Women Artists
ARTWISE  EDITORIAL
January 18, 2018 

Amidst the great range of reasons to love the women artists who have climbed their way to world renown, it seems further awe-inspiring to make note of their strength to press through the obstacles standing in their way. Beyond the immeasurable talent, craftsmanship and command of vision which lead an artist to success, women artists additionally wield a formidable drive that translates directly into their work. That they have been able to make their mark, and in significant and globally altering ways, is a testament to the inner fire that solicits their well-deserved attention.

Faith Ringgold, born in Harlem in New York City in 1930, grew up surrounded by a vibrant and thriving arts scene following the Harlem Renaissance, neighbors and friends with the likes of Duke Ellington, Langston Hughes and Sonny Rollins. Despite chronic asthma, the racism, sexism, and segregation of everyday life, and being made to major in art education instead of art practice because art was thought to be an exclusively male profession, Ringgold and her beloved folk art style excelled to vast proportions. Her confident shapes, line quality, color choices and storytelling demeanor have brilliantly carried her work across decades, exemplified in this exquisite signed silkscreen Coming to Jones Road Under a Blood Red Sky #5.
 

Faith Ringgold, Coming to Jones Road Under a Blood Red Sky #5, 2004 -SIGNED

 
Georgia O'Keeffe was a veritable monument in the history of art, and particularly as a female. Born in 1887, she began serious formal art training early on at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and then the Art Students League of New York, but discovered quickly a desire to deviate from purely representational painting. She was an early pioneer to experiment with abstraction, seeking a more expressive personal interpretation of nature. She was already a legend beginning in the 1920s, known as much for her independent spirit and as female role model, as for her dramatic and innovative works of art. White Shell with Red is a signed music festival poster from 1976, amongst her most famous images.
Georgia O'Keeffe, White Shell with Red-1976,  Offset Lithograph  SIGNED

 
"The world would be decidedly less colorful without the contributions of female artists, who maintain an altogether distinct motion from their male counterparts, fostering a remarkable wealth of ingenuity, imagination and originality — their own particular genius."
Mickalene Thomas uses her art practice to examine ideas around femininity, beauty, race, sexuality, and gender, deftly weaving together complex mediums such as rhinestones, acrylic, and enamel, and creating riveting and dynamic images that are as beautiful as they are striking. Her works glimmer with the electric energy coursing through her portrait subjects, reflective of the modern culture in which her themes maneuver— as seen in Clarivel with Black Blouse and White Ribbon, a piece signed, dated and numbered out of 25 by Thomas in pencil.
Mickalene Thomas, Clarivel with Black Blouse and White Ribbon, 2016 Giclee  SIGNED

 
Helen Frankenthaler, Aerie,  2009 Serigraph   SIGNED

 
Helen Frankenthaler is known and loved for her inspiring color sensibilities in her association with abstract expressionism, the field in which she was amongst the heavy-hitters of the American movement of the 1950s and 60s. Even though her art education and career were formulated amidst a powerful host of male figures like Hans Hofmann, Clement Greenberg and Robert Motherwell, she nonetheless blazed a trail all her own, amplified with a resonating visual force that pervades loud and clear. In her piece Aerie, a signed silkscreen displaying her characteristic radiant energy, more than 90 screens were used to faithfully translate the subtle color gradations of the painting from which it derives.

 
The world would be decidedly less colorful without the contributions of female artists, who maintain an altogether distinct motion from their male counterparts, fostering a remarkable wealth of ingenuity, imagination and originality — their own particular genius.

 
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