51 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
    • 4.9 • 122 Ratings

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.

    Griselda Pollock on Alina Szapocznikow

    Griselda Pollock on Alina Szapocznikow

    In episode 50 (!!!) of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the legendary, trailblazing, feminist art history ICON, GRISELDA POLLOCK on the pioneering Polish Jewish artist, Alina Szapocznikow. 

    [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!]

    Author, editor, curator, and Professor, Griselda Pollock's 43-year-plus career as an art historian is nothing short of LEGENDARY. Having co-authored (with Rozsika Parker), “Old Mistresses: Women, Art and Ideology”, written 26 books, and edited many more, Pollock's indefatigable career has seen her spend decades developing an international, queer, postcolonial, feminist analysis of art’s diverse histories.

    Writing extensively on artists Eva Hesse, Lubaina Himid, Georgia O’Keeffe, to Tracey Emin, Pollock has curated numerous museum exhibitions, made several films, and has two forthcoming publications out for release. 

    But the reason why we are speaking to Griselda today is because as well as being a social and feminist historian of  19th and 20th century and contemporary art she is also a transdisciplinary cultural analyst focussing in Cultural Studies and Jewish studies, which is where her fantastic, tireless work on the great sculptor, Alina Szapocznikow comes into play.

    Born in Poland to an intellectual Jewish family of doctors in 1926, Alina Szapocznikow survived internment in concentration camps during the Holocaust as a teenager. [TW: we discuss The Holocaust]. At her liberation in 1945, she moved first to Prague, and then to Paris, where she studied sculpture and took up a job at a stonemasons, and then was forced back to Poland in 1951 after suffering from tuberculosis. When the Polish government loosened controls over creative freedom following Stalin’s death in 1952, Szapocznikow moved into figurative abstraction and then a pioneering form of representation. By the 1960s, she was radically re-conceptualizing sculpture as an intimate record not only of her memory, but also of her own body.

    First casting parts of the body as fragments, on her return to Paris as part of 'Nouveau Realisme', she began to move into casting bulbous shapes cast in resin from human bellies, lipstick red lips, nipples and lips growing from slender stems like flowers and serving as lamps.

    Surrounded by an artistic community that included Niki de Saint Phalle and more, in this episode we discuss Szapocznikow's incredible life and career, her involvement in the evolution of new materials and new ways of thinking, whilst simultaneously trying to deal with the horrors of the past – as with her American contemporaries, Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeois, and Hannah Wilke. 

    AS's Self Portrait: https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2012/alina-szapocznikow-sculpture-undone-1955-1972
    Photosculptures (chewing gum): https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2012/alina-szapocznikow-sculpture-undone-1955-1972
    Lamp works: https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2012/alina-szapocznikow-sculpture-undone-1955-1972
    Tumour series: https://hammer.ucla.edu/exhibitions/2012/alina-szapocznikow-sculpture-undone-1955-1972
    Further images and information: https://www.hauserwirth.com/artists/16711-alina-szapocznikow?modal=media-player&mediaType=artwork&mediaId=16719

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

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 55 min
    Mona Chalabi

    Mona Chalabi

    In episode 49 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the incredible data journalist and artist, MONA CHALABI!!!!

    [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!]

    Currently the Data editor of the Guardian US, a position she has held for the past seven years, the London-born but now New York-based Chalabi is known for her outstanding data-informed visualisations and drawings that range from addressing stats around gender imbalances in museums, to hate crimes and immigration issues to what time of day Americans might eat pizza.

    Bold, full of colour, and often hand-drawn directly onto graph or square paper, it is with humour and wit that Chalabi pushes boundaries to challenge societal assumptions and habits that have come to affect the way we live and think. 

    Having exhibited at the Tate, Design Museum, the V&A Glasgow and more, and created illustrations for the New Yorker, New York Review of Books, Netflix – as well as to her 400,000+ strong Instagram following, where you can find so much of her work – Chalabi has also written and presented for the BBC, National Geographic, Channel 4 and VICE, and was nominated for an Emmy for her video series Vagina Dispatches for the Guardian. 

    Commended by the Royal Statistical society, nominated for a Beazley Design of the Year award, and a former columnist for Five Thirty Eight called Dear Mona, Chalabi is translating spreadsheets into written pieces, illustration, audio and film for the modern-day consumer, allowing us all to enjoy, interact with her reliable data sources, as she breaks down the wall between complex information, art and illustration. 

    And on a personal level, it has been this year more than ever, with the current Coronavirus pandemic, Black Lives Matter Movement and the American election, that Mona’s data-informed works have resonated with people around the world. By using the power of art and illustration, she has allowed us to consume complex information in ways that I never thought possible. 

    WORKS + CHART DISCUSSED IN THE EPISODE!

    MONA'S INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/monachalabi/
    MONA'S WEBSITE: https://monachalabi.com/

    Trump's Federal Income Tax: https://www.instagram.com/p/CFr6e73lkK6/
    Mandatory paid vacation: https://www.instagram.com/p/CE1kpM5FhWR/
    Rectal bleeding: https://www.instagram.com/p/Bc-WtaRF-zg/
    Mark Zuckerberg's donation to Coronavirus: https://www.instagram.com/p/B-StLvnFtOE/ 
    Museum statistics: https://www.instagram.com/p/BxGBMU7HuUh/
    100 New Yorkers: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBTKeNNl4NZ/
    US Police Training: https://www.instagram.com/p/CBLWZM8lmUL/
    Understanding Police Brutality: https://www.instagram.com/p/CAz86y0FYqM/
    Breonna Taylor: https://www.instagram.com/p/CFh6Uu1Fpn8/
    Active KKK Groups: https://www.instagram.com/p/BYMAj-xFJOf/

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

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 49 min
    Letizia Treves on Artemisia Gentileschi

    Letizia Treves on Artemisia Gentileschi

    In episode 48 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly esteemed National Gallery curator, Letizia Treves, on the REVOLUTIONARY Baroque artist, Artemisia Gentileschi !!!!

    [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!]

    And WOW, it was on the eve of lockdown that Letizia (the show's curator) took me for a tour of "Artemisia" at the National Gallery, where we recorded this very special episode – so please come and join us! 

    An ICON of art history. A trailblazer. A revolutionary. And a great. Born on the cusp of the Baroque era in 1593, Artemisia Gentileschi is one of history's most famous artists, known for her STRIKING large-scale and monumental canvases of Biblical heroines, from Susanna, Judith to the Mary Magdalene. 

    The ultimate 17th century Baroque artist – whose exhibition marks the first EVER by a female artist on this scale at the National Gallery – never before has a show given such an incredibly well-rounded and triumphant stance to an artist. Not only do we hear from the artist herself through her many letters (to both her lovers and "illustrious patrons"), but we also hear from her through a 400 year-old transcript covering her rape trial. A document that asserts the young 17 year-old, who despite overcoming enormous amounts of personal and professional setbacks, asserts herself as a strong, courageous, dignified woman. 

    This exhibition of thirty DAZZLING works starts with Susanna and the Elders, made when Artemisia was still working in her father, Orazio's studio. We then move into Florence, where she moved in 1612 and became the star of the city – gaining patronage from the likes of the Medici Court.

    Portraying Judith Beheading Holofernes as if she were butchering a piece of meat, Artemisia was never afraid to show THEATRICALITY in her Baroque works, infused with psychological drama. 
    One of the greatest exhibitions I have ever witnessed, please join us as we tour this monumental show!!

    Artworks discussed: 
    Susanna and the Elders, 1610
    Judith Beheading Holofernes, 1612–13 + 1620–21
    Judith and Her Maidservant, 1612–13
    Self Portrait as Saint Catherine of Alexandria, 1616
    Self Portrait as a Lute Player, 1616–18
    Portrait of Artemisia Gentileschi by Simon Vouet
    Mary Magdalene in Ecstasy, 1623
    Judith and Her Maidservant, 1623
    Susanna and the Elders, 1652
    Self Portrait as the Allegory of Painting, 1638

    FURTHER LINKS!
    https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/artemisia
    Artemisia's rape trial: 
    https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/artemisia/artemisias-rape-trial
    Judith Beheading Holofernes: 
    https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/exhibitions/artemisia/judith-beheading-holofernes
    https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/paintings/artemisia-gentileschi
    https://www.waterstones.com/book/artemisia/letizia-treves/sheila-barker/9781857096569
    https://www.nationalgallery.org.uk/artists/artemisia-gentileschi


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

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 52 min
    Alyce Mahon on Leonor Fini

    Alyce Mahon on Leonor Fini

    In episode 47 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly esteemed, Cambridge University Art History professor and Surrealist EXPERT, Alyce Mahon on the magical LEONOR FINI (1907–1996) !!!! 

    [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!]

    The MATRIARCH of 20th century painting, known for her highly original works of supernatural portraits that empowered her female protagonists in the forms of sphinxes, Fini switched up gender roles like no other and was one of the most ground-breaking painters of the twentieth century.

    Born in Buenos Aires of mixed Spanish, Italian, and Argentine descent, Leonor escaped Argentina when she was 18 months old with her young mother, who raised her in Trieste where she was exposed to Mannerist and Renaissance painting, and her uncle's library where she read Freud and Jung. Fini, although known for her meticulously executed paintings, was completely self-taught. 

    With her intelligence, famous wit and charisma, she had garnered celebrity status in the Paris Avant Garde by the early 30s, and was exhibiting in the major surrealist exhibitions. But it was her portraits made in the late 30s and images of women in the forms of sphinxes that garnered her attention. 

    With the predominant themes in her art being sexual tensions, mysteries and games, her favoured subjects explored the interplay between the dominant female and the passive male. In many of her most powerful works the female takes the form of the sphinx to which she felt a strong identification.

    Whilst many of her peers ventured to New York and Mexico after World War II, Fini moved first to Rome and then back to Paris where she became an acclaimed set and costume designer for the likes of Fellini's film, Eight and a Half, and designed dresses and masquerades for Brigitte Bardot.

    WORKS DISCUSSED: 
    Self Portrait with a Scorpion (1938)
    Portrait of Meret Oppenheim (1938)
    The Alcove: An Interior with Three Women or The Black Room (1939)
    The Alcove/Self Portrait with Nico Papatakis (1941)
    Little Hermit Sphinx (Tate Collection) (1948)
    The Angel of Anatomy (1949)


    FURTHER LINKS!
    Alyce's fantastic exhibition: https://www.museumofsex.com/portfolio_page/leonor-fini/
    Alyce's book! https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691141619/the-marquis-de-sade-and-the-avant-garde (use the code MAHON20 for 25% off!)
    https://www.weinstein.com/artists/leonor-fini/
    https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/leonor-fini-5287

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

    https://www.thegreatwomenartists.com/

    • 54 min
    Guerrilla Girls

    Guerrilla Girls

    To mark the FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY of @thegreatwomenartists Instagram, in this very special episode, Katy Hessel interviews the trailblazing, fearless, ICONS Kathë Kollwitz and Frida Kahlo of the GUERRILLA GIRLS !!!!! 

    [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!]

    I don’t think I have ever been so excited!

    The anonymous feminist activist artist collective founded in 1985, who go by the guises of deceased female artists, the Guerrilla Girls are known to wear masks in public and use facts, humour, and outrageous and bold visuals to expose gender and ethnic bias in art, film, politics and in pop culture. 

    Working tirelessly for the past 35 years, the Guerrilla Girls have constantly fought discrimination and supported human rights for all people and all genders through their data-based artwork, which has been exhibited on buses, billboards, some of the biggest museums in the world – from the Tate to the Whitney – but also our very own bedrooms, including my own, with their aim being to spread equality and action through more than ninety posters, mugs, tea-towels, workbooks and more.

    Best known for their outrageous and witty statements including, “do women have to be naked to get into the met museum”, or “the advantages of being a woman artist”, it is through humour, bold graphics and data that the Guerrilla Girls catch our attention, and leave us wondering how just did museums get away with celebrating the history of patriarchy, as opposed to the history of art. 

    The most inspiring, encouraging, educational and unfortunately very needed artist collective out there, the Guerrilla Girls have changed – and are still changing – the story of art, one stunt at a time.

    I have been lucky enough to be the owner of much of their merchandise, and am delighted to say that they have just brought out a staggering new book,  The Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly, the first publication to catalog the entire career of the Guerrilla Girls from 1985 to present.

    ENJOY!!!!!

    FURTHER LINKS!
    https://www.guerrillagirls.com/
    New book! https://www.guerrillagirls.com/store/the-art-of-behaving-badly
    Projects! https://www.guerrillagirls.com/projects
    Exhibitions! https://www.guerrillagirls.com/exhibitionshttps://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/guerrilla-girls-6858

    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
    Cecily Brown

    Cecily Brown

    In episode 45 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the greatest painters to ever live, the inimitable CECILY BROWN!!!!!  

    [This episode is brought to you by Alighieri jewellery: www.alighieri.co.uk | use the code TGWA at checkout for 10% off!]

    I am SO EXCITED to release this episode which chronicles the UK-born, US-based Brown's incredible painterly career from the 1990s–present day!

    With her work steeped in art history, referencing the likes of Rubens, to Goya to Bacon and de Kooning, Cecily Brown is known for her all-encompassing, small-to-colossal scale paintings that portray the medium in a continual state of flux, constantly blurring the lines between abstraction and figuration, truth and fiction, liquid and solid.
     
    Always ALIVE with erotic energy, witnessing a Cecily Brown in the flesh is like seeing four-hundred years worth of painting unfold before your eyes. Every corner and inch of the canvas is activated, frenzied and fractured so intensely that you can’t help but project ideas around desire, life, and death, with the painting’s momentous fleshy and battle-like strokes and tones. 

    Born in the UK in the late 1960s, Cecily Brown was granted a garage to paint by the esteemed British painter (and former GWA Podcast guest) Maggi Hambling, before going on to study at London’s Slade School of Fine Art. And in 1994, after a stint in America two years before, she relocated to New York City, where she has lived ever since, continuing the legacy of the renowned New York School artists. 

    The subject of solo exhibitions at major institutions around the world, including the MFA Boston, Hirshhorn in Washington, Modern Art Oxford, and my favourite Louisiana Museum in Denmark, as well as countless shows at galleries including Thomas Dane and Paula Cooper, where I have been lucky enough to witness her work, Cecily is considered one of the most influential painters alive right now. 

    And NOW she has recently opened a staggeringly brilliant exhibition at Blenheim Palace here in England, where she has conceived an entirely new body of work that responds to the Palace’s history, through hunting and battle scenes, as well as a brilliant commentary on the state of Britain right now and the romanticised but complex nature of British society. 

    FURTHER LINKS!
    https://www.blenheimpalace.com/whats-on/events/cecily-brown-art-exhibition/
    All the Nightmares Came Today, 2012: https://www.artspace.com/cecily_brown/all-the-nightmares-came-today
    Current exhibition at Paula Cooper Gallery: https://www.paulacoopergallery.com/exhibitions/cecily-brown-2020-10-15/selected-works
    Louisiana show: https://louisiana.master.re-cph.dk/en/exhibition/cecily-brown
    https://channel.louisiana.dk/video/cecily-brown-totally-unaware

    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/

    • 52 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
122 Ratings

122 Ratings

aivilonire ,

Never wrote a review till today

10/10 likely 2 highly recommend 2 a friend :)

Bridgette384619373819 ,

Loving and Learning

Your podcast is making me rethink how I price my artwork and how I present it to the world. Thank you for interviewing such cool people like the guerrilla girls.

Toots boots ,

My favorite art inspired podcast

I look forward to each podcast. They are all interesting and Katy’s enthusiasm is infectious. Thank you, thank you!

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