Collection: Miriam Shapiro

Miriam Shapiro
b. 1923, Toronto, Canada; lives in the Hamptons, New York
Feathered Fan, 1983
Mixed media acrylic and fabric on canvas
48 x 96 inches
Collection Pérez Art Museum Miami, gift of Ruth Shack, in honor of Richard Shack

During the 1970s Miriam Shapiro, a pioneer of feminist art, began using patterned fabric, ornamental elements, and sewing techniques that are specifically tied to craft. As she observed in 1977, I wanted to validate the traditional activities of women, to connect myself to the unknown women artists who made quilts, who had done the invisible women s work of civilization, I wanted to acknowledge them, to honor them. ¶¶Feathered Fan is an example of FEMMAGE, a technique involving sewing, hooking, cutting, piercing and appliqué that Shapiro developed in the 1970s and continued to employ throughout the next decade. It concurrently references the shaped canvases of hard-edge painting and the reduced forms of Minimalism, both contemporaneous, male-dominated art movements that Shapiro specifically critiques through her colorful and handcrafted work. Produced in the shape of a fan, this piece points not only to her feminist approach, but also to her interest in cultures outside of the West, specifically Japan. ¶¶

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