Sharing: A Feminist Letter about Young Women and Art

From Femficatio

“Indian Woman in Veil” by Arti Chauhan

This letter was in was the result of a request from 17 women art students who were matriculates in the Feminist Art Program at CalArts in the spring of 1974.  Part of an Arts festival catalog; the young women had planned a section called “Letter to a Young Woman Artist” inspired by Czech poet Rainer Maria Rilke’s, Letters to a Young Poet.  The following is a response by respected mature-woman artist and feminist, Lucy Lippard.

Faith Ringgold Art

To a Young Woman Artist,
I’m sorry this has to be so short, because I have a lot I’d like to talk about with you, but try to read between the lines.  I hope you’re angry but get it over with fast and use it while you’ve got it.  I hope you don’t stop being angry now and then until things are better for all women, not just artists; I hope you’re working from yourself and know how to fuck the art world pressures when you get out there; and I hope you’re working for everybody else too; I hope you’ll be the one to figure out a way to keep art from being used the wrong way and for the wrong things in society; I hope you make your art accessible to more people, to all women and to everybody; I hope you think about that now and aren’t waiting till you make it, because that’s likely to be too late.  I hope you remember that being a feminist carries with it a real responsibility to be human.  I hope and I hope and I hope . . . love, Lucy Lippard

“Black Woman with a Pearl Necklace” by Yahya Batat

Info compiled from “new thoughts on the black arts movement” Edited by Lisa Gail Collins and Margo Natalie Crawford

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