This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Black Women In Art Essay

1235 words - 5 pages

Black Women in Art
Historically and currently African American women use art as a way to express themselves, their emotions and as an act of resistance. In this paper, I will discuss the various ways two very influential artists, Laurie Cooper and Lorna Simpson, use imagery to uncover and forefront the various forms of oppression that affect their lives as African American women. Since the late 1970s, African American art, as a form of self expression, explores issues which concern African peoples worldwide. During this time period, African American artists use symbols which represent the struggles, despair, hopes and dreams of a people striving to debunk prominent stereotypes and dismantle the intersecting oppressions of race, class and gender.
Despite the long history of African American art, many black artists in contemporary society still have a difficult time getting their art viewed or accepted by the masses. Society, in general, tends to look at African art as ethnic, trivial, simple, folk art, perhaps even collectable, but not worthy of true in-depth exploration of fine art accreditation. However, Laurie Cooper and Lorna Simpson disrupt these perceptions in their art.
Lorna Simpson, a photographer, was born in New York during the sixties. Still residing there today, she remains active in the art world. Simpson brings much attention to a cause near and dear to her, the “situation of black women in society.” The ambiguity in her photographs allows the viewer to evaluate the meaning of her work and to draw their own conclusion with her spirit in mind. An excellent example of this is in her piece Counting(1991). The Albright-Knox Art Gallery helps interpret the piece:
Lorna Simpson’s work, Counting, contains three images: a fragment of a woman’s body, a small brick hut, and a group of braids. The figure is anonymous and wears a white shift, Simpson’s preferred costume for her models. She likes the simplicity; she believes that it indicates what she terms "femaleness," without bringing up issues of fashion; and she also likes the fact that there are many possible interpretations for such an outfit. The times to the right of the figure might indicate work shifts, but the schedules are unrealistic if considered closely. Other possibilities for what they might mean are open to viewer interpretation.
The central image shows a smoke house in South Carolina that was also used as a slave hut. This adds a reference to the previous status of African-American women in this country, where slavery was first acknowledged about 310 years ago (as indicated by the number in the box to the left). It can be inferred that perhaps the number of bricks listed is the number of bricks used in the construction of the building.
Simpson first began putting hair in her work around 1990, and it can lead to many different interpretations. The only clue she provides to viewers is an accounting of the number of twists, braids, and locks. It has been suggested...

Find Another Essay On Black Women in Art

Black Women to the Men in TEWWG

712 words - 3 pages The three women in Their Eyes Were Watching God, Daisy, Mrs. Bogle, and Mrs. Robbins, are depicted as caricatures of black women who were disrespected in Eatonville, Florida. The main character Janie, has difficulty understanding the ways the men judged the women. Daisy was described as being a young, beautiful dark-skinned woman. Mrs. Bogle, on the other hand, was an elderly grandmother. Finally, Mrs. Robbins,seemed to be a flirtatious

An Evaluation On The Opression Of Black Women In "

2257 words - 10 pages The Colour Purple "The Colour Purple", written by Alice Walker is an emotional portrayal of the life of a black southern woman called Celie. The novel illuminates the great hardships Celie encounters during her life and how she overcomes them through the help of her belief in God. Through Celie, Alice Walker is able to show the oppression of Black women and how they dealt with a double-edged sword of not only being women but also being black. It

Women in Art and Their Role’s in Society

1026 words - 5 pages Women have played many roles in societies since the dawn of time ever changing with time and from society to society. Each society hold a special place and role for women good and bad. Freedoms and equality of women has varied from opression to freedom. I will discuss some specific pieces of art and explain how the art shows the role of women in a specific society. I will tell you of their paril and achivements through time. Giving you a

The Role of Women in Ancient Greek Art

920 words - 4 pages The investigation of the role of women in the Art of ancient Greece is complex because artists were affected both by the art of the past and the women that they saw around them every day. There is one certainty and that is that the influence of the various roles evident produced some of the greatest art ever. The purpose of this page is to investigate the various influences that women had and provide information to help the understanding of this

The influence of Australian women on Modernism in Australian Art

1640 words - 7 pages landscape an art deco aesthetic which ultimately evokes an industrial morphology.More striking is the imagery of work itself, and of one vast project in particular, which seems largely to have been the preserve of women artists: The Sydney Harbour Bridge, Jessie Traill systematically documented the stages of the bridge's construction in a series of fine etchings, such as Building the Harbour Bridge IV: The Ant's progress, November 1929. Cossington Smith

"Women in World History". Website critique 676 words. Art History

721 words - 3 pages Women's role in art history, Europe and Middle East. Personal review of a website including source, look, content, and general opinion as well as a comparison of the women's roles then versus now.http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/women1000.htmlThis website is about women in the year 100 C.E. as written by Lyn Reese. She has a BA in history from Mount Holyoke College and masters in history from Stanford University. She also completed a year of

The Lack of Known Women Artists in Pre-Modern Art

2062 words - 9 pages backgrounds such as a father who was an artist. If you weren’t related to an artist as a woman you would have no luck in the art industry. The subject of feminist art is a difficult one, because of the problems defining it. Before feminist movements, women who wanted to be taken seriously as artists had to leave their gender out of their art. For too many centuries, women who've endeavored to make art have been seen as peculiar or eccentric

The Role of Black Women in Southern America in "Their Eyes Were Watching God"

759 words - 3 pages The Role of Black Women in Southern AmericaThe post-Civil War era of the United States led to radical changes in the demographics of its citizens. Reconstruction led to liberal thoughts on the equality of blacks and women. These ideas, although never passed into law, influenced the way minorities had a voice in the government. By the 1920, black men and white women had "equal" rights as citizens, but black women were still treated as though not

Black Women on T.V.: Still Stereotypes or Ignored in Their Progression?

738 words - 3 pages Black women in America are unique group of people. Of course no two women are the same and black women in America have not stayed the same. Robin Givhan’s Echoes of T.V.’s First Lady: Michelle Obama’ Last True Cultural Antecedent is “Cosby’s” Clair Huxtable addresses the idea that television has not seen a black women since the great Clair Huxtable that personifies the qualities of Michelle Obama. Maybe TV. has not seen a replica of these two

The Identity of Black Women in the Post-Bellum Period 1865-1885

2653 words - 11 pages The Identity of Black Women in the Post-Bellum Period 1865-1885 Throughout history, the black woman has always had a multitude of responsibilities thrust upon her shoulders. This was never truer than for southern black women in the period between 1865 and 1885. In this span of twenty years, these women were responsible for their children, their husbands, supporting their families, their fight for freedom as black citizens and as women

Women´s Role in Society in Antigone, Aeneid, and The Art of Courtly Love

1272 words - 5 pages , more roles within the church became available to women. Women were given opportunities to escape child bearing, acquire literacy and learning and play a more active religious role in society. From my point of view Catherine did not rebel against the laws of society. She just grabbed the opportunities that came her way and showed the world that women can also be good rulers. In The Art of Courtly Love written by Andreas Capellanus and in The Lais

Similar Essays

Black Women In Music Essay

1800 words - 7 pages Black Women in Music Music is a reflection of the community from which it came. African American women have been reflecting the social, economic, and political experiences of the African American community through thier music past and present. Each era of change in the African American community has brought about a African American female revoluntionary. Examples of this can be seen through the blues and jazz singers of the Harlem

Women In Art Essay

2322 words - 9 pages Women in Art Throughout history many artistic works have been deemed "great" and many individuals have been labeled "masters" of the discipline. The question of who creates art and how is it to be classified as great or greater than another has commonly been addressed by scholars and historians. The last quarter of the 20th century has reexamined these questions based on the assertions that no women artists have ever created or been

Black Women In An American Industry

781 words - 4 pages When it comes to being a women in many workplace industries, whether it's entertainment or modern day work, you can easily be put in a box of stereotypes of what a woman should be. However, pounder the thought of facing discrimination against your race along while being in that box. Black women everyday, everywhere experience added convertations on to the ones that already come with being a woman in this society. The constant unnecessary

White Versus Black; Women In Despair

1627 words - 7 pages well as how this contradicted with slavery and thus preventing women from fulfilling exactly these roles. Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl highlight these double standards that are put upon white women and black women. White women versus black women is a major theme throughout the book with Harriet Jacobs in the centre. Another important theme in the book is virtue and Jacobs uses herself to describe how hard it was for a black female slave to