Brianna & Madison Hosting Inspiring Women

Artwork in the Late 1900s-Present

Aruna Seenauth (artwork page design)

Research for 1970's artwork by Chen Yao                                                   Reasearch for 1980's by Imogen Angel           


                                               Research for 1990's - present  by Abby McWhorter        

Lynda Benglis, “SELF” (1970–1976/2012) (all photos by the author for Hyperallergic) 



This work is called "Fling, Dribble and Drip". The woman in the picture is paint allergic, but she still wears gloves, holding a large bucket of paint and pouring it on the floor. The author breaks the public's stereotype of women by depicting such abstract pictures, and wants to show women can also look masculine.

ORLAN, “Strip-tease occasionnel avec les draps du trousseau” (1974–1975)



This work is "Strip-tease casesnel avec les draps du trousseau'' by French artist Orlan. The woman in the work gradually takes off her clothes. Through this style of shooting, it shows that women are gradually liberating themselves.  The women's movements in the photo look free, so it's breaking the stereotype that women are "shy" to show their bodies.

Martha Rosler Semiotics of the Kitchen(1975) 


This work is an imitation video produced by Martha Rosler in 1975. The work is called Semiotics of the Kitchen. The women in the work wear aprons and make food in the kitchen. The video reflects the public's stereotype of women that they are always housewives or need to know how to cook. Through this work, the author wants to show the"sarcasm" for her of the stereotype, as well as the "oppression" of women.

Untitled (Perfect) Barbara Kruger (1980)

Barbara Kruger is a conceptual artist whose most of her later work consisted of black and white photographs with text overlayed that portrayed her views on power, sexuality, and identity. Untitled (Perfect) portrays a woman with her hands clasped in prayer as a commentary on how idealized submissive femininity is. 

Guerilla Girls is a group of artists that was established in 1985 to expose sexual and racial discrimination within the art world. The artwork they produce is often focused on highlighting the disparities within the art world and just how dominated and controlled the art community is by powerful white men. Their identities remain anonymous for their protection.


“Self Portrait Exaggerating My Negroid Features”, Adrian Piper, 1981

Adrian Piper is a conceptual artist and philosopher who focused on challenging assumptions and perceptions of race and gender. Her work often consisted of adding charcoal drawings to New York Times advertisements to emphasize the contrast and confront racism.

 “The Ballad of Sexual Dependency” 1986, Nan Goldin

Nan Goldin is an American photographer known for her stark depictions of queer sexuality, moments of intimacy, the opiod epidemic, and the HIV crisis. Her most notable work is the Ballad of Sexual Dependency (a slideshow of photos), which depicts post-Stonewall gay subculture in addition to Goldin’s family and friends.

“I Am Its Secret (Women of Allah)” by Shirin Neshat (1993)



Shirin Neshat explores the relationship between women and the religious and cultural value systems of Islam. Being raised and living in Iran until 1975, Neshat wanted to create art relating to these taboo topics of exile, political revolution and Iran's past and future. On the photograph, she inscribes calligraphic poetry by contemporary Iranian women, superimposed on the bodies of her subjects. You can see the eyes of the subject looking directly at the viewer, which helps catch the viewer’s attention and  think more deeply about the subject.

“Vakuum (2008), “Bloody Shoes” (2004), “Cactus” (2004) by Olivera Parlic


Olivera Parlic is a Serbian artist who creates symbolic art made out of household objects. Her art focuses on issues of sexuality and sexual freedom, especially emphasizing the role of women in the home. The piece, Vakuum, represents the pain of childbirth, the toll taken on the body, and often the need for medical repair afterwards. The piece, Bloody Shoes, represents the pain women are forced to go through to be socially acceptable, and the impossible standards placed on what it means to be a woman. The piece, Cactus, represents the lack of proper education surrounding female pleasure and how sex is not always the steamy action showed in media. 

“Stellar Art” by Delphine Lebourgeois (2018)



Delphine Lebourgeois works with collage, drawing, print, and digital art to produce modern reflections of the female figure. Her work focuses on female individuality and strength. In this piece, twelve women are standing in a strong stance, which makes them appear important and commanding. I believe it represents the next generation of powerful females that hopefully will take on even more leadership roles. 

Jenny Holzer is an American artist based in New York. She creates thought-provoking, text-based installations in public spaces that are impossible to ignore. Her political pieces cover many issues such as gun violence, the patriarchy, gender expression, and morality. The two pieces on the left relate to the issue of gun violence, forcing people to think about the risks and importance of gun laws. They are also placed in very public areas, one of them being the Capitol in Washington D.C. which is where these gun laws would be made. 

“Think of Our Future” by Andrea Bowers (2019)


Andrea Bowers is a Los Angeles based artist who is internationally known for her drawings, videos, and installations. Her work focuses on social issues that range from women's’ and workers’ rights to climate change and immigration. The neon installations relate to climate change, including “Resist Reuse Restore” and “the earth does not belong to us, we belong to the earth.” “Let us be the ancestors our descendants will thank” is a particularly moving statement because it reminds the viewer that our choices affect all future generations, including our future children and family we would want to protect.