Renegotiating the Body

Renegotiating the Body : Feminist Art in 1970s London

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What makes art 'feminist art'? Although feminist artists do have a unique aesthetic, there can be no essential feminist aesthetic, argues Kathy Battista in this exciting new art history. Domesticity, the body, its traces and sexuality have become prominent themes in contemporary feminist practice but where did these preoccupations begin and how did they come to signify a particular type of art? Kathy Battista's (re-)engagement with the founding generation of female practitioners centres on 1970s London as the cultural hub from which a new art practice arose. Emphasising the importance of artists including Bobby Baker, Anne Bean, Catherine Elwes, Rose English, Alexis Hunter, Tina Keane, Hannah O'Shea, Kate Walker and Silvia Ziranek and examining works such as Mary Kelly's Post-Partum Document, Judy Clark's 1973 exhibition Issues, Carolee Schneemann's Meat Joy and Cosey Fanni Tutti's Prostitution, shown in 1976, Kathy Battista investigates some of the most controversial and provocative art from the era.
This book not only deals with the 'famous' art events but includes analysis of lesser-known exhibitions and performances and explains why so much feminist art has been both marginalised in art history and grossly under-represented in institutional archives and collections.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 224 pages
  • 156 x 234 x 22.86mm | 480g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 50 integrated bw illustrations
  • 1848859058
  • 9781848859050

Table of contents

List of Illustrations


1. Feminism and Conceptual Practice

2. The Body and Performance Art

3. Alternative Spaces for Feminist Art

4. Feminist Themes in Contemporary Practice

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Review quote

'Renegotiating the Body: Feminist Art in 1970s London by Kathy Battista does much more than its title suggests. It is an assiduous study of the founding generation of feminist artists in Britain. The book is timely both because so much of this emergent feminist movement was ephemeral in its day, and were it not for Battista's careful excavation it would be in jeopardy of extinction, and because only now with the historical perspective of four decades is it possible fully to contextualize and assess the significance of the work done in the 1970s. Through interviews with the artists, investigation of primary source mateiral, and onsite research, Battista brings an historical period back to life, documenting exhibitions and performances that were groundbreaking in their time and shows how this work was linked to the feminist art movement in America at the time, and now it contiues to influence a youger generation of women artists working today.' - Professor Jo Anna Isaak, John L. Marion Chair, Department of Art History, Fordham University.
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About Kathy Battista

Kathy Battista is Director, Contemporary Art at Sotheby's Institute of Art, New York, and Senior Research Fellow, Winchester Centre for Global Futures in Art Design and Media at Winchester School of Art, University of Southampton. She is a regular contributor to Art Monthly and Brooklyn Rail.
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Rating details

3 ratings
4.33 out of 5 stars
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3 33% (1)
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