The feminist art movement of the 1960s is characterized as the first time female artists’ works were recognized in art history and reflected female experiences. I was able to catch Anna Chave, a feminist Art Historian and Professor at The Graduate Center, CUNY, during her lecture at SFAI last Friday. Chave spoke on the fluidity of work with fabrics and fluids that was being done in the 60’s in protest to the structure of patriarchy.
Chave discussed the association of fluids with women’s reproductive cycle, menstruation, and how the artists protested against the shame a patriarchal system puts on menstruation. A variety of 60’s artists protested by leaving bloody tampons on steps and painting with their menstrual blood. While some women created art associated with “friendly feminism” and others created more radical performance pieces, many of the 60’s feminist artists discussed the “fetishization” of the young women’s body, a discussion that continues today. These artists continued to focused on how art is created differently by a women and broke into new mediums such as sculpture and woodwork.
What are your thoughts on the “fetishization” of young women’s bodies and menstrual shame?