Marxism and Art: Beware of Fascist Feminism

Hannah Wilke American

Not on view

During the 1970s, Wilke often appeared naked in performances and photo-pieces in which she casually flouted the pieties of feminist art and theory just at the moment that they were being codified into orthodoxy. Using the objectification of women in mass culture against itself, Wilke asserted an artistic freedom beyond the puritanical requirements of her feminist critics--and a willingness to address real world sexual politics--that paved the way for the more complicated, ambivalent relationship to first-wave feminism shown by artists such as Cindy Sherman and Laurie Simmons. This famous image took a number of forms: first, it was pasted up around Soho as a (larger) poster, only one of which survives (mounted to plexiglas) in the collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Wilke also produced an unnumbered edition of the image in the smaller size seen here, which she handed out as flyers on the sidewalk outside Leo Castelli's gallery at 420 West Broadway. Lastly, the artist created an edition of 25 prints of the image, of which this example is numbered 15.

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