In case you missed it... to wrap up women's history month, the Hello Art team decided it was a great opportunity to share some incredible female artists that have challenged the world around them.
The Mexican painter frequently created fierce self-portraits that capture her iconic bold unibrow and moustache which have been described as "simultaneously seductive and confrontational". Kahlo's constant remaking of her own identity was an important predecessor to identity politics and continue to inspire artists today. Her work became even more politically active after marrying Diego Riveria - a fellow communist artist.
Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with monkeys, 1940
"I paint self-portraits because I am so often alone, because I am the person I know best." - Frida Kahlo
Frida is an absolute icon of female creativity - we had to celebrate her work for #womenshistorymonth
Frida Kahlo, The Two-Fridas, 1939.
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun
The self-taught painter became an artist despite major obstacles (in late eighteenth-century Paris) and was active during some of the most turbulent times in European history. Her success was untainted until she had her painting equipment seized as she wasn't a registered guild or academy member which permitted you to be a professional artist. Within a year she joined the Académie de St Luc, where women were rarely admitted - she was one of four female members. With the academy status she was an established artist, permitting her to creat distinctive portraits for her clientele. Elisabeth adopted a neoclassical style that she took with her when fleeing France and obtaining commissions throughout Europe.
Elisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun, Straw Hat, 1782.
If you'd like to learn more, there is a fantastic course with the National Gallery; Stories of art. Which unravels the art world during the eighteenth century. You can enrol here.
Hilma af Klint
Hilma af Klint is widely recognised as a pioneer of abstract art. Her large scale compositions are vibrant and somewhat magical. Her abstract works in Paintings for the Future is the most-attended Guggenheim exhibition ever. Over six decades she produced hundreds of paintings paired with thousands of written notes on her revolutionary thoughts, all of which predates artists we considered as the first abstract artists including; Vasily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian.
Graduating from Stockholm's Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1887, she became known for her figurative work and also served as the secretary of the Association of Swedish Women Artists. To grasp and understand religion after the uncovering of many scientific discoveries, spiritualism and Theosophy gained momentum, these spiritual realms influenced af Klint's nonfigurative work. Between 1906 and 1915, af Klint created 193 paintings as part of her collection: The paintings for the Temple, which visualised her perceptions on evolution and the universe. Hilma insisted that this work would be installed in a spiral temple 20 years after her death. Suggesting that she was ahead of the times and people weren't ready to see her work.
Hilma af Klint, Paintings for the Future exhibition at the Guggenheim, 2018-19.
‘Staggering’: The Ten Largest, Youth, 1907