A fresh perspective on collaboration, collectivity, and conflict in the women’s art movement of the 1970s
Women Artists Together is a thought-provoking study of how the women’s liberation movement galvanized a generation of women artists. It offers a fresh perspective on the history of the women’s art movement and considers how it was shaped by collaboration and togetherness. Retracing 1970s liberation politics, Amy Tobin emphasizes how artworks emerged from—and contested—feminist paradigms and contexts.
Taking class, gender, race, and sexuality as central concerns, the book includes examples of inspirational feminist activism as well as fallings out, disagreements, and antagonism. Across four chapters, Tobin looks at the work of UK- and US-based artists including Judy Chicago, Mary Beth Edelson, Rose English, Harmony Hammond, Candace Hill-Montgomery, Claudette Johnson, Suzanne Lacy, Howardena Pindell, Ingrid Pollard, Carolee Schneemann, Cecilia Vicuña, and Kate Walker. Groups include the Feminist Art Programme at Cal Arts, Women’s Workshop of the Artists’ Union, Where We At, Black Women Artists Inc., and the South London Art Group, publications such as Heresies and Chrysalis, along with writers and curators including Lucy R. Lippard and Arlene Raven.
Amy Tobin is an academic and curator at the University of Cambridge, where she is associate professor in the Department of History of Art, curator, Contemporary Programmes at Kettle’s Yard, and fellow of Newnham College.
“This is an urgent, important book. Tobin explores the productive, sometimes uncomfortable, moments where solidarity, collectivity and conversation met disagreement and difference as artists working in the USA and UK sought to forge new communities and ways of working, thinking, and living together.”—Jo Applin, author of Lee Lozano
“Tobin’s work rescues women’s artistic subjectivity from the tomb of historical erasure without essentialism, she writes about 'women artists' as a political category – noting the complexity and nuance in their work with care, with generosity, and an unmatched theoretical precision.”—Lola Olufemi, author of Feminism, Interrupted
“Amy Tobin offers a fluent, readable and important history of complex groupings, intense debates, diverse artworks and agonistic cultures of difference that formed the historic moment when art was transformed by a new consciousness—the Women’s Liberation Movement. This new political energy collided with all that was new and exciting, critical and challenging in post-1968 art practice: performance, moving image, photography, installation, conceptual practice, and most radically, the dynamic of collaboration and collective art making and a confrontation with differences and their often painful, but always creative, challenges.”—Griselda Pollock, University of Leeds
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