During the 1970s, adding ‘women’s’ to ‘art’ was a powerfully political act. Fuelled by the momentum of the women’s liberation movement, artists, art historians, critics and curators began to explore the women’s art practice, as distinct from men’s, and to challenge its invisibility in the established art world and historical canon. In the 1980s, they continued to creatively critique representations of female sexuality, and in the 1990s, some began to embrace the ‘post-feminist’ idea of difference and the performance of gender.
Throughout this pivotal period, the MAKE magazine offered a unique platform for academics, artists and arts professionals to critically engage with women’s art. Though the need to talk about ‘women’s art’ seemed to lose some of its political urgency in the early 2000s, many artists, art historians and art students are now once again explicitly engaging with feminist art histories and art practices as possible models and precedents for resistance. Now is the time to revisit the past, in order to understand and galvanise the energy of the present.Gathering together the work of eminent writers such as Griselda Pollock and Marina Warner, on celebrated artists such as Helen Chadwick, Sarah Lucas and The Guerrilla Girls, this unparalleled anthology of material from the MAKE archive allows us to trace the lineages and links between then and now.
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