OPINION

FOUR CONTEMPORARY FEMALE ARTISTS YOU

NEED TO KNOW

April 12 2021         BY: ZOë MANN

It’s International Women’s month every month here at PROVK! Art history has a major problem and that’s the lack of representation of women, especially women of color. It’s no secret that women were always making art alongside men, unfortunately it is only men who made it into the history books. It’s important to keep women in the conversation because women artists make the art world magical. Here are four examples of women artists we believe you should know. Pushing boundaries questioning femininity, gender, race, history, motherhood, and social propaganda. 

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© Kara Walker

Kara Walker

We’re starting strong here because Kara Walker is a legend amongst the contemporary art crowd. She’s known for her haunting silhouettes which depict the horrors of antebellum south. Looking at these works with a 21st century perspective, it’s easy to realize that the issues concerning race in America aren’t over. By having silhouettes, Walker is not only bringing back a 19th century artistic trend, but also allows the viewer to look at racism straight on with ease and then question why it was a more comfortable viewing. Silhouettes don’t show facial expressions so the viewer cannot see a full figure with personality and emotion. Walker’s work is meant to stir up a conversation as well as show a history of torment and turmoil.

Walker isn’t new to the game and had her debut at The Drawing Center in NYC in 1994. In Walker’s own words, her work is “consumed by history” and sees no point in moving forward without a full understanding of the past. Walker’s last exhibition in 2020 was a showcase of her drawings at Sikkema Jenkins & Co. in New York.

Check out more of her work here.

Rikki Wright

Rikki Wright is a Los Angeles based photographer and filmmaker. Wright explores beauty, exemplifies black sisterhood, and hopes to reinvent what it means to be feminine and masculine in her work. Wright believes that photography filled an empty space that was left by the death of her mother who died when Wright was two. To Wright, photography allowed her to explore different definitions of motherhood as an attempt to recreate what she didn’t have growing up.

Wright’s last exhibition was a screening of her “to be woman, gifted, and black: from one generation to another.” It premiered earlier this year online at the Metrograph in New York City. Check out her website here.

Andrea Mary Marshall

Andrea Mary Marshall is a New York based artist known for her self-portraits. Marshall started her career in the world of fashion and studied at Parsons the New School. Her work depicts her early interest in fashion with her interpretations of Vogue covers which she calls Vague.

In her self-portraits, she takes on the persona of different altar-egos including Loretta Minx and Gia Condo (who is inspired by The Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci.). While describing her self-portraits, Marshall says that her “work is more about exploring human emotions beyond the physical.” Check out her work here.

Alex Nuñez

Alex Nuñez is a Cuban American painter from Miami. Nuñez’s paintings always begin with a found object or image that becomes one with the canvas. Her work seems to reach out to the viewer with all the different colors, textures, and found objects she uses to make her art come alive. Very much like the works of Jackson Pollock, Nuñez’s action multi-media paintings are a visually fascinating. Nuñez describes her work as “rooted in the tension between delicate line work, and a spontaneous staining method of dense pools of acrylic paint combined with glitter and confetti.”

Even though Nuñez studied painting around the world, Miami will always be her home. The city combined with her Cuban roots continue to be an inspiration for her work. Check out more of her work here.

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