annie kevans


I have loved French born, London based artist Annie Kevans‘ work for years {I wrote about her in 2009}. These pieces, oil on paper, are a selection from her latest series, “Women and the History of Art”… which I have a very soft spot for. I minored in Art History, and as a female visual arts major, I was curious to know who came before me. More than half way through my first year of Art History I put up my hand and asked, “Um, when are we going to learn about women artists? Surely there were women creating art at this time… right?!”  Here is Annie’s description of this work:

This exhibition centres on women in art history who were once part of the art world and whose history and significance have been gradually eroded so they are ultimately forgotten to a modern audience… Kevans was astonished to learn throughout the course of her extensive research that, despite the massive obstacles in their path, many women managed to have successful careers as artists as early as the 16th century. Although many have been championed in the last decades having been ‘rediscovered’ by later art historians, these women still remain ‘separate’ from art history…. Kevans has selected to paint artists who were as successful and in some cases, more so, than their male counterparts. Kevans shines a light on artists such as Sofonisba Anguissola (1532/5-1625) who was the first Italian woman to become an international celebrity as an artist in her own time. Other artists are known for their personal lives but their works remain invisible. Despite being the first woman painter admitted to the Société Nationale des Beaux¬Arts, Suzanne Valadon is more famous for her personal relationships with Renoir, Erik Satie and Degas. Likewise, Victorine Meurent is more famous for being the subject of Manet’s paintings than she is for being an artist. Her paintings were selected for the famous Salon numerous times including in 1876, a year in which Manet failed to get any of his work accepted. Like many of her female contemporaries, her name means nothing to the general public or to many female artists working today.

A beautifully painted spotlight on some very talented women… by another very talented woman.

comments (6)

  1. Frances Marin /// 02.05.2015 /// 9:09am

    Not only great subject matter, but beautifully painted. I love how it’s mostly the essentials that are painted to capture these artists.

  2. Evie /// 02.05.2015 /// 4:17pm

    So beautiful and a wonderful subject! I agree with Frances – I love the simplicity of detail in these paintings too.

  3. sue hawkins /// 02.06.2015 /// 6:25pm

    these paintings say so much with an economy of – everything. they remind me of the greek and roman paintings we have remaining from antiquity , for example the murals from pompeii.

  4. Rosalynn Landazuri /// 02.10.2015 /// 6:09pm

    Wonderful paintings and post. I am excited to look up many of these female artists that I have never heard of! My first major in college was Art History and I never heard of most of these artists.

  5. the jealous curator /// 02.10.2015 /// 11:37pm

    that’s exactly what i did too, rosalynn! so many fascinating women. glad i know about them … now!

  6. Art Crush / 1 / Annie Kevans /// 02.12.2015 /// 9:16pm

    […] [ via the jealous curator ] […]