By National Museum of Women in the Arts
Maggie Foskett, Soft Thud, 2000; Cliché-verre, 16 x 20 in.; National Museum of Women in the Arts, Gift of the artist; © Maggie Foskett
Can you name five women artists?
We've asked this question on social media since 2016. Our #5WomenArtists initiative shows how women have never been treated equally in the art world and remain dramatically underrepresented and undervalued. Get started by examining five Latinx women artists from our collection.
Now Phoenix (2000) by Maggie FoskettNational Museum of Women in the Arts
Maggie Foskett (b. 1919, São Paulo, Brazil; d. 2014, Florida) saw the natural world not in the context of being conventionally beautiful but as an “arena of survival” in which mortality and the relationship of pattern echo one another.
She traversed unbeaten paths, seeking remnants of reptile skin, insect wings, leaves, and other oddments we typically trample. Arranging these fragile finds on small squares of glass, she magnified them in her enlarger and printed directly onto light-sensitive paper.
Volcán (1979) by Ana MendietaNational Museum of Women in the Arts
Ana Mendieta (b. 1948, Havana, Cuba; d. 1985, New York) experimented with using her own body as a medium. She began creating “earth body works,” in which she incorporated her naked body, or its impression, into natural landscapes. Mendieta fused feminist and land art, crossing boundaries of performance, photography, and film.
“Having been torn from my homeland during my adolescence, I am overwhelmed by the feeling of having been cast from the womb. My art is the way I reestablish the bonds that unite me to the Universe.” - Ana Mendieta
Composition No. 1 (2003) by Fanny SanínNational Museum of Women in the Arts
Fanny Sanín (b.1940, Bogotá) grew up in Colombia, and studied art at the University of Los Andes. Her emergence onto the art scene coincided with post-war European influences of geometric abstraction.
A prolific color field painter, Sanín repeats symmetrical design motifs characterized by blocky, simplified shapes consisting of two to five colors. Sanín’s paintings vary in size and composition, but each shares the artist’s unique aesthetic.
Her cohesive geometric works evoke a sense of calm in their methodical construction. One of the few female geometric abstraction artists, Sanín has breathed life into the genre, particularly at a time when other artistic genres often overshadow it.
View more works by Fanny Sanín in Balancing Act: The Paintings of Fanny Sanín.
Unfinished Symphony (1982) by Elena PresserNational Museum of Women in the Arts
Elena Presser (b.1940, Buenos Aires, Argentina) perceives music as the most abstract form of art, and her work conveys musical abstraction as visual interpretation.
"The notes in the musical score are notations of symbols, abstractions of a sound. When this notation becomes audible by the interpretation of a performer, it becomes music. The music exists while it is performed, only to disappear again into silence... The passage of music in time evokes in me, as a listener, emotions, colors, and images." - Elena Presser
Cuatro Pescaditos, Juchitan, Oaxaca (1986) by Graciela IturbideNational Museum of Women in the Arts
For the past 50 years, Graciela Iturbide (b. 1942, Mexico City) has produced majestic, powerful, and sometimes visceral images of her native Mexico.
One of the most influential contemporary photographers of Latin America, Iturbide transforms ordinary observation into personal and lyrical art. Her signature black-and-white gelatin silver prints present nuanced insights into the communities she photographs, revealing her own journey to understand her homeland and the world.
Acrylic No. 7 (1994) by Fanny SanínNational Museum of Women in the Arts
Join the #5WomenArtists movement
Each year, hundreds of cultural organizations and thousands of individuals take to social media to answer the challenge, sparking a global conversation about gender equity in the arts. Join the movement and help us end gender inequity through championing women artists.
All artworks are part of the collection of the National Museum of Women in the Arts. Visit nmwa.org for more information about our collection and our programs.