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


About this topic: Women at Work

There are many images of women at work, but women artists have provided different approaches to considering women's labour in waged and unwaged economies and jobs in which women are the majority of workers or a minority. These works explore the gap between public/private activities, between the conditions of women's working lives, routine labour and rewarding/creative work, between their subject's roles as housewife and factory worker, waitress or nurse. Women artists consider their own investment as well in their labour as artists, mothers or working in different professions.

  1. Bonnie Sherk (USA) The Waitress  (1973) performance at Andy's Donuts, San Francisco      

  2. Mary Kelly, Kay Hunt and Margaret Harrison (UK, USA, Canada) Women's Work (1973 - 1975) black and white photographs, charts, tables, photocopied documents, film loops and audio tapes     Tate  

  3. Hackney Flashers (UK) Women and Work (1975) 250 photos and text panels     Jo Spence Memorial Archive 

  4. Birgit Jürgenssen (Sweden) Housewife's Kitchen Apron (1975) photograph      

  5. Susan Mogul (USA) Big Tip, Back Up, Shut Out (1976) video 10 min  Video Data Bank  

  6. Eleanor Antin (USA) The Angel of Mercy: The Nightingale Family Album (1977) photographic series, silver gelatin prints    Whitney Museum  

  7. Trisha Davis and Phil Goddall (UK) Mother's Pride, Mother's Ruin (1977 - 1978) photo-collages, installation       see Monica Ross 'History or Not' and Tricia Davis & Phil Goodall 'Personally and Politically: Feminist Art Practice' Feminist Review 1, 21–35 (1 March 1979)

  8. Lea Lublin (France) Dissolution dans l'Eau (1978) banner      

  9. Margaret Harrison (UK) Homeworkers (1978) installation, canvas, mixed media 210 x 240 cm     

  10. Helen Grace (Australia) The Immortals (1979 - 2005) DVD, originally photographs, transferred to animation/film      

  11. Nil Yalter and Nicole Croiset (Turkey, France) Femme au Foyer, Femme au Travail (Women at home, Women at Work) (1981) portraits of women and their lives, presented as posters where they lived on street signs and bus stops      

  12. Jacqueline Morreau (UK) The Divided Self III Work and Duty (1981) oil on board 68 x 101 cm  Cleveland Art Gallery  

  13. Carol Conde and Karl Beveridge (USA) Oshawa (1982 - 1983) photoseries with text each 40x 50 cm     

  14. Shirley Cameron, Monica Ross, Evelyn Silver (UK) Monument to Working Women  (1985) performance, Rochdale   Re.Act Feminism website  

  15. Jerri Allyn (USA) American Dining: A Working Woman's Movement (Labor in the 1980s) (1987) performance, Gefen's Dairy Rest, New York      

  16. Sara Diamond (Canada) Ten Dollars or Nothing (1989) video  12 min     

  17. Ann Hamilton (USA) Indigo Blue (1991) site specific installation with clothes, books, soy beans, table and performance, Spoleto Festival, Charleston, USA      

  18. Louise Walsh (UK) Monument to the Unknown Woman Worker (1992) public sculpture of 2 women, bronze  1.9 m h.  Great Victoria St, Belfast  

  19. Yolanda M. Lopez (USA) Women's Work is Never Done (1994) series of installations, including The Nanny      

  20. Ann-Sofi Siden (Sweden) Who Told the Chambermaid? (1998) video installation, mixed media, shown at Manifesta 2, Luxembourg      

  21. Maja Bajevic (Bosnia-Herzogovina) Women at Work (Under Construction) in Construction (1999) remains of performance, Sarajevo, where local women embroidered on scaffold     Centre Pompidou AM 2008-64 

  22. Ghada Amer (USA, Egypt) Today 70% of the poor in the world are women (2001) red timber boxes for letters, sand, La Rambla del Raval, Barcelona Spain      

  23. Coco Fusco (USA) Dolores from 10h to 22h (2001) performance, presented online      

  24. Prema Murthy (India, USA) Mythic Hybrid (2002) online website      

  25. Egle Rakauskaite (Lithuania) My America (2003) video      

  26. Tomoko Sawada (Japan) Costume (2003 - 2004) photo series taking on roles of different women at work      

  27. Pia Lanzinger (Germany) Das Unternehmen in den eigenen vier Wanden Teleheimarbeiterinnen in Sachsen (2003) video and installation about homeworkers      

  28. Jeanne van Heeswijk (The Netherlands) Some 7 (Budapest) (2004) video triptych      

  29. Fourth Height (Russia) Heroic (2005) color photographs       see catalogue by Natalya Kamenetskaya and Oksana Sarkisyan ed Zen d'Art (Moscow Museum of Modern Art: 2010)

  30. Mika Rottenberg (USA) Dough (2005 - 2006) video    Guggenheim Museum   see this video interview

  31. Cao Fei (China) Whose Utopia? (2006) video, projection, colour and sound (stereo) 19:58 min  Tate Collection  

  32. Sophie Calle (France) Take Care of Yourself (2007) installation of responses (photo-text-video) by 106 other women from many professions on reading a letter from a former lover      

  33. Angele Etounde Essamba (Cameroon, The Netherlands) I-dentity, EYE-dentity: Portraits of Afro Colombian Women (2010 - 2011) photographic series      

  34. Man Yee Lam (China, USA) Cocooning - Self-Combing Women (2012) installation with video, silk thread about silkworm farmers in China