In Episode 16 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the brilliant super curator and Artistic Director of Serpentine Galleries, HANS ULRICH OBRIST on the legendary artists, Faith Ringgold AND Luchita Hurtado!!!
And WOW was it amazing to record at Serpentine, where last summer Hans Ulrich curated monumental shows of their work. But despite both artists approaching their ninth and tenth decades, it was Luchita's first solo exhibition EVER, and for Faith it was also her first ever in-depth European institutional show ever!!
In this episode Hans Ulrich takes us through what he calls the "Rosemarie Trockel methodology" – his urgent interest to find out about and platform the older women artists who are yet to receive major recognition during their lifetime. And it was this that he applied to both Faith and Luchita.
In this episode we discuss Faith Ringgold, the artist and activist, who was born in Harlem in 1930 and who continues to tirelessly challenge perceptions of African American identity and gender inequality in her extensive five-decade-and-counting career. Known for her painted story quilts that combine personal narratives, history and politics, Ringgold grew up in the creative and intellectual context of the Harlem Renaissance, and was inspired by her surrounded contemporaries including writers James Baldwin and Amari Baraka. Exhibiting widely, it is only recently that Faith's career has been put into the spotlight, with one of her most famous paintings, American People #20 situated in the most prominent position of the new MoMA! https://www.moma.org/collection/works/199915
However unlike Faith, Luchita, who we also discuss (who is 99 and based in Santa Monica in California) had never had any recognition up until Hans Ulrich visited her at her studio just a few years ago! Known for her incredibly surreal paintings that play with light and perspectives, Luchita's work very much concerns itself with the environment – not only does she still continue to attend protests, but making ecologically activistic posters is an inherent part of her practice.
What is so interesting about both artists is how contemporary their ideas and approaches to art are, in addition to how timely their work feels – despite some of it made over fifty years ago!
I absolutely LOVED recording this episode with Hans Ulrich. His infectious energy and enthusiasm for these artists, and in particular platforming older women artists, was so admirable. I hope you enjoy the conversation!
Thank you for listening!!
This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair!
To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!
Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
Sound editing by @_ellieclifford
Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
Music by Ben Wetherfield