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Art lovers, take note: Frieze London will debut a section dedicated to feminist artists

The 2017 edition of the Frieze London art fair will include a new section showcasing “artists working at the extreme edges of feminist practice since the 1960s”.

art and culture Updated: Oct 04, 2017 11:53 IST
Frieze London,Art,Culture
Courting Ajaxander (1990) by Dorothy Iannone.(AFP)

The 2017 edition of the Frieze London art fair will include a new section entitled Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics, designed to showcase “artists working at the extreme edges of feminist practice since the 1960s.” Taking place October 5-8 in the English capital’s Regent’s Park, Frieze London is one of the biggest art industry events of the year, and is known for its principal focus on contemporary and living artists.

As part of a new section called Sex Work: Feminist Art & Radical Politics, curator Alison Gingeras will be presenting the work of nine female artists in order to “pay homage to artists who transgressed sexual mores, gender norms and the tyranny of political correctness and were frequently the object of censorship in their day”. The exhibition also seeks to highlight the importance of the galleries that chose to represent the controversial artists.

The Story Of Bern (or) Showing Colors (1970) by Dorothy Iannone ( AFP )

The nine artists selected to feature in the section are Dorothy Iannone (Air de Paris, Paris); Marilyn Minter (Baldwin Gallery, Aspen, Regen Projects and Salon 94, Los Angeles); Penny Slinger (Blum & Poe, Los Angeles); Judith Bernstein (The Box, Los Angeles, Karma International, Zurich); Betty Tompkins (Galerie Andrea Caratsch, St. Moritz); Mary Beth Edelson (David Lewis, New York); Natalia LL (lokal_30, Warsaw); Renate Bertlmann (Richard Saltoun, London); and Birgit Jürgenssen (Galerie Hubert Winter, Vienna). From different nationalities, backgrounds and artistic genres, these nine women are/were known for producing some of the most radical art pieces of their times.

The late Austrian artist Birgit Jürgenssen, for example, was fascinated with the female body, in particular with feminine body art, embellishment and accessories. Another Austrian artist, Renate Bertlmann is known for her striking work on the social stereotypes behind masculinity and femininity. The British-born American Penny Slinger found her own artistic identity in feminist surrealism, while the provocative American artist Betty Tompkins focuses her work almost uniquely around images of heterosexual and homosexual intercourse.

Until recent years, Bertlmann, Jürgenssen, Slinger and Tompkins were deemed too controversial to be published in many anthological shows, which is why this exhibition is considered to be so important to the feminist art canon.

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First Published: Oct 04, 2017 11:52 IST