Amazons of Pop!
Women artists, superheroines, icons 1961-1973

From 2 October 2021 to 6 March 2022, the Kunsthalle zu Kiel will be showing the female side of pop art on an extensive scale with around 40 artists from Europe and the USA. About 100 works from the fields of painting, installation, performance art, sculpture and film will be exhibited.

In art history, female pop artists have long been overlooked, neglected or forgotten. Names such as Dorothy Iannone, Kiki Kogelnik and Evelyne Axell did not initially reach a wider audience, although, like many other artists of their kind, they not only enriched the pop art movement but also played a decisive role in shaping it. Soft, flexible materials such as plastics, fresh, vivid colours and everyday consumer culture, all inspired a brand of pop art that is colourful, humorous, political, challenging and transgresses boundaries. Amazons of Pop! invites visitors to delve into the world of pop and a period of awakening: the 1960s and the beginning of the 1970s.
The exhibition was conceived by Hélène Guenin, director of MAMAC Nice, and the independent author and curator Géraldine Gourbe. It is being shown in an adapted version at Kunsthalle zu Kiel, from where it will travel to the Kunsthaus Graz.

Amazons of Pop! Artists, superheroes, icons 1961‒1973 not only broadens the examination of pop culture and the world of commodities, politics and society to include feminist aspects but also integrates film, music and comic figures. The exhibition is divided into three broad sections and encompasses an era of social optimism and political tensions in the period from 1961 to 1973. This era saw protests against racial segregation, the conquest of space and the moon landing, a growing women’s movement, the sexual revolution, the Cold War and independence movements in many countries. Female artists took up the themes of these areas of conflict in their work, visible influences that were often characterised by future oriented utopias and unmistakable political attitudes. Many of the artists saw themselves as part of a broader liberation movement. The social, cultural and technological developments during the post-war period are the focus of the works on display. These artists also created female imagery that offered an alternative to dominant stereotypes of women in the mass media – and therefore to those in the work of male pop artists too. In 1973, events like the first oil crisis triggered a watershed moment that severely shook the vision of a progressive, peaceful future based on equality which many believed to be almost in reach.

Individual biographies integrated into the exhibition and a sociopolitical chronology of historical events provide additional information. An extensive publication in German and English accompanies the exhibition.

Artists and other protagonists:
Evelyne Axell, Barbarella, Brigitte Bardot, Marion Baruch, Pauline Boty, Martine Canneel, Lourdes Castro, Judy Chicago, Chryssa, France Cristini, Christa Dichgans, Jane Fonda, Ruth Francken, Ángela García, Jann Haworth, Dorothy Iannone, Jodelle, Corita Kent, Kiki Kogelnik, Kay Kurt, Nicola L., Ketty La Rocca, Milvia Maglione, Lucia Marcucci, Marie Menken, Marilyn Monroe, Isabel Oliver, Yoko Ono, Ulrike Ottinger, Emma Peel, Pravda La Survireuse, Martha Rosler, Niki de Saint Phalle, Carolee Schneemann, Marjorie Strider, Sturtevant, Valentina Terechkova, May Wilson

Lucia Marcucci – Conservo il mio posto… (1972) © Riproduzione riservata

Organized by the MAMAC Nice in collaboration with Kunsthalle zu Kiel and Kunsthaus Graz, with the support of Manifesto Expo.

Hélène Guenin, Géraldine Gourbe (MAMAC) in collaboration with Regina Göckede, Anette Hüsch (Kunsthalle zu Kiel), Katrin Bucher Trantow, Barbara Steiner (Kunsthaus Graz)

Kunsthalle zu Kiel: 2 October 2021 to 6 March 2022
Kunsthaus Graz: 22 April to 28 August 2022

The exhibition was first shown at the MAMAC Nice under the title She-Bam Pow Pop Wizz! Les Amazones du Pop.