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Artists' Artists: Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster

Super eight

Georgiana Houghton (1814–84)
Hilma af Klint (1862–1944)
Ada Emma Deane (1864–1957)
Florine Stettheimer (1871–1944)
Georgia O’Keeffe (1887–1986)
Maria Martins (1894–1973)
Ana Mendieta (1948–85)
Francesca Woodman (1958–81)
 
What if we could clearly see the artworks realized by the above list of artists not only within the context of their cultural, biological and social production but also as examples of extraordinary, successful disruptions of a dominant visual grammar that use techniques such as spiritualism and photography, among others? All of these artists have, at some point, been criticized, rejected, endangered, forgotten and rediscovered.

The visual arts have been a fantastic playground for a complete or partial emancipation from oppressive rules and traditions, but identifying these artistic practices mainly with spirits, pulsions, emotions, sex and nature is a fearful and overly simplistic way of avoiding their intensity, complexity and innovation. (Stop the witch hunt.)

Main image: Georgiana Houghton, 2nd August, Untitled (detail), 1875, watercolour and gouache on paper, 2.5 x 3.6 m. Courtesy: Victorian Spiritualists’ Union and Monash University Museum of Art, Melbourne, Australia

Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster lives in Paris, France, and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. In 2017, her work has been included in group shows at Shanghai Himalayas Museum, China, Centre Pompidou-Metz, France, Red Brick Art Museum, Beijing, China, Times Museum, Guangzhou, China, and Villa Empain, Brussels, Belgium

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