The Eight Most Inspiring Mothers in Contemporary Art
Even today, female artists are marginalized, with curators feeling it necessary to stage exhibitions like Seductive Subversion: Women Pop Artists, to give women working in the arts their time in the sun. For women, it's an uphill battle to be recognized in a field that already requires a tremendous amount of discipline, and determination. But imagine committing to your craft, trying to reveal your creative vision to the world with the same gusto while nine months pregnant, nursing, and raising children? That's exactly what some of the most prominent artists working today have done, earning them a spot on this roundup: The most inspiring mothers in contemporary art history.
We know her as an activist, widow and collaborator of John Lennon, and musician, but Yoko Ono was first and foremost a pioneer of conceptual art. While doing all this, she raised Sean Lennon as an equally inspiring creative. The two work on projects and causes together, like their most recent rally cry against fracking which led to their movement, Artists Against Fracking, and the entertaining video above.
In her short time on Earth, Margaret Kilgallen helped define San Francisco's "Mission School" aesthetic, and subsequently inspired a new wave of art making with an allegiance to the streets. At just 33, she was diagnosed with breast cancer while pregnant. She opted out of chemotherapy to carry her pregnancy through and died three weeks after the birth of her daughter, with husband and collaborator Barry McGee.
Image via Wikimedia Commons
Lorna Simpson revolutionized the field of conceptual photography with work that challenges our notions of gender, identity, race, culture, and sexuality. In 1993, Simpson was the first African American artist to show in the important Venice Biennale. She was already established in her career when she had her daughter at age 38.
Lorna and Zora Simpson 2007 Gap ad