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Artworks by women artists on 30 topics
related to Feminism and Contemporary Art


About this topic: Artists' Parents/Grandparents

Many women artists make work about their relationship to their parents, exploring their parent's lives in relation to their own, trying to understand how they became who they are, what motivates their values and their ideals and how their lives are different from their parents. Many of these portraits involve the parents in their making, some are about loss. Included on this list are women artists' works about their fathers, but the majority of works look at mother/daughter relationships or relationships between three generations of women. The family album of photographs often plays a central role in analysing the past in relation to the present: with scenes reconstructed or remembered. Sometimes these photos, as partial remainders of a former life, are examined as a starting point for reflections on personal histories in the context of world events.

  1. Lynda Benglis (USA) Home Tape Revised (1972) black and white video, 25 min.      

  2. Nancy Wilson-Pajic (aka. Kitchel) (USA, France) Covering My Face (My Grandmother’s Gestures) (1972) 22 black and white photographs in a series   Archives Jean-Dominique Carre, France  

  3. Raymonde Arcier (France) Heritage, tricots de ma mere (1972 - 1973) knitted sweaters mounted on a giant knitted sweater 3 x 3.5 m      see Catherine Gonnard and Elizabeth Lebovici Femmes Artistes, Artistes Femme: La Creation en France, 1900-2000 (Paris, Edition Hazan:2008)

  4. Louise Bourgeois (USA, France) The Destruction of the Father (1974) latex installation 238 x 364 x 249 cm     

  5. Hermine Freed (USA) Family Album (1975) black and white video, 10 min.   Video Data Bank  

  6. Shigeko Kubota (Japan) My Father (1975) black and white video, 15.24 min      

  7. Mako Idemitsu (Japan) Grandmother, Mother, Daughter (1976) DVD, multiple screen projection      

  8. Martha Rosler (USA) Losing: A Conversation with the Parents (1977) video 19mins      

  9. Su Richardson and Tricia Davis (UK) Mother's Pride, Mother's Ruin (1977) exhibition as installation       see Griselda Pollock and Roszika Parker Framing Feminism

  10. Barbara Aronofsky Latham (USA) Feathers: An Introduction (1978) video 25 min  Video Data Bank  

  11. Sara Diamond (Canada) The Influences of My Mother (1982) black and white video, 24 min.       

  12. Mona Hatoum (UK) Measures of Distance (1988) video, 15 mins., colour, sound      

  13. Jo Spence and Valerie Walkerdine (UK) (mother and daughter shame work: crossing class boundaries) (1988) photo-therapy series, enacting position of artist's mother      

  14. Tomie Arai (USA) Memory-in-Progress: a Mother/Daughter project (1989) prints      

  15. Bracha Lichtenberg Ettinger (Israel, France) Matrixial Borderline (1990 - 1991) india ink, pencil, pastel and photocopy on paper, plexiglas, four panels, with 25 elements 160 x 55 cm     

  16. Hanh Thi Pham (Vietnam) Reframing the Family (1990 - 1991) photographs with reconstructed scenes, slide projections, family portraits, postcards      

  17. Eija-Liisa Ahtila (Finland) Me/We (1993) video 1'30"      

  18. Janine Antoni (USA) Mom and Dad (1994) Photographic triptych: depicting Mum cross-dressing as Dad and vice versa 24 x 20 inches each (60.96 x 50.80 cm)     

  19. Renee Cox and Lyle Ashton Harris (USA) Queen, Alias and Id: The child (1994) photograph      

  20. Frances Hegarty (Ireland, UK) Turas (1995) video/audio installation      

  21. Amanda Heng (Singapore) Another Woman (1996 - 1997) photographic series of artist and mother      

  22. Jananne Al-Ani (UK) A Loving Man (1996 - 1999) video installation       

  23. Tomur Atagök (Turkey) Incomplete Notes from Mother (1997) mixed materials      

  24. Destiny Deacon (Australia) Postcards from Mommy (1998) colour laser prints      

  25. Rosy Martin (UK) Too Close to Home (1999) photographic series      

  26. He Chengyao (China) Testimony (2001 - 2002) photograph 118.9 x 74.4cm     

  27. Natalia Abalakova and Anatolii Zhigalov (Russia) Motherland-Fatherland (2002) photograph in 2 panels 105 x 300 cm     

  28. Yu Hong (China) From Witness to Growth (2002) found photographs, oil on canvas      

  29. Zineb Sedira (UK) Mother,Father and I (2003) 3 screen video installation, 2 benches and speakers      

  30. Candice Breitz (USA) Mother + Father (2005) Two Six-Channel Installations, using mainstream film footage of parents from fiction films      

  31. Cuny Janssen (The Netherlands) My Grandma was a Turtle (2008) photographs, presented as wall installation, about matriarchal Turtle clan, Delaware, Oklahoma      

  32. Asli Sungu (Turkey) Just Like Mother and Father (2011) Two channel video projection      

  33. Silvina Der-Meguerditchian (Argentina, Germany) Families I and Families II (2013) laminated digital prints of Armenian families, sewn into Anatolian carpet design