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


About this topic: Motherhood/Mothers/Child-rearing

Mothering, and motherhood, from the point of view of women as mothers, are the subject of this topic. Breast-feeding provides a focus of many works in this group in terms of public attitudes to breast milk. However, all the processes of feeding, weaning, potty-training, acquiring language, caring for, educating and socialising children are explored. The ambivalence of the mother to these activities, as observer-participant, often in contrast with her creative labour as an artist, and coupled with the day-to-day responsibilities for socialisation and a child's development are analysed. These works explore feminist responses in how societies' approach to childcare remains heavily invested in the labour of women from the point of view of mothers.

  1. Mary Kelly (Canada, USA, UK) Post-Partum Document (1973 - 1979) installation in six sections, mixed media, nappy liners, text, slate, letraset etc      

  2. Kirsten Justesen (Denmark) CLASS STRUGGLE / KLASSEKAMPEN (1976) Pigment print on Somerset Satin Enhanced 350 gr 175 x 240 cm    Statens Museum fur Kunst, Copenhagen 

  3. Laura Mulvey and Peter Wollen (UK) Riddles of the Sphinx (1977) film     British Film Institute 

  4. Bobby Baker (UK) Drawing on a Mother’s Experience (1978 - 1980) performance       

  5. Hackney Flashers (UK) Who's Holding the Baby? (1979) photography project       

  6. Elena Samperi (UK) Madonna (1979) painting       shown in Women's Images of Men (ICA, 1980)

  7. Tina Keane (UK) Hopscotch (1980) performance, recorded on video      

  8. Renate Bertlmann (Germany) ROSEMARIE’S BABY   (1983) mixed media sculptures       

  9. Ine Poppe (The Netherlands) Mothermilkcheese / Moedermelkkaas (1983) project making breast milk into cheese, documentation   You Tube Video on Work  

  10. Sherry Millner (USA) Womb with a View (1983) video 40 min  Video Data Bank  

  11. Sally Mann (USA) Family Pictures (1984 - 1991) black and white photographic series, available as book Immediate Family (Aperture, 1992)       

  12. Catherine Elwes (UK) There is a Myth (1984) video, 10 mins   V-Tape  

  13. Polvo de Gallina Negra (Monica Mayer and Maris Bustamente) (Mexico) Madres? Madres? (1986 - 1997) performances, posters, mail art pieces      

  14. Nan Goldin (USA) From Here to Maternity (1986 - 2000) 24 cibachrome prints 158 x 284 x 6.5 cm     

  15. Paula Rego (UK, Portugal) The Family (1988) Acrylic on canvas backed paper 213 x 213 cm     

  16. Adrian Piper (USA) Ur-Mutter series (1989) photo-collage, with silkscreen text 23 x 40 ins     

  17. Gail Rebhan (USA) Family Tapes (1989) video      

  18. Bettina Semmer (Germany) Assisted Paintings (1991 - 1992) series of oil paintings by artist and her daughter      

  19. Ellen McMahon (UK) No New Work (1993) 8 prints, letterpress on hand made paper from diapers and palladium prints on tracing vellum, unbound book installed on 14-foot counter  17 x 11 ins each, full installation, 24 x 24, 168 ins.   

  20. Sharon Lockhart (USA) Khalil, Shaun, a Woman under the Influence (1994) film, 16 mm  16 min  EM Arts, Napoli  

  21. Olga Chernysheva (Russia) Mothers and Daughters, First Meeting (1994) installation, slide projections, video, chairs and tables      

  22. Yun  Suknam (Korea) Pink Room (1995 - 2012) installations with wallprints, objects, chair, floor pieces about women in Korea      

  23. Katarzyna Gorna (Poland) Madonny (Madonnas) (1996 - 2001) lamda prints on dibond     Foundation for Promoting Contemporary Art 

  24. Alanna O'Kelly (Ireland) A'Beathu (1996) video installation      

  25. Lea and Pekka Kantonen (Finland) The Mother (2000) a series of performances about motherhood, made in Helsinki and Gdansk in different versions: Expectant, Nursing etc      

  26. Lin Tianmiao (China) Spawn #3 (2001) installation, print of artist's body and thread, spun into large balls representing eggs and binding of woman to pregnancy and childbirth      

  27. Mariangeles Soto-Diaz (USA) Post-Partum Blues (2001) series of paintings, referencing post-natal depression       

  28. Elżbieta Jabłońska (Poland) Supermatka/Supermother (2002) 3 photographs 100 x 150 cm each     

  29. Angelina Virgina (Russia) Your Cannibalism as the Highest Form of Love (2003) 3 monitor video installation, presented with breast milk products for audience to taste      

  30. Catherine Opie (USA) Self-portrait/Nursing (2004) photograph      

  31. Patricia Piccinini (Australia) Big Mother (2005) silicon fibre-glass sculpture, human hair, leather, studs and diaper h. 175.2 cm     

  32. Muriel Magenta (USA) 28 WOMEN: a chance for independence (2005) documentary video, 17 mins.      

  33. Jess Dobkin (Canada) Lactation Station (2006) performance project with breast milk      

  34. Maya Zack (Israel) Mother Economy (2007) video/film  19.45 min   

  35. Joan Linder (USA) Mamas / Resume (2007 - 2015) drawings on paper, reproducing resumes inc. Louise Bourgeois, Lee Bontecou, Mary Kelly, Suzanne McClelland      

  36. Rosana Paulino (Brazil) Wet Nurse (2007) wall and floor installation, monotype on canvas, satin braid, bottles, photos       

  37. Lena Simic (UK, Croatia) Contemplation Time: A Document of Maternity Leave (2007 - 2008) performance actions, photos, documents       

  38. Gao Yuan (China) Twelve Moons (2008) 12 photographs of mothers and babies following the 12 zodiac signs      

  39. Jill Miller (USA) The Milk Truck (2011) mobile breastfeeding unit decorated for performances, interventions       

  40. Argelia Bravo (Venezuela) Arrullada publica (2012) action on video, of masked women breastfeeding babies, Venezuelan Pavilion, Venice Biennale, 2015