Guerrilla Girls

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A group of women artists founded in New York in 1984 to combat what they considered sexism and racism in the art world. Jonathan Fineberg writes that ‘After the Museum of Modern Art held its vast “International Survey of Contemporary Art” in 1984, in which almost no women or minorities were included, a number of professional women in the New York art world founded this collective organization. The Guerrilla Girls appeared on television (wearing gorilla masks to maintain their anonymity), they advertised, and distributed leaflets and posters to bring attention to the widespread race and gender discrimination that exists in the art world’ (Art Since 1940, 1995). One of their posters shows a reclining female nude by Ingres, with the woman's head replaced by a gorilla's and accompanied by the words: ‘Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum? Less than 5% of the artists in the Modern Art Sections are women, but 85% of the nudes are female.’ The group's activities were documented in a book published in 1995, Confessions of the Guerrilla Girls (Whoever They Really Are). It includes an essay by the American art historian Whitney Chadwick (1943– ), who has written widely on feminist issues in art, notably in her book Women, Art, and Society (1990).

Subjects: Art.

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