Bow Down: Women in Art History

A new series about significant women artists from the past who deserve our attention

Bow Down is a new podcast about significant women artists from the past who deserve our attention. For each 20-minute episode, Jennifer Higgie – frieze editor at large – invites an artist, writer, historian or curator to nominate an artist to whom we should all … well, bow down. 

Episode 2: Olivia Laing on Agnes Martin 

The best-selling novelist and essayist, Olivia Laing nominates the influential abstract artist Agnes Martin (1912-2004). Martin – a gay, working class woman who forged a path in a male-dominated artworld – embraced solitude and didn’t have her first solo show until she was 46. With a practise inspired by Zen Buddhism, American Transcendentalist ideas and the landscape, Martin believed that to paint is to enter ‘a field of vision as you would cross an empty beach to look at the ocean’. Olivia Laing is the author of To The River and Lonely City among other titles. Her book Funny Weather: Art in an Emergency is published in Spring 2020 and she is currently working on a book about bodies and freedom.

Episode 1: Helen Cammock on Artemisia Gentileschi

First up is the Turner-Prize-shortlisted artist – and winner of the 2018 Max Mara Prize for Women – Helen Cammock on the 17th century Baroque painter Artemisia Gentileschi.

Future episodes will include the critic and memoirist Juliet Jacques on the surrealist photographer and resistance worker Claude Cahun; artist Liliane Lijn on the surrealist painter Stella Sneed; cinema theorist Laura Mulvey on the radical filmmaker Chantal Akerman; Tate curator Natalia Sidlina on the avant-garde artist and designer Natalia Goncharova; and Hayward curator Zoe Whitley on Kathleen Collins, the first African-American woman to write and direct a feature film. We hope you enjoy listening to and learning more about these extraordinary women, all of whom made – and continue to make – the world a more interesting place. Bow down! 

Listen to Bow Down: Women in Art History via iTunes, Spotify, or your favourite podcast platform.

Jennifer Higgie is editor at large of frieze, the presenter of the frieze podcast Bow Down: Women in Art History and is currently writing a book on historic self-portraits by women, The Mirror & The Palette.

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