by Daniel Belasco

Size Matters

Notes on the triumph of feminist art

The Jewish museum has focused its collection of contemporary art since the 1980s on works with strong themes of social consciousness: race, anti- Semitism, assimilation, identity, sexuality, and family. Within the collection, there is a strong grouping of well over 100 works that address critically the situation of women in Judaism and Jewish culture and history. Their creators occupy a veritable canon of American Jewish feminist art: Eleanor Antin, Martha Rosler, Hannah Wilke, Nancy Spero, Joyce Kozloff, Miriam Schapiro, Eva Hesse, Helène Aylon, Deborah Kass, Nan Goldin, Mierle Laderman Ukeles; the list goes on and on. And there are the notable Israelis Michal Heiman, Hila Lulu Lin, Sigalit Landau, Nurit David, Deganit Berest, among others. It’s not surprising that such a large collection of feminist artworks would live at The Jewish Museum, since so many of the pioneers of feminist art, theory and activism in the U.S. and abroad have been Jewish.

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