Lehman Trilogy at National Theatre (2018/19) www.wallpaper.com/design/es-devlin…ilogy-sam-mendes Beyonce's Formation Tour (2016) esdevlin.com/work/beyonce Kanye West x Jay Z Tour (2013) www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/20…w-for-kanye-west Adele World Arena Tour (2016) esdevlin.com/work/adele-world-tour Camen at Bregenz Festival (2018) esdevlin.com/work/carmen-bregenz UK Pavilion – Dubai Expo (2020) esdevlin.com/work/uk-pavillion Please Feed The Lions (2018) esdevlin.com/work/lions Memory Palace at Pitzhanger (2019) www.pitzhanger.org.uk/whats-on/curre…s-exhibitions/ This is the Rye model! https://www.ryeheritage.co.uk/rye-town-model/ Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the Affordable Art Fair. Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Sound editing by @_ellieclifford / @naomiabel Music by Ben Wetherfield
9/30/201947 minutes, 52 seconds
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Eleanor Nairne on Lee Krasner

In episode 01 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the exceptional curator, Eleanor Nairne, about the Abstract Expressionist sensation, LEE KRASNER!! Born in 1908 Brooklyn to a Jewish family, Krasner was known as one of the greatest painters of the 20th century. Nairne, who recently curated “Lee Krasner: Living Colour” at London's Barbican Centre, catapulted her into the spotlight after decades of the artist often being overshadowed by her former husband, Jackson Pollock. Whether you’re a die-hard Krasner fan (like me), or have never even heard of her at all, TUNE IN to here us discussing her incredible career. We cover Krasner’s Brooklyn childhood, the moment “The Modern” opens in 1929 (aka MoMA), her education at the all-women’s Washington Irving School and later Cooper Union in NYC, her formidable determination to become one of the greatest artists of all time, seminal works and of course her very interesting (and at times heartbreaking!) life story. WORKS DISCUSSED IN THE EPISODE: Another storm (1963) Mural (1943–7 by Jackson Pollock)  Self Portrait (1928) Prophecy (1956)  Little images (1946–50)  Mosaic Table (1947)  Night series: The Eye is the First Circle (1960) Further information about Eleanor's fantastic exhibition: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2019/event/lee-krasner-living-colour Thank you for listening!! This episode is sponsored by the Affordable Art Fair. Produced and presented by Katy Hessel Sound editing by Ellie Clifford/ Naomi Abel-Hirsch Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner @_ellieclifford / @naomiabel Music by Ben Wetherfield
9/24/201943 minutes, 12 seconds
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The Great Women Artists Trailer

Welcome to The Great Women Artists Podcast! Created off the back of @thegreatwomenartists Instagram, this podcast is all about celebrating women artists from a variety of backgrounds and histories. Presented by art historian and curator, Katy Hessel, each episode will interview artists on their career, or curators, writers, or general art lovers, on the female artist who means the most to them. First episode out TUESDAY 24 SEPTEMBER! Get in touch: [email protected]
9/16/201953 seconds