Kering and Phaidon Celebrate Female Artistry with a Collaborative New Book

Kering and Phaidon Celebrate Female Artistry with a Collaborative New Book

Great Women Artists documents 500 years of women creatives and explores the individual stories of women in different time periods.

Great Women Artists documents 500 years of women creatives and explores the individual stories of women in different time periods.

Text: Dylan Kelly

International luxury group Kering is celebrating female artistry through its Women in Motion program, where the company has partnered with the creative arts publisher Phaidon and online marketplace Artspace to release Great Women Artists, a book that recognizes the power of female creativity. The story covers the individual narratives of over 400 artists across 500 years of history, championing a diversity of voices who faced altering barriers as women in society and found solace in utilizing art as a creative outlet.

“There is a wonderful discovery aspect to this book, as it reveals women who made art for decades before gaining recognition and acclaim. This book not only celebrates women artists but also demonstrates their resilience and unmatched talent through history,” president of Kering Americas Laurent Claquin explained. “Great Women Artists is the most extensive fully illustrated book of women artists ever published and features more than 400 artists from more than 50 countries, spanning 500 years of creativity.”

Among the many stories told in Great Women Artists, many of the creatives shared powerful moments as they struggled to establish themselves in the industry. Renowned artist Judy Chicago explained, "The biggest compliment a woman artist could get was to be told she painted like a man.”  Similarly, on the hardships of making a name for herself in the art world, designer Maya Lin said, "Being a woman and being very young made it extremely difficult… I wouldn’t wish what I had to go through on anyone." It's these stories and experiences that make these women who they are today, and Great Women Artists applauds the dedicated efforts of each artist, despite the difficulties and obstacles thrown their way.

In celebration of the book’s release and with the support of Kering, Phaidon and Artspace curated a limited-edition portfolio of prints sourced from artists including Cecily Brown, Lubaina Himid, Bharti Kher, Catherine Opie, Jenny Saville, and Dana Schutz. The funds raised from the charitable collection will support the launch of a Boyhood Campaign, developed by the non-profit Promundo and the Kering Foundation, which aims to alter the stigma surrounding masculinity and support parents and educators with the necessary resources to help boys become mature and equitable men.

On October 17 at New York’s Metropolitan Museum, Kering and Phaidon hosted a panel discussion with creatives featured in Great Women Artists in the culmination of their dynamic partnership. Among the artists present were Ghada Amer, Sharon Hayes, Deana Lawson, and Martha Rosler. In a world where female art is now admired and praised, each artist was able to speak on their personal experiences gaining exposure as women and celebrate the female artists that inspire them to continue creating.

Head to Phaidon’s website to check out Great Women Artists, and view photos from the panel presentation below.

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