Contemporary

Justine Kurland, Waterfall Mama Babies, 2006; Gift of Heather and Tony Podesta Collection, Washington, D.C.

Women powerfully shape the subjects, methods, and mediums that dominate art today. They lead trends including staged imagery in photography and film, multimedia sculptures and installations, and artist’s books. 

Continuing an impulse that began in the 1960s and 1970s with the Women’s Movement, many artists engage socially-centered themes, including gender and identity formation. Others reframe traditional notions of “woman’s work” and craft through the use of unconventional mediums. Still others explore issues of language and popular culture, demonstrating the profound impact of global information and communications systems on contemporary life. 

Yet women remain underrepresented and undercompensated within the long-standing practices and institutions of the art world. By sharing their creative vision, expanding their audience, and questioning the status quo, contemporary artists help move us toward a day of true equality.

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National Museum of Women in the Arts