To mark International Women’s Day, here’s a recent article from Hyperallergic.
“I will show your Lordship what a woman can do”: Artemisia Gentileschi’s compelling feminist life – Hyperallergic
Arguably, the sexual assault she suffered aged 17 at the hands of her father Orazio’s colleague Agostino Tassi has come to define her, if not in art historical terms then certainly in the popular imagination; her images of powerful female figures are easily summarized in auction or museum blurbs as avatars for feminist strength in defiance of (or revenge against) this singular biographical event. The 2020 show made inroads toward shaking off this reductive and emotionally driven interpretation. Barker deliberately sets out to correct “panegyric” accounts of her life and work, bringing together the most recent art historical developments and discoveries of primary documents to flesh out her biography, and asserting that we “have only begun to get to know her.”
For more on this powerful artist, you really must check out these reviews of her (and others’) paintings of Judith and Holofernes, both part one and part two, that I shared a while back.
And it was nice to see Sheffield’s Women of Steel statue as today’s Bing background image.
Women of Steel bronze sculpture in Sheffield city centre, by sculptor Martin Jennings – Peapix
With working-age men away fighting, women – some girls as young as 14 – were conscripted to work in Sheffield’s factories and steel mills, often undertaking dangerous and physically demanding work. But when the war ended, they were dismissed and their contribution went unrecognised for decades until, after a fundraising campaign, this sculpture was unveiled in 2016.