22 episodes

Created off the back of @thegreatwomenartists Instagram, this podcast is all about celebrating women artists. Presented by art historian and curator, Katy Hessel, this podcast interviews artists on their career, or curators, writers, or general art lovers, on the female artist who means the most to them.

The Great Women Artists Katy Hessel

    • Arts

Created off the back of @thegreatwomenartists Instagram, this podcast is all about celebrating women artists. Presented by art historian and curator, Katy Hessel, this podcast interviews artists on their career, or curators, writers, or general art lovers, on the female artist who means the most to them.

    Laura Smith on Eileen Agar

    Laura Smith on Eileen Agar

    In Episode 21 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the brilliant Whitechapel Gallery curator, Laura Smith on the acclaimed surrealist EILEEN AGAR!

    One of THE leading artists of the 20th century, Agar’s extensive seven-decade career spanned vibrant painting, collage, and found objects. It saw her create monumental four-metre wide canvases, to plaster heads, infused with feathers, diamonds, ribbons, and bows that defied all gender stereotypes.

    Born in Buenos Aires in 1899, Agar grew up in a strict, traditional household with a mother who wanted her to be married off. But Eileen had different thoughts. Running away to The Slade in the 1920s, Eileen was taken with the flamboyancy and eccentricity artists had to offer. But again, she was fed up with the traditions of art, and fled to Paris after destroying all her art prior to 1926.

    In Paris she thrived. Mixing with the Cubists and Surrealists, with whom she learned composition, form, and juxtaposition of colour. Returning to London in 1930, Agar created some of her most pivotal artworks, such as Three Symbols – a colossal painting that fused Greek antiquity, industrial modernity, to the feminist statement of the ‘three patriarchal pillars’ – Angel of Anarchy, and The Autobiography of an Embryo.

    Always experimenting in the most bizarre and wonderful of ways, obsessing over found objects which she fused together to create a whole new dialogue and language, Agar was always inherently surreal without even meaning to be. In the 30s she garnered huge critical success and was included in the monumental Surrealist exhibitions around the world.

    However, with the imminence and outbreak of war. Everything changed.

    I LOVED interviewing Laura for this episode, who has curated Eileen’s work in numerous exhibitions including the staggering, Virginia Woolf: An Exhibition Inspired by Her Writings. Listen now to discover the eccentric life of one of the greatest – and sometimes overlooked – artist who deserved every recognition possible!

    Thank you for listening!! Works discussed in this episode:
    https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/agar-three-symbols-t00707
    https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/agar-the-autobiography-of-an-embryo-t05024
    https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artworks/agar-angel-of-anarchy-t03809
    https://www.wikiart.org/en/eileen-agar/ladybird-1936
    https://www.tate.org.uk/art/archive/items/tga-8927-8-12/agar-photograph-of-lee-miller-and-roland-penrose-on-the-beach

    This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair!

    @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel
    To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout!

    @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/

    Follow us:
    Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
    Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller)
    Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
    Music by Ben Wetherfield

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 48 min
    Shirin Neshat

    Shirin Neshat

    In Episode 20 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the INCREDIBLE, internationally-acclaimed artist, Shirin Neshat. 

    Born in 1957 in a small city in Iran, Neshat was 17 when she was sent to the United States to complete her education – first at a school in Southern California and then to Berkeley for her university education. However, due to the Islamic Revolution in 1979, she was prevented from returning to her country for close to 20 years, and although she studied art in college, it wasn’t until 1993 that she began to make art again. 

    Known for her work in photography, film and video that delve into issues of gender, identity and politics in Muslim countries, Neshat focuses on the relationship bewteen the personal and the political in past and present. 

    Her personal experiences as a Muslim woman in exile have particuarly informed her practice, and it is through the the medium of photography, film and video that she explores political structures that have shaped the history of Iran.

    Having just been the subject of a major survey exhibition spanning 25 years worth of work at LA’s The Broad, Shirin has exhibited at museums internationally, including the Serpentine Gallery here in London, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington DC, as well as a major retrospective at the Detroit Institute of Arts in 2013, and many more. https://www.thebroad.org/shirinneshat

    In 1999, Neshat was awarded the Golden Lion Award, the First International Prize at the 48th Venice Biennale, and in 2009, directed her first feature-length film, Women Without Men, which received the Silver Lion Award for “Best Director” at the 66th Venice International Film Festival.

    For those in London, an exhibition by Shirin Neshat, Titled “Land of Dreams”, which includes the UK premiere of her most recent body of work, is currently on view at Goodman Gallery (until 28 March). http://www.goodman-gallery.com/exhibitions/1081

    Thank you for listening!!

    This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair!

    @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hesselTo receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! 

    @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/

    Follow us: Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
    Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller)
    Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
    Music by Ben Wetherfield

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 43 min
    Chantal Joffe on Charlotte Salomon

    Chantal Joffe on Charlotte Salomon

    In Episode 19 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most important painters in the world, CHANTAL JOFFE on the great artist CHARLOTTE SALOMON!
     
    And WOW was it amazing to interview Chantal in her London studio on Charlotte Salomon, the Jewish-born German artist who created one of the most important and powerful artworks of the 20th century, "Life? or Theatre?", which is currently on view at the Jewish Museum here in London: https://jewishmuseum.org.uk/exhibitions/charlotte-salomon/

    Created between the years of 1941–43 when the young Salomon was living in Nice having escaped Berlin, "Life? or Theatre?" is a dramatised autobiography that uses sound, text, simple language, images, and music to give expression of Salomon’s struggle living in Berlin in the 1930s, and her experience during the war.

    It is the MOST moving, incredible, heartbreaking 'graphic novel' compiled of 769 small gouaches on paper which Salomon created when in hiding from Nazi oppressors. 

    The work is essentially a self portrait; storyboard; or intimate visual narrative of the artist’s existence: from a complicated family life, growing up in Berlin, the rise of the Nazis, to her exile to France, and to what ultimately led to her impending fate: age 26, five months pregnant, in Auschwitz.

    This challenging masterpiece tells the story of her life, with death looming from the start. In pre-first world war Berlin, a young woman called Charlotte – the artist’s aunt who she’s named after – drowns herself, and as the story unfolds, we discover many more mental health issues and sadness in the artist’s family. But Charlotte carries on, as if always seeing the positive in this ever glooming light which seems madness to even be seen as real life, as emphasised by its title. 

    Chantal speaks so beautifully in this episode, enlightening us about Charlotte and her experience visiting this week. Placing a particular emphasis on the redemptive power of art. When I asked Chantal why she thought the young Salomon created "Life? or Theatre?", she responded: "She just had no choice and the minute she's picked up, brush, she was safe. Suddenly it saved her and that's why we see such speed is in those drawings".

    Thank you for listening!!

    This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair!

    @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel
    To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! 

    @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/

    Follow us:

    Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
    Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller)
    Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
    Music by Ben Wetherfield

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 45 min
    Genieve Figgis

    Genieve Figgis

    In Episode 18 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned Irish artist, GENIEVE FIGGIS!!

    And WOW was it amazing to interview Genieve, whose vibrant, loosely rendered, liquid-like works that reimagine classical scenes I have been SUCH a fan of since her inaugural London exhibition at Almine Rech back in 2015!

    Working in oil and acrylic and at small- to mid-scale, Genieve Figgis produces paintings rich in color, texture, and humor. Striking the balance between figuration, her marble-style and liquid-like paintings are reminiscent of the 18th century Rococo style.
     
    Born in Dublin and now based in County Wicklow, Figgis was always interested in art, however it wasn’t until she was in her thirties with two small children, that she completed her art education in 2012. Exhibiting across Dublin galleries, it wasn’t until Figgis used Twitter to display her artwork in 2014, which caught the attention of one artist in particular – Richard Prince – who introduced Figgis to the New York art scene.

    Often reimagining and re-staging historical works – from Boucher, Fragonard, and Watteau – Figgis is particularly interested in scenes that feature sumptuous domestic interiors and stately country homes.

    It was such an honour to get to know and interview Genieve. We chat about everything from her strict Irish Catholic upbringing, what it was like entering a museum for the first time aged 19, going to art school later on in life, her ideas and interests behind her incredible painterly scenes, to her process and being an artist today. 

    See more of Genieve's work here: 
    https://www.genievefiggis.com/

    Thank you for listening!!

    This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair!

    @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel

    To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! 

    @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/

    Follow us:
    Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
    Sound editing by Amber Miller (@amber_m.iller)
    Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
    Music by Ben Wetherfield

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 38 min
    Jadé Fadojutimi

    Jadé Fadojutimi

    In Episode 17 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most exciting young artists working in the world right now, JADÉ FADOJUTIMI !!

    And WOW was it amazing to record at Jadé's South London studio surrounded by her monumental works. She is SO brilliant and not only did we have so much fun recording this episode, but it is such a great insight to her work and also an honest experience being an artist.

    Working in painting and drawing, Jadé is known for her large-scale, vibrant and complex emotional landscapes that offer an insight into the artist’s quest for identity. Made up of loose, expressive and translucent brushstrokes, when witnessed in the flesh, the energy and conviction in her medium is completely infectious. 

    A fairly recent graduate of The Slade School of Art, where she completed her BA, and the Royal College of Art, where she completed her MA in 2017, the London born and bred Jadé has since gone on to exhibit widely across the world, including shows at Pippy Houldsworth, PEER, and more!

    Despite only being 26, Jadé has received high critical acclaim for her paintings, and this summer, will be included in the upcoming Liverpool Biennial as well as having a solo exhibition in Japan. Speaking about her work, she has said ‘painting is like looking into a windowpane and seeing the reflection of her self, the context in which she lives, and the distorted fusion of the two’.  

    See more of Jadé's works here: 
    http://jadefadojutimi.com/

    Thank you for listening!!

    This episode is sponsored by the National Art Pass and the Affordable Art Fair!

    @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel
    To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! 

    @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/

    Follow us:
    Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
    Sound editing by @_ellieclifford
    Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
    Music by Ben Wetherfield

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 41 min
    Hans Ulrich Obrist on Faith Ringgold and Luchita Hurtado

    Hans Ulrich Obrist on Faith Ringgold and Luchita Hurtado

    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!!

    https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/faith-ringgold

    https://www.serpentinegalleries.org/exhibitions-events/luchita-hurtado-i-live-i-die-i-will-be-reborn

    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!

    @artfund: https://www.artfund.org/katy-hessel
    To receive a free tote bag with your National Art Pass, enter the code GREAT at checkout! 

    @affordableartfairuk: https://affordableartfair.com/

    Follow us:
    Katy Hessel: @thegreatwomenartists / @katy.hessel
    Sound editing by @_ellieclifford
    Artwork by @thisisaliceskinner
    Music by Ben Wetherfield

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 39 min

Top Podcasts In Arts

Listeners Also Subscribed To