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The Great Women Artists

Author: Katy Hessel

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Created off the back of @thegreatwomenartists Instagram, this podcast is all about celebrating women artists. Presented by art historian and curator, Katy Hessel, this podcast interviews artists on their career, or curators, writers, or general art lovers, on the female artist who means the most to them.
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Cecily Brown

Cecily Brown

2020-10-2052:24

In episode 45 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the greatest painters to ever live, the inimitable CECILY BROWN!!!!!   [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] I am SO EXCITED to release this episode which chronicles the UK-born, US-based Brown's incredible painterly career from the 1990s–present day! With her work steeped in art history, referencing the likes of Rubens, to Goya to Bacon and de Kooning, Cecily Brown is known for her all-encompassing, small-to-colossal scale paintings that portray the medium in a continual state of flux, constantly blurring the lines between abstraction and figuration, truth and fiction, liquid and solid.   Always ALIVE with erotic energy, witnessing a Cecily Brown in the flesh is like seeing four-hundred years worth of painting unfold before your eyes. Every corner and inch of the canvas is activated, frenzied and fractured so intensely that you can’t help but project ideas around desire, life, and death, with the painting’s momentous fleshy and battle-like strokes and tones.  Born in the UK in the late 1960s, Cecily Brown was granted a garage to paint by the esteemed British painter (and former GWA Podcast guest) Maggi Hambling, before going on to study at London’s Slade School of Fine Art. And in 1994, after a stint in America two years before, she relocated to New York City, where she has lived ever since, continuing the legacy of the renowned New York School artists.  The subject of solo exhibitions at major institutions around the world, including the MFA Boston, Hirshhorn in Washington, Modern Art Oxford, and my favourite Louisiana Museum in Denmark, as well as countless shows at galleries including Thomas Dane and Paula Cooper, where I have been lucky enough to witness her work, Cecily is considered one of the most influential painters alive right now.  And NOW she has recently opened a staggeringly brilliant exhibition at Blenheim Palace here in England, where she has conceived an entirely new body of work that responds to the Palace’s history, through hunting and battle scenes, as well as a brilliant commentary on the state of Britain right now and the romanticised but complex nature of British society.  FURTHER LINKS! https://www.blenheimpalace.com/whats-on/events/cecily-brown-art-exhibition/ All the Nightmares Came Today, 2012: https://www.artspace.com/cecily_brown/all-the-nightmares-came-today Current exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery: https://www.paulacoopergallery.com/exhibitions/cecily-brown-2020-10-15/selected-works Louisiana show: https://louisiana.master.re-cph.dk/en/exhibition/cecily-brown https://channel.louisiana.dk/video/cecily-brown-totally-unaware Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
In episode 44 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly esteemed, pioneering art historian, Wanda M Corn on the legendary painter, GEORGIA O'KEEFFE (1887–1986) !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] I am SO EXCITED to release this episode with Wanda Corn who not only **KNEW** Georgia O'Keeffe in the 1980s, but who is the curator of the staggeringly brilliant and HIGHLY successful exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern at New York’s The Brooklyn Museum in 2017, which toured around the US. This was an exhibition that looked at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted person – from the way she dressed to how she posed for photographs – expanding our understanding of who O’Keeffe was, and her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values.  The ICON of American painting Georgia O'Keeffe is one of the greatest artists to ever live. Known for her incredibly rendered paintings of magnified flowers, American skyscrapers, to skulls and landscapes evocative of the dry New Mexican landscape in which she lived, O'Keeffe captured the most serene works that didn't just reflect the world around her, but the evolution of modernism in the 20th century. No one captured nature in its many forms like O'Keeffe. Learning to paint at the turn of the 1900s, O'Keeffe transformed traditional subjects – the landscape and still life – into a modernist language. After venturing to the deep Southwest in 1929, it was through painting that she documented the starkness and alien-ness of a place that had so rarely been recorded in oil paint.  Wanda Corn is a former Professor at Stanford University, and a LEADING scholar of late 19th and early 20th century American art and photography. A writer, curator, editor and lecturer, Wanda has received countless awards and fellowships for her tireless work to art history over the past few decades! And is the MOST enthusiastic and engaging speaker. THANK YOU WANDA!! FURTHER LINKS! The book of the show! https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Georgia-OKeeffe/Wanda-Corn/Prestel-com/e516673.rhd A video of Wanda's exhibition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTYqxARzOlchttps://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/touring/georgia_okeeffe_living_modern https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-great-american-thing/wanda-m-corn/9780520231993 https://www.okeeffemuseum.org/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quG3EHonOns https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v8E7460eTU Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Toyin Ojih Odutola

Toyin Ojih Odutola

2020-10-0655:26

In episode 43 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most incredible artists working in the world right now, the brilliant TOYIN OJIH ODUTOLA. [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Working exclusively in drawing materials including pen, pastel, charcoal, and chalk, the Nigerian-born and New York-based artist is known for her astoundingly-beautiful, electric-like and meticulously rendered figurative works. Based on imaginary characters who inhabit opulent interiors and verdant landscapes, Ojih Odutola’s work can be exclusively monochrome or drenched in dazzling colours. With her starting point being not the pen, but rather her mind, she begins each series by creating narratives that play out through a series of works that suggest the structure of episodes or chapters, in their cinematic-like ways. As viewers, these sometimes-immersive series leave you physically and psychologically transported into other worlds as they probe questions about the state of our current world through their presentations of alternative histories, with the artist herself joining the story as she takes up fictional roles including a private secretary, or the director of a research initiative. A 2017 exhibition, To Wander Determined at The Whitney Museum in New York, which I was lucky enough to witness, presented an interconnected series of fictional portraits chronicling the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families, and her most recent exhibition, A Countervailing Theory at London’s Barbican Centre, tells the story of an ancient civilisation ruled by female warriors (the Eshu) and served by male labourers (the Koba). Referencing ancient history, popular culture, anime, fan-fiction, to contemporary politics, Toyin is reinterpreting the artistic landscape like no other. By playing with traditions of portraiture, she is pushing the genre beyond its roots into the realm to the psychological, the speculative and the seemingly impossible. And it is her most recent exhibition, A Countervailing Theory, which features a staggering cycle of forty new large-scale drawings that explore the complexities of our system, and challenge established norms!!!! WOW. I am completely blown away by Toyin Ojih Odutola in this episode. PLEASE LISTEN !!!! and thank you :) FURTHER LINKS: https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2020/event/toyin-ojih-odutola-a-countervailing-theory https://www.npg.org.uk/blog/zadie-smith-and-toyin-ojih-odutola https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/17/toyin-ojih-odutolas-visions-of-power https://jackshainman.com/artists/toyin_ojih_odutola https://whitney.org/exhibitions/toyinojihodutola Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Chloe Wise

Chloe Wise

2020-09-2950:171

In episode 42 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the sensational painter, CHLOE WISE!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Canada-born and now NYC-based, Chloe Wise captures the strange times we are living more poignantly – and sometimes disturbingly – more than any artist I know!!  Working in a range of materials, from beautifully-rendered painting, to sculpture, video and installation, Wise’s works are filled with portraits of her friends and acquaintances, food, and everyday objects that pay particular attention to our consumer-culture-obsessed and hyper-sanitised world. Perfectly rendered with an almost airbrush-like quality, Chloe’s paintings in particular comment on how advertising, fashion, and multinational brands feed into our everyday lives. By incorporating these well-known symbols and logos into her work, she makes us question not only our everyday need to consume, but our obsession with portraying an outwardly perfect version of ourself, which is why another side of her work (the videos!) are such a great antidote to her painting, as it shows us an awkward truth of the world: unsanitized, airbrushed, and often set up in an anonymous office-like environment. Steeped in the history of art and the history of portraiture with their triangular forms, large group scenes emulating a Biblical or historical narrative, use of drapery evocative of Botticelli or Bernini, and hands connecting the emotion of each figure, it is with a wry sense of humour that Wise nods to the canon which explore the shared projected desires built around food and the female body.  ENJOY!! This is one of the funnest, most interesting, and THOUGHT PROVOKING episodes of the GWA Podcast. We discuss everything from her painting to living in Trump's America to our mass-consumed world, and of course our love for ALICE NEEL! Further links:  https://www.chloewise.com/ https://www.alminerech.com/artists/3760-chloe-wise https://alminerech.viewingrooms.com/viewing-room/11-chloe-wise-second-nature/ This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
WELCOME BACK TO SEASON 4!! In episode 41 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned, Guggenheim curator and Director of Collections, Tracey Bashkoff on the staggeringly PIONEERING... HILMA AF KLINT!!!  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW. What an INSIGHT into one of the world's greatest and innovative artists: who experimented with Abstraction BEFORE the likes of Kandinsky and Mondrian, but whose paintings (who no one knew she was making!) were not discovered until 20+ years after the artist's death in 1944.  Guided by a spirit, Hilma af Klint created mesmerising, and colossal-scale work that documented the evolution of life and the world. Not telling anyone except her Spiritualist circle that she was making these (bar the Theosophist, Rudolph Steiner, who may or may not have tipped people off!!! Listen for more!), Hilma af Klint painted her series "Paintings for the Temple" (100s of paintings in just two years!) which she envisioned to be one day housed in a 'round, spiral-like temple' (!!!), which feels scarily like the actual Guggenheim....!!! And wow has she had a resurgence. Between the years 2018–2019, Tracey Bashkoff curated the most successful exhibition the Guggenheim has ever seen. An exhibition that not only stunned the world and disrupted art history for ever, but saw a record number of visitors attend (over 600,000 nearly double that of the previous year’s Giacometti show), forced the museum to extend their evening hours and be open seven days a week despite the show running for a staggering six months! This show was of course, "Hilma Af Klint: Paintings for the Future", a groundbreaking exhibition that filled every corner of the gallery by the little-known Swedish artist, whose first ever US solo exhibition it was, held 75 years after her death. ENJOY! This is genuinely the most fascinating story of an artist I have EVER witnessed! Further information: https://www.guggenheim.org/video/hilma-af-klint https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/who-was-hilma-af-klint-at-the-guggenheim-paintings-by-an-artist-ahead-of-her-time  https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/guggenheim-curators-answer-questions-about-hilma-af-klint https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/arts/design/hilma-af-klint-review-guggenheim.html  https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/22/hilma-af-klints-visionary-paintings This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
In episode 40 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned art historian, Dr Melanie Herzog on the TRAILBLAZING American artist, ELIZABETH CATLETT (1915–2012). [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW! This was such an insight into one of the MOST seminal artists (teacher, pioneer, and PERSON!) who lived throughout almost the entirety of the 20th century, and whose aim in her art was to tell stories, fight for justice, and make art accessible to ALL!!! "I have always wanted my art to service my people—to reflect us, to relate to us, to stimulate us, to make us aware of our potential.” Elizabeth Catlett was known for her powerful sculptures, paintings, and prints that explored themes around race, feminism, and SOCIAL JUSTICE! Born in DC, Catlett attended the ESTEEMED Howard University in the 30s under the legend who was Lois Mailou Jones, before completing her MFA at Iowa under the American artist Grant Wood who inspired her to "take as your subjects what you know best" ! She became instrumental in the Harlem Renaissance, before moving to Mexico in 1946, where she became heavily involved in political movements and joined the radical artists' collective called "Taller de Gráfica Popular". She remained in Mexico for the rest of her life, and only came back to the USA once for her major Studio Museum in Harlem exhibition. The grandchild of freed slaves, Catlett was instrumental in pioneering a style that merged abstraction and figuration in a Modernist aesthetic – curvaceous figures and features with thick sharp lines – whilst also bringing in influences from African and Mexican art traditions. Whilst alive (she passed in 2012 age 96) she divided her time between Mexico and the US which heavily informed her approach to form and printmaking. Catlett's artistic aim was to convey social messages through her heavily political work which saw her reflect the civil rights struggles in which she participated.  ENJOY!!! Further information! https://www.moma.org/collection/works/88189https://www.moma.org/collection/works/67108?sov_referrer=artist&artist_id=1037&page=1https://www.moma.org/collection/works/65050?sov_referrer=artist&artist_id=1037&page=1 This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Cornelia Parker

Cornelia Parker

2020-08-2537:191

In episode 39 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned British artist, CORNELIA PARKER !! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW! This was such an insight into one of Britain's foremost artists known for her inventive, poetic, and quietly provocative works in sculpture, photography, performance, prints, and large-scale, and often site-specific, installations. Working in a variety of mediums since the mid-1980s, Parker's art is about destruction, resurrection and reconfiguration. Demonstrating the importance of process, she frequently transforms objects by using seemingly violent techniques such as shooting, exploding, squashing, cutting and burning. And it is through these actions that she both physically alters the object, as well as becoming an active development of its story herself.  Having studied at Gloucestershire College of Art & Design and at Wolverhampton Polytechnic before receiving her MA in Fine Art from the University of Reading in 1982, Cornelia Parker has since gone on to capture audiences from around the world, shifting our idea of what art can be, and exploring every possible potential of materials. Shortlisted for the Turner Prize in 1997, made an OBE and a Royal Academician in 2010, as well as serving as the country’s Election Artist in 2017, Parker has exhibited all over the world, including the likes of the Metropolitan Museum in New York, London’s Hayward Gallery, Manchester’s Whitworth Gallery, Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art, as well as featuring in collections worldwide from the Tate, Royal Academy, Pompidou, and MoMA.  Further reading! https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/cornelia-parker-2358 https://cristearoberts.com/artists/25-cornelia-parker/ https://www.mca.com.au/artists-works/exhibitions/cornelia-parker/ https://www.royalacademy.org.uk/art-artists/name/cornelia-parker-ra ENJOY!!! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
In episode 38 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the brilliant London-based writer LOU STOPPARD on the ICONIC and TRAILBLAZING street photographer SHIRLEY BAKER (1932–2014) !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW! This was such an insight into one of the greatest street photographers of the 20th century. A woman who captured 6+ decades of change in post-War Britain: from Manchester in the ‘50s and ‘60s, to the heights of Thatcherism in the ‘80s, and New Labour in the 2000s. A self-proclaimed “idler with a camera”, the fearlessly socially and politically engaged Shirley saw beauty, character and absurdity in the everyday. Documenting those often overlooked or on the outside – much like the artist herself who wasn’t recognised with a major solo exhibition until right at the end of her life at The Photographer’s Gallery – Shirley captured unnamed people who shaped our cultures, as opposed to the places themselves. Highly sensitive to change and the ageing process, Shirley Baker was skilled at observing modernity, whether it be through the rise of industrialism and technology, altering eating habits, or the abandonment of terraced houses in the North between 1955–1973 (after the Housing Repairs and Rents Act), which were abruptly replaced by large looming tower blocks. Always on the frontline of change, she captured moments that felt still amongst a fast-paced world: "I did know that fundamental changes were taking place and nobody seemed to be interested in recording the face of the people or any- thing in their lives. My interest grew into a compulsion even though the notion of someone wandering the unpicturesque streets of Manchester and Salford with a camera seemed quite crazy to most people then." But she also captured the imperfections in people – people who tried to live up to society’s expectations with whom she caught moments when their mask slipped. Wow. So much to unpick here!!! I am in awe of Shirley and Lou's brilliant take on her. An INCREDIBLY aware photographer with a fascinating story which we discuss in depth! ENJOY!!! Further reading: Lou’s fantastic book! https://mackbooks.co.uk/products/shirley-baker-br-lou-stoppard-ed https://www.newyorker.com/culture/photo-booth/shirley-bakers-half-century-of-street-photography This episode is sponsored by Alighieri https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off! Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
In episode 37 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned art historian Bridget R Cooks on the SENSATIONAL and PIONEERING Abstract artist, ALMA THOMAS (1891–1978) !!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW. This is one of the most incredible and UPLIFTING life stories I have heard of an artist whose work I am completely in love with – partially for the reason that Alma Thomas did not become an artist until she was in her 70s!!! A schoolteacher from 1924–1960 (!), it wasn't until after retirement that Alma Thomas took up painting professionally. Enrolling in University as a senior, she quickly shot to fame and was the first Black woman to have a solo exhibition at the Whitney in 1972. She was a groundbreaker.  Known for her electric-like canvases, Alma Thomas transposed the way she saw the world onto the canvas through her shards of shimmering colour that represented flowers, music, science, to the first man landing on the moon and the invention of colour television. Some more muted than others, colour was Alma Thomas's lifeline: “A world without colour would seem dead. Colour, for me, is life” In this episode – one of my favourites EVER, as told by Bridget so eloquently – we discuss Alma Thomas's life in great detail – including a VERY sweet and personal story from Bridget; what made her choose to be an educator for nearly five decades; her involvement in the Civil Rights Movement despite not 'directly' addressing these issues in her work; her relevance today; looking at museums' role in promoting Black artists; and of course, Alma's global fame when none other than MICHELLE OBAMA acquired her work as the first Black woman artist in the White House Collection in 2015. This is a really beautiful, uplifting SUNNY episode. And I hope you enjoy it. WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE! Iris, Tulips, Jonquils, Crocuses (1969) Arboretum Presents White Dogwood (1972) March on Washington (1963–4) Wind, Sunshine, and Flowers (1968) Blast Off (1970) Launch Pad (1970) Cherry Blossom Symphony (1973) Pond Spring Awakening (1972) Resurrection (White House – 1966) FURTHER READING:  https://nmwa.org/art/artists/alma-woodsey-thomas/ https://studiomuseum.org/exhibition/alma-thomas https://www.whitehousehistory.org/photos/resurrection-by-alma-thomas This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Loie Hollowell

Loie Hollowell

2020-08-0445:22

In episode 36 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the sensational artist, LOIE HOLLOWELL!!!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW was it fascinating to hear all about the ideas behind Loie's MIND-BLOWING, electric-like paintings that abstract the body through fragments of geometric shapes. Always using a vibrant colour palette, her PULSATING and PSYCHEDELIC works explore themes around sexuality, birth, women's bodies, which we discuss in-depth! First appearing as highly textured two dimensional works, witness them in real life and her works evolve from flat geometric masterpieces into an almost sculptural sphere that at once give the illusion of expanding and contracting, merging and converging. Having only just given birth for the second time a matter of months ago – during a pandemic! – Loie created an incredible body of work titled "Going Soft" in reaction to this, which didn't just depict how the body changed, but how the mind absorbed everything happening... Having grown up in Northern California in the 80s and 90s and now based in Queens, New York, Loie still bases much of her work on her upbringing in the expansive West Coast land, as well as citing from her influencers Agnes Pelton and Georgia O'Keeffe. Through her works, Loie is reimagining the way we don’t just see, but experience women’s bodies in painting, and I hope you enjoy our discussion around this!! WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE! Beacon (2018) A Gentle Meeting of the Tips (2018) Post Partum (2018) Birthing Dance (2018) Deep Tear (2020) Perspective from Above and Below (23 April 2020) Descent into Chaos (1 June 2020) Further reading:  https://www.pacegallery.com/artists/loie-hollowell/ https://www.pacegallery.com/online-exhibitions/loie-hollowell/ This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
In episode 35 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned art historian and biographer, Natalie Lettner, on the FASCINATING and BRILLIANT Austrian-born artist, MARIA LASSNIG (1919–2014) !!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW. This is one of the most interesting life stories I have ever heard of an artist whose work I am COMPLETELY blown away by. Known for her psychologically charged figurative paintings, Lassnig's work is based on the extreme observation of the physical presence of the body – what she termed ‘body awareness’.  Born in 1919, in a small town in southern Austria, Maria's mother gave birth to her out of wedlock and later married a much older man, but their troubled and tempestuous relationship meant Lassnig was raised by her grandmother, who hardly spoke to her since she was six. Studying at the Academy of Fine Arts in Vienna in the midst of the Second World War, where she was only exposed to classical and academic art, Lassnig quickly moved away from the state-approved academic realism and travelled around Europe in search of the avant-garde.  After experimenting with surrealism, abstraction, expressionism and constantly being treated lesser than her male counterparts, at age nearly 50 Lassnig moved on to NYC to join forces with the feminist movement. And it was here where her work turned to external realism and painted portraits, nudes and still lifes, at times combining these with her ‘body awareness’ self-portraits. Recording her psychological states through a direct and unflinching style, her work used garish greens, yellows and blues to giver her paintings a POWERFUL and DRASTIC impact.  Maria Lassnig painted like NO OTHER in the history of art. With such conviction, force, and lack of embarrassment. She was not afraid to reveal anything.  This is one of the most fascinating stories of an artist I have ever SEEN. An artist who almost predicted the influence of technology through her paintings (in the 80s she became obsessed with the machine, and addicted to television!!).  Please listen to this sensation of an episode with the brilliant Natalie who tells her story so well. Only to be recognised with a major exhibition at the age of 89 at the Serpentine Galleries.  WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE! You, or Me (2005) Expressive Self Portrait (1945) Beams (1950) Head (1956) Self Portrait as a Monster (2005) Self Portrait with Stick (1971) Chain of TraditionMy Teddy is more real than me (2002) Hospital (2005) Further reading:  https://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/2795-maria-lassnig https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-liverpool/exhibition/maria-lassnig Natalie's brilliant book! https://www.abebooks.co.uk/Maria-Lassnig-Natalie-Lettner-Brandst%C3%A4tter-Verlag/22323627600/bd This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Somaya Critchlow

Somaya Critchlow

2020-07-2142:32

In episode 34 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most exciting and brilliant young painters working in the world right now, the great SOMAYA CRITCHLOW!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] A graduate of Brighton University and The Royal Drawing School, Somaya is known for her powerful depictions of bold female characters and delicately rendered objects – that she creates on both a mid-size and minute scale! Challenging and subverting cultural expectations of race, gender, and power in the history of art, Somaya’s sometimes icon-like work adopts historical and classical motifs from the likes of Rubens to Velazquez. Although rooted in historical imagery, her works fuse traditional painting with the modern day, referencing film to hip hop, which she explores in depth through commenting on the cultural, class and political dynamics of contemporary society. In this episode we discuss painting the female nude, and challenging past perceptions and institutional norms; Somaya's interest in the work of feminist writer Angela Carter; subverting cultural expectations and what feminism means today; her early interest in objects and museums; film and television; as well as an in-depth exploration into her current INCREDIBLE solo exhibition, "Underneath a Bepop Moon" at Maximillian William (on view until 15 August!). ENJOY!!!! Further reading as discussed!!   https://maximillianwilliam.com/underneath-a-bebop-moon/ https://www.bl.uk/collection-items/typescript-draft-of-the-sadeian-woman-by-angela-carter https://www.theguardian.com/books/2012/sep/02/unmastered-desire-katherine-angel-review This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Lubaina Himid

Lubaina Himid

2020-07-1501:18:41

In episode 33 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most groundbreaking, important, and influential artists working in the world today, the Turner-Prize winning artist, LUBAINA HIMID!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] Known for working in painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, cut-outs, and installations, Himid paints onto a variety of surfaces from ceramic to wood which produce objects with performative potential intended to be encountered in a space.  A tireless champion of marginalised voices, Himid has dedicated her thirty-year-plus career to uncovering silenced histories, to valorise ‘the contribution Black people have made to cultural life in Europe for the past several hundred years’. Born in Zanzibar in 1954, Himid moved to Britain with her mother when she was just four months old. She studied Theatre Design at Wimbledon College of Art, and later Royal College of Art. In the 1980s, Lubaina became one of the LEADERS and TRAILBLAZERS of Britain’s Black Arts movement, curating three shows – which we disucss in depth. Living and work in Preston, she is a CBE, a Royal Academician, the winner of the 2017 Turner Prize, and a professor at the University of Central Lancashire; in the collection of the Tate, V&A, Whitworth, Walker Art Gallery, plus more; and has had solo exhibitions at the New Museum in New York, Tate St Ives, Chisenhale, and it has just been announced that Lubaina will have a major solo exhibition at Tate Modern in November 2021.  This is really one of the greatest conversations I have EVER had. I am completely in awe at Lubaina and her BRILLIANT work that remains more present than ever. I really hope you enjoy this episode. This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Julie Curtiss

Julie Curtiss

2020-07-0744:08

In episode 32 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the phenomenal, Brooklyn-based artist, JULIE CURTISS!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] One of the MOST exciting artists working today, Julie is known for her bold, graphic, highly stylised and Neo-Surrealist works of faceless and fragmented women, and food. Often swept up in an eerily dreamscape, her often cropped works allow us as viewers to interpret a world beyond what we are looking at.  Working in a myriad of mediums including painting, sculpture, and gouache on paper, Julie focuses on the relationship between nature and culture, as well as exposing and reworking female archetypes through motifs of flowing hair, long nails, and high heels.  Speaking about her work she has said: "In my images, I enjoy the complementarity of humour and darkness, the uncanny and the mundane, grotesque shapes and vivid colours." Born and raised in Paris, Curtiss studied at l'Ėcole des Beaux-Arts before moving first to Japan and then to New York. She is known for referencing 18th and 19th century French painting, as well as fusing together the pop-like imagery the Chicago Imagists, reminiscent of comic books and advertising.  But in a similar manner to the Post-Impressionist painters, she mines her subjects from contemporary, everyday life, representing and exposing its curious, small details in cropped and ambiguous compositions that are erotically charged, cinematic and dreamlike in feel.  I LOVED this HIGHLY fascinating conversation with Julie. In this episode we speak about her INCREDIBLE paintings, as well as her introduction to art through posters, her upbringing in France vs life in America, advertising, Jeff Koons, obsession with technologies entering our life, darkness in cinema, FOOD, the post-war era of the housewife, the constant upkeep of appearances for women, and MANY MORE!! Further reading: https://whitecube.com/artists/artist/julie_curtiss https://antonkerngallery.com/artists/julie_curtiss ENJOY!! WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE Lateral Embrace  Orlando  Double Selfie MoMA Guests Further reading:  http://www.houldsworth.co.uk/exhibition-thumbnails/little-is-enough-for-those-in-love-1579801608/1 https://www.goodman-gallery.com/artists/cassi-namoda This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Cassi Namoda

Cassi Namoda

2020-06-3039:56

In episode 31 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most exciting artists in the world right now, the great CASSI NAMODA!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] WOW was it incredible to speak with the painter known for her vibrant and beautiful works that capture everyday scenes – from mundane moments to life-changing events of post-colonial Mozambique within an increasingly globalised world. Born in Maputo, and currently based in Long Island, NY, Cassi is a painter and performance artist who explores the intricacies of social dynamics and mixed cultural and racial identity. With the appearance of film stills, these fleeting snapshots sit within much larger narratives, and range from bustling, faceless crowds to close-up individual portraits. When confronted with one, they fill you with JOY with their vibrant colours and scenes full of love and appreciation, with the artist once remarking, “If you’re surrounded by love and community, you can make do with very little." I LOVED speaking with Cassi. In this episode we discuss her most recent exhibition "Little Is Enough For Those in Love" at Pippy Houldsworth in London – a show bursting with vitality, as well as exploring dualities between joy and pain; the storytelling aspect of her work and its cinematic influence; her experience growing up across continents and her aim to portray a post-independence Mozambique. ENJOY!! WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE 3 Month Old Lung Patient, 2019 Untitled (Conjoined Twins), 2019 Sad Man with Flowers, 2019 Little Is Enough For Those in Love, 2019 Costa Do Sol on Sunday Evening, 2019 Further reading:  http://www.houldsworth.co.uk/exhibition-thumbnails/little-is-enough-for-those-in-love-1579801608/1 https://www.goodman-gallery.com/artists/cassi-namoda This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Briony Fer on Eva Hesse

Briony Fer on Eva Hesse

2020-06-2347:511

In episode 30 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the incredible art historian and curator, Professor Briony Fer, on the legendary EVA HESSE!! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] One of the most GROUNDBREAKING artists the world has ever seen, Eva Hesse was known for her innovative sculptures made up of synthetic materials from fibreglass, plastic, to latex.  Working predominantly in NYC in the 60s, despite a short-lived career, Eva worked rigorously and prolifically, challenging every sculptural convention which came before her. Particularly deconstructing the rigidity and uniformity of Minimalism.  A pioneering feminist artist, Hesse desired, in her own words, to “challenge the norms of beauty and order.” And that's exactly what she did. She explored the body and form, and painting and sculpture, like no one had before. She painted biomorphs with wonky grids, covered cheesecloths in latex, and celebrated materials for what they were in all their irregular glory.  Born to Jewish parents in Nazi Germany in 1936, Hesse's early life was traumatic. Where her extended family were horrifically transported to concentration camps, she, her sister and their parents fled to NYC, with her mother sadly committing suicide just a few years later. Hesse channelled her anxieties into her art making, studying under the likes of Josef Albers at Yale, and taking the NY art scene by storm when she was just in her late 20s and early 30s. Earning herself major solo exhibitions and critical acclaim at a time when female artists were widely overlooked, Hesse explored wonders before her premature death in 1970, aged just 34. She has since gone on to influence millions. This discussion with world-renowned art historian Briony Fer – an old tutor of mine from UCL!! – is one of my favourites ever. Briony speaks SO wonderfully about Eva and really goes into depth about who she was, and her fiercely experimental practice. I hope you enjoy!!! Highly recommend this fantastic documentary on Eva! https://www.evahessedoc.com/ WORKS DISCUSSED IN THIS EPISODE: Accession https://www.dia.org/art/collection/object/accession-ii-47951 Schema  https://www.philamuseum.org/collections/permanent/72573.html?mulR=601651032 Drawings https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/hesse-untitled-t04154 Ringaround Arosie https://www.moma.org/collection/works/98638 Vertiginous Detour https://hirshhorn.tumblr.com/post/141099084095/eva-hesse-vertiginous-detour-1966-hesse-was-a Untitled or Not Yet https://www.sfmoma.org/artwork/97-513-a-i/ Hang Up https://www.artic.edu/artworks/71396/hang-up Right After https://womennart.com/2018/02/21/right-after-by-eva-hesse/ Repetition 19 https://www.moma.org/learn/moma_learning/eva-hesse-repetition-nineteen-iii-1968/ This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
In episode 29 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews THREE brilliant guests: African Art specialist, Helene Love-Allotey, art historian and curator-in-training Chloe Austin, and creator of @arthistorytalks, Emi Eleode.  Last week, six exciting young names in art celebrating Black culture took over @thegreatwomenartists Instagram account. To honour this takeover, this episode, as well as last week's, feature interviews with all six women about their practice and work.  And WOW. Were these women were absolutely incredible to speak with. First up we have Helene Love-Allotey who speaks in depth about her love for the great British artist, Lubaina Himid, and her experience visiting Himid's very moving and important exhibition "Meticulous Observations and Naming the Money". Housed at Liverpool's Walker Art Gallery, this show highlighted how Europe’s wealthy classes spent their money in the 19th century by using enslaved African men and women, which Himid awkwardly and unapologetically portrays in vibrant cut-out sculptures placed amongst the white and male-dominated permanent collection. See more:  https://www.artscouncilcollection.org.uk/exhibition/lubaina-himid-meticulous-observations-and-naming-money @helenaloveallotey Next up is the great Chloe Austin, a curator-in-training at London's Barbican Centre, and Institute of the International Visual Arts (Iniva), a radical visual arts organisation dedicated to developing an artistic programme that reflects on the social and political impact of globalisation, in which we speak at length about. We also discuss the institutions' position and reaction to this movement, as well as the three brilliant artists Deborah Findlater, Rosa-Johan Uddoh, and Elsa James.  See more: https://iniva.org/ https://iniva.org/programme/projects/chatting-in-the-stacks/ https://chloesinternalmonologue.wordpress.com/2020/06/06/black-boxes/ @chloejaaay  And we end with the wonderful Emi Eleode, founder of the Instagram @arthistorytalks, a page that spotlights 4–5 artists from a non-Western country each month. We discuss her own work that plays on art history, her research into the history of dance as a ritual in Brazil, as well as artists Delphine Diallo and Amrita Sher-Gil.  This is one of my favourite episodes EVER of The Great Women Artists Podcast so I hope you enjoy! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
In episode 28 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews THREE brilliant guests: Lagos-based artist, Nengi Omuku, founder of @ablackhistoryofart Alayo Akinkugbe, and the amazing London-based artist, Michaela Yearwood-Dan. Over the past six days some of the most exciting young names in art celebrating Black culture have been taking over @thegreatwomenartists Instagram account. To honour this takeover, this episode, and the next one will feature interviews with all six women about their practice and work.  And WOW. Were these women completely incredible to speak with. We first speak to Nengi Omuku, the Slade BA and MA graduate whose work explores perceptions of race and gender, protest and notions of collective mourning, dealing with the coping mechanisms the body develops in order to be present. We speak at length about her aim to paint the mind capturing psychological notions in her sitters, as well as her interest in art as therapy. See more: http://www.nengiomuku.com/ + @nengiomuku    Works discussed: Funke, Nearing, Gathering, Male Next up is the great Alayo Akinkugbe, the 19 year-old History of Art student at Cambridge University who created the Instagram, @ablackhistoryofart which highlights overlooked artists, sitters, curators, and thinkers from history to the present day. We discuss Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Faith Ringgold, as well as her participation in Decolonising Art History at Cambridge. See more: @ablackhistoryofart And wow, we end with the sensational, Michaela Yeawood-Dan. One of the MOST exciting and phenomenal young artists working in London right now, known for her incredibly beautiful, playful, vibrant and sometimes thick impastoed canvases that explore themes around class, culture, gender and nature. We speak about the artists' work and practice, in particular the text behind her work, and of course her love for the great Carrie Mae Weems. See more: http://michaelayearwood-dan.com/ + @artistandgal  This is one of my favourite episodes EVER of The Great Women Artists Podcast so I hope you enjoy! This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  50% of ad revenue for this episode will be donated to the Stephen Lawrence Trust, Black Minds Matter, Black Lives Matter UK, and The Marsha P Johnson Institute.  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Deborah Roberts

Deborah Roberts

2020-05-2648:141

In Episode 27 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the phenomenal artist, DEBORAH ROBERTS!!  [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] The MOST entertaining guest, the Austin-born and based Deborah is known for combining collage with mixed media in her figurative works that depict the complexity of black subjecthood, and explore themes of race, identity, and gender politics.  By using collage, she reflects the beauty, strength, and power but also challenges encountered by young black children, as they strive to build their identity, particularly as they respond to preconceived social constructs perpetuated by the black community. "With collage I can create a more expansive and inclusive view of the black experience." Inspired by Wangechi Mutu and Hannah Höch, Roberts combines a range of different facial features – from James Baldwin to Rihanna – as well skin tones, hairstyles, and a myriad of vibrant outfits. One of the leading artists in America, being in the collections of the Whitney to SF MoMA, the ICA Boston, Studio Museum, Brooklyn Museum, it has only been in the past few years that Roberts has gained the recognition she rightly deserves. i LOVED recording this episode so much. Not only was Deborah hilarious and brilliant, but we also speak about the very serious and very present underlying matters in her work, and how, through art she is helping to rectify the portrayal of young children of colour in the media, and in history. Deborah is a genius, so please do enjoy this episode!!  FURTHER LINKS: Follow Deborah on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rdeborah191/?hl=en https://www.stephenfriedman.com/artists/51-deborah-roberts/ https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/12/arts/design/deborah-roberts-artist-virus-austin.html This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
Flora Yukhnovich

Flora Yukhnovich

2020-05-1940:181

In Episode 26 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly-acclaimed, sensation of a painter, FLORA YUKHNOVICH! [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!] And WOW was it an honour to interview Flora at her studio (the week before lockdown!) and discuss in-depth her INCREDIBLE works that adopt the language of the Rococo, reimagining the DYNAMISM of works by 18th century artists such as Tiepolo to Fragonard! Fusing high and low cultures through a filter of contemporary Cultural references, including film, food, and music videos – think Katy Perry to Niki Minaj! – Flora brings in painterly traditions in a more consciously feminine realm by featuring wisps of millennial pinks and purples. Variation is a driving force with mark making ranging from delicate flourishes through dramatic and gestural brushstrokes heightening the rhythmic sensuality that play that conjure up in her MASTERPIECES. Since graduating from City and Guilds in 2017, Flora has gone on to exhibited widely – including at the likes of Leeds Art Gallery, Parafin, Jerwood Gallery, as well as completing the Great Women Artists residency at Palazzo Monti (!) and has a current (now online!) exhibition at VICTORIA MIRO! Check it out:  https://www.victoria-miro.com/exhibitions/558/ In this episode we uncover Flora's meticulous process, her references, beginnings as an artist, and her love for the Rococo – as well as such an insight into its history. Wow.  We also discuss her experience living in Venice, where she visited the Tiepolos on a daily basis, and reimagined them in her masterpieces!!!  Flora is a GENIUS, and one of the most highly regarded young painters in the WORLD right now, so please do enjoy this episode!  This episode is sponsored by Alighieri  https://alighieri.co.uk/ @alighieri_jewellery Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!  Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller) Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner Music by Ben Wetherfield https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/
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Comments (3)

Christine Fraser

I researched Miller for a paper during my undergrad and was fascinated by her work and fierce determination. Hearing more about her life from a woman who knows her so intimately was an absolute thrill, thank you.

Feb 25th
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Seonaid Daly

loved this episode so much. what amazing life Leonora lived.

Jan 9th
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June Nelson

Really enjoy following the Instagram account. These in-depth discussions are such a treat. Looking forward to listening to No. 2. Can’t believe I didn’t know of her.

Oct 1st
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