By Alejandra Gonzalez
During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, feminism placed an emphasis on cultural battles. Art had an important role that allowed women were allowed to express their experiences freely to show the world they’ve been ignored for too long. The most powerful tool to express their struggles as women is nonetheless through art in all it’s forms. Women were able to reclaim what had deemed them as less. Since it was men who painted women were often misinterpreted objects in the cultural art world. Although there’s no doubt some of them are world’s greatest artworks, it was time to bring to light the achievements of women in the field.
Despite the little spotlight on women’s work there are, a few notable works/artists: for example; Linda Nochlin, an art historian, questioned through her article’s title Why Have There Been No Great Women Artist? The answer likely lies in the fact that women are neglected as artists. In 1964 Yoko Ono performed her Cut Piece. She had sat on the floor in a traditional, passive Japanese pose and let complete strangers cut pieces of her clothes until she was naked. This act was loudly protesting violence against women and it was the first of its kind to cry out for women’s rights. While challenging the domestic roles expected of women, Mierle Laderman Ukeles, the “maintenance artist” as part of her Maintenance Art manifesto, performed in an art gallery by cleaning it in 1969.
With a few named works, women changed the political culture that revolve important issues through the use of art. Their artistic work continues to inspire new generations of young women artists and fighters for women’s rights, while bringing issues to light in creative ways that did get attention internationally and is still talked about today. It is fair to say that the impact of feminism certainly improved the status of women’s rights, even though there is still more to be done.