10 Iconic Female Artists

Art is a male-dominated world and always has been. These 10 female visual artists have overcome numerous obstacles to reach the pinnacle of the profession. Their paintings, prints, drawings and posters offer a strong female perspective on art and life, ranging from compassion and empathy to frustration and anger. But we are always left wondering why there are so few female names among the lists of great artists.


Sonia Delaunay

Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979), is well known for her influence in the Orphism art movement - a focus on strong colors geometric shapes. Dalaunay was a Ukrainian-born, French artist, who also did stage set design, textile design and painting.

 

Marie Laurencin

Marie Laurencin (1883-1956), born in Paris, France was a painter (watercolors, drawings) and printmaker. Associated with the Cubists movement, Laurencin often painted female portraits and groups of women.

 

Georgia O'Keeffe

Known for her equisite paintings of enlarged flowers, New Mexico landscapes and New York skyscrapers, Georgia O'Keeffe (1887 - 1986) is an immensly influential female artist. O'Keeffe currently holds the record for the highest price paid for a piece of art from a female artist ($44.4 million).

 

Helen Frankenthaler

Known for her abstract expressionist art work, Helen Frankenthaler (1928 - 2011) was influenced by Jackson Pollock's paintings. When asked if she considered herself a feminist, she said, "For me, being a 'lady painter' was never an issue. I don't resent being a female painter. I don't exploit it. I paint."

 

Käthe Kollwitz

Käthe Kollwitz (1867 - 1945), was a German artist specializing in printmaking, painting and sculpture. Her artwork often depicted the effects of war, poverty and hunger on the working class.

 

Mary Cassatt

Born in Pennsylvania and living her adult life in Paris, Mary Cassatt (1844 - 1926) associated with Edgar Degas and exhibited among the Impressionists. Cassatt's work focused on images of women and the bonds between mothers and children.

 

Joan Mitchell

Creating expansive works of art, Joan Mitchell's (1925 - 1992) work often spanned two panels. Influenced by Cézanne, Kandinsky, Monet and van Gogh, Mitchell was a member of the American abstract expressionist movement. She is one of the only female artists of her time to gain critical acclaim for her work.

 

Kara Walker

Kara Walker (1969), an African-American storyteller, print-maker, painter, installation artist and film maker focuses on race, gender and sexuality. Her unique artwork uses large-scale black cut-paper silhouettes.

 

Marlene Dumas

Marlene Dumas (1953), from Cape Town, South Africa, now living in Amsterdam, is one of Holland's most respected artists. Working mainly with oil on canvas and ink on paper, the majority of her work is focused on portraits, representing an emotion.

 

Paula Rego

Paula Rego (1935), is a Portuguese artist known for her paintings based on fairytales and folk tales. Her work is often dark and complex, representing a female point of view.

 

Who is your favorite female artist?

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