Welcome to podcast #2! Although we have already broken with our decided format of a Master and a Modern, we think that we can be excused for this one! We have three amazing women artists. Originally this was for Women’s History month, but we made another decision that women artists should be honored all year, as much as possible.
This week Suzanne and Teresa visit the artwork of the master artist, Artemisia Gentileschi, the modern work of architect and artist Maya Lin and the very contemporary and up and coming artist, Amanda Conner.
Artemisia Gentileschi was an Italian painter during the 1600’s from the school of Caravaggio. Her work is on par with any of the male artists of her generation.
Born in Rome in 1593, she received her early training from her father, but after art academies rejected her, she continued study under a friend of her father, Agostino Tassi. In 1612, her father brought suit against Tassi for raping Artemisia. There followed a highly publicized seven-month trial. This event makes up the central theme of a controversial French film, Artemisia (1998), directed by Agnes Merlet.
After her death, she drifted into obscurity, her works often attributed to her father or other artists. Art historian and expert on Artemisia, Mary D. Garrard notes that Artemisia “has suffered a scholarly neglect that is unthinkable for an artist of her calibre.” Renewed and overdue interest in Artemisia in recent years has recognized her as a talented seventeenth-century painter and one of the world’s greatest female artists. The first book devoted to her, Artemisia Gentileschi – The Image of The Female Hero in Italian Baroque Art. by Mary D. Garrard, was issued in 1989; her first exhibition was held in Florence in 1991. A TV documentary, a play and, more recently, a film and now a podcast have advanced her visibilty as an important artist.
Our Modern, Maya Lin is an important figure in todays art and architectural movement. Her prize winning design for the Vietnam Veteran’s memorial catapulted her into the spotlight where she most definitely belongs. Lin’s conception was to create an opening or a wound in the earth to symbolize the gravity of the loss of the soldiers. The design was initially controversial for what was an unconventional and non-traditional design for a war memorial. Opponents of the design also voiced objection because of Lin’s Asian heritage. But it is a well known fact that the Vietnam Memorial is the most visited memorial in Washington D.C.
In 1994, she was the subject of the Academy Award-winning documentary Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision. The title comes from an address she gave at Juniata College in which she spoke of the monument design process. Talking about the origin of her work, Lin says “My work originates from a simple desire to make people aware of their surroundings and this can include not just the physical but the psychological world that we live in”.
Our contemporary artist is Amanda Conner. Admittedly, The Art Garage is partial to comic book and graphic novel artists, and here is one to watch. Her work is playful, smart and well crafted. Amanda Conner is a woman in a field that is definitely dominated by men. Yet her work stands out and is part of some of the most popular comic books in recent history.