47 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 • 111 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.

    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
    Wanda M Corn on Georgia O'Keeffe

    Wanda M Corn on Georgia O'Keeffe

    In episode 44 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the highly esteemed, pioneering art historian, Wanda M Corn on the legendary painter, GEORGIA O'KEEFFE (1887–1986) !!!!

    [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 with Wanda Corn who not only **KNEW** Georgia O'Keeffe in the 1980s, but who is the curator of the staggeringly brilliant and HIGHLY successful exhibition, Georgia O’Keeffe: Living Modern at New York’s The Brooklyn Museum in 2017, which toured around the US.

    This was an exhibition that looked at how the renowned modernist artist proclaimed her progressive, independent lifestyle through a self-crafted person – from the way she dressed to how she posed for photographs – expanding our understanding of who O’Keeffe was, and her determination to be in charge of how the world understood her identity and artistic values. 

    The ICON of American painting Georgia O'Keeffe is one of the greatest artists to ever live. Known for her incredibly rendered paintings of magnified flowers, American skyscrapers, to skulls and landscapes evocative of the dry New Mexican landscape in which she lived, O'Keeffe captured the most serene works that didn't just reflect the world around her, but the evolution of modernism in the 20th century.

    No one captured nature in its many forms like O'Keeffe. Learning to paint at the turn of the 1900s, O'Keeffe transformed traditional subjects – the landscape and still life – into a modernist language. After venturing to the deep Southwest in 1929, it was through painting that she documented the starkness and alien-ness of a place that had so rarely been recorded in oil paint. 

    Wanda Corn is a former Professor at Stanford University, and a LEADING scholar of late 19th and early 20th century American art and photography. A writer, curator, editor and lecturer, Wanda has received countless awards and fellowships for her tireless work to art history over the past few decades! And is the MOST enthusiastic and engaging speaker. THANK YOU WANDA!!

    FURTHER LINKS!
    The book of the show! https://prestelpublishing.randomhouse.de/book/Georgia-OKeeffe/Wanda-Corn/Prestel-com/e516673.rhd
    A video of Wanda's exhibition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zTYqxARzOlchttps://www.brooklynmuseum.org/exhibitions/touring/georgia_okeeffe_living_modern
    https://www.waterstones.com/book/the-great-american-thing/wanda-m-corn/9780520231993
    https://www.okeeffemuseum.org/
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=quG3EHonOns
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5v8E7460eTU

    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/

    • 54 min
    Toyin Ojih Odutola

    Toyin Ojih Odutola

    In episode 43 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews one of the most incredible artists working in the world right now, the brilliant TOYIN OJIH ODUTOLA.

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

    Working exclusively in drawing materials including pen, pastel, charcoal, and chalk, the Nigerian-born and New York-based artist is known for her astoundingly-beautiful, electric-like and meticulously rendered figurative works. Based on imaginary characters who inhabit opulent interiors and verdant landscapes, Ojih Odutola’s work can be exclusively monochrome or drenched in dazzling colours.

    With her starting point being not the pen, but rather her mind, she begins each series by creating narratives that play out through a series of works that suggest the structure of episodes or chapters, in their cinematic-like ways.

    As viewers, these sometimes-immersive series leave you physically and psychologically transported into other worlds as they probe questions about the state of our current world through their presentations of alternative histories, with the artist herself joining the story as she takes up fictional roles including a private secretary, or the director of a research initiative.

    A 2017 exhibition, To Wander Determined at The Whitney Museum in New York, which I was lucky enough to witness, presented an interconnected series of fictional portraits chronicling the lives of two aristocratic Nigerian families, and her most recent exhibition, A Countervailing Theory at London’s Barbican Centre, tells the story of an ancient civilisation ruled by female warriors (the Eshu) and served by male labourers (the Koba).

    Referencing ancient history, popular culture, anime, fan-fiction, to contemporary politics, Toyin is reinterpreting the artistic landscape like no other. By playing with traditions of portraiture, she is pushing the genre beyond its roots into the realm to the psychological, the speculative and the seemingly impossible.

    And it is her most recent exhibition, A Countervailing Theory, which features a staggering cycle of forty new large-scale drawings that explore the complexities of our system, and challenge established norms!!!!

    WOW. I am completely blown away by Toyin Ojih Odutola in this episode. PLEASE LISTEN !!!! and thank you :)

    FURTHER LINKS:
    https://www.barbican.org.uk/whats-on/2020/event/toyin-ojih-odutola-a-countervailing-theory
    https://www.npg.org.uk/blog/zadie-smith-and-toyin-ojih-odutola
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/08/17/toyin-ojih-odutolas-visions-of-power
    https://jackshainman.com/artists/toyin_ojih_odutola
    https://whitney.org/exhibitions/toyinojihodutola

    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/

    • 55 min
    Chloe Wise

    Chloe Wise

    In episode 42 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the sensational painter, CHLOE WISE!!!!

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

    Canada-born and now NYC-based, Chloe Wise captures the strange times we are living more poignantly – and sometimes disturbingly – more than any artist I know!! 

    Working in a range of materials, from beautifully-rendered painting, to sculpture, video and installation, Wise’s works are filled with portraits of her friends and acquaintances, food, and everyday objects that pay particular attention to our consumer-culture-obsessed and hyper-sanitised world.

    Perfectly rendered with an almost airbrush-like quality, Chloe’s paintings in particular comment on how advertising, fashion, and multinational brands feed into our everyday lives.

    By incorporating these well-known symbols and logos into her work, she makes us question not only our everyday need to consume, but our obsession with portraying an outwardly perfect version of ourself, which is why another side of her work (the videos!) are such a great antidote to her painting, as it shows us an awkward truth of the world: unsanitized, airbrushed, and often set up in an anonymous office-like environment.

    Steeped in the history of art and the history of portraiture with their triangular forms, large group scenes emulating a Biblical or historical narrative, use of drapery evocative of Botticelli or Bernini, and hands connecting the emotion of each figure, it is with a wry sense of humour that Wise nods to the canon which explore the shared projected desires built around food and the female body. 

    ENJOY!! This is one of the funnest, most interesting, and THOUGHT PROVOKING episodes of the GWA Podcast. We discuss everything from her painting to living in Trump's America to our mass-consumed world, and of course our love for ALICE NEEL!

    Further links: 
    https://www.chloewise.com/
    https://www.alminerech.com/artists/3760-chloe-wise
    https://alminerech.viewingrooms.com/viewing-room/11-chloe-wise-second-nature/

    This episode is sponsored by Alighieri
    https://alighieri.co.uk/
    @alighieri_jewellery
    Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!

    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/

    • 50 min
    Tracey Bashkoff on Hilma af Klint

    Tracey Bashkoff on Hilma af Klint

    WELCOME BACK TO SEASON 4!!

    In episode 41 of The Great Women Artists Podcast, Katy Hessel interviews the world-renowned, Guggenheim curator and Director of Collections, Tracey Bashkoff on the staggeringly PIONEERING... HILMA AF KLINT!!! 

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

    And WOW. What an INSIGHT into one of the world's greatest and innovative artists: who experimented with Abstraction BEFORE the likes of Kandinsky and Mondrian, but whose paintings (who no one knew she was making!) were not discovered until 20+ years after the artist's death in 1944. 

    Guided by a spirit, Hilma af Klint created mesmerising, and colossal-scale work that documented the evolution of life and the world. Not telling anyone except her Spiritualist circle that she was making these (bar the Theosophist, Rudolph Steiner, who may or may not have tipped people off!!! Listen for more!), Hilma af Klint painted her series "Paintings for the Temple" (100s of paintings in just two years!) which she envisioned to be one day housed in a 'round, spiral-like temple' (!!!), which feels scarily like the actual Guggenheim....!!!

    And wow has she had a resurgence. Between the years 2018–2019, Tracey Bashkoff curated the most successful exhibition the Guggenheim has ever seen. An exhibition that not only stunned the world and disrupted art history for ever, but saw a record number of visitors attend (over 600,000 nearly double that of the previous year’s Giacometti show), forced the museum to extend their evening hours and be open seven days a week despite the show running for a staggering six months!

    This show was of course, "Hilma Af Klint: Paintings for the Future", a groundbreaking exhibition that filled every corner of the gallery by the little-known Swedish artist, whose first ever US solo exhibition it was, held 75 years after her death.

    ENJOY! This is genuinely the most fascinating story of an artist I have EVER witnessed!

    Further information:
    https://www.guggenheim.org/video/hilma-af-klint
    https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/who-was-hilma-af-klint-at-the-guggenheim-paintings-by-an-artist-ahead-of-her-time 
    https://www.guggenheim.org/blogs/checklist/guggenheim-curators-answer-questions-about-hilma-af-klint
    https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/11/arts/design/hilma-af-klint-review-guggenheim.html 
    https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/10/22/hilma-af-klints-visionary-paintings

    This episode is sponsored by Alighieri
    https://alighieri.co.uk/
    @alighieri_jewellery
    Use the code: TGWA for 10% off!

    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/

    • 56 min

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5
111 Ratings

111 Ratings

Silverower ,

Insightful, inspiring and engaging!

This podcast is a perfect mix of art history and contemporary art practice. Katy Hessel embraces the life of each artist and highlights little known facts. Her infectious enthusiasm encourages us to dig further into each artists practice! Thank you for providing a bright spot in the world where we can escape for an hour!!!

Kpfarmer831 ,

Art history that I wish I had I college

I LOVE learning about these women as it makes me feel connected to the art world like I never have before. The questions that are asked are thoughtful and always result in fruitful conversations with the guest.

A five-star podcast, for sure, if only the host could keep her “WOW” reactions to herself. They’re quite distracting and irritating as they always come right in the middle of response to her interview question.

ChloeBuff ,

My favorite podcast

My absolute favorite art-related podcast. Informative and inspiring.

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