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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