Mary Beth Edelson
Some Living American Women Artists, 1972
Offset lithograph from original poster mock-up of cut-and-pasted gelatin silver prints with crayon and transfer type on printed paper with typewriting on cut-and-taped paper. 3rd edition, unnumbered, SIGNED with the date in the plate.
24 1/4h x 38 1/4w in / 61.60h x 97.16w cm
American artist Mary Beth Edelson (1933-2021) is recognized as a pioneer of the feminist art movement. Her work spanned print making, artist's books, collage, painting, photography, performance and writing. Considered her most famous work, and one of the most iconic images of the feminist art movement, Some Living American Women Artists, is a parody of Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. For this poster-mockup, Edelson collaged over the faces of Jesus and his disciples with those of her friends and idols, and added more than 80 women artists around the borders of the image. Aside from Georgia O’Keeffe heading the group as Jesus, all the other women are randomly placed, and in a gesture of solidarity, Edelson chose not to have any of her peers representing the traitorous role of Judas. Besides O'Keeffe, the other artists include Louise Bourgeois, Yoko Ono, Agnes Martin, Alice Neel, Judy Chicago, Carolee Schneemann, among the many others. This transformative gesture was intended to bring attention to all of the under-recognized women artists working in a male dominated art world, while at the same time taking on a male dominated religion.
”The most negative aspect of organized religion, for me, was the positioning of power and authority in the hands of a male hierarchy that intentionally excluded women from access to these positions...[The work] gave me a double pleasure of presenting the names and faces of the many women artists who were seldom seen in the art world of 1972 as ’the grand subject’--while spoofing male exclusivity in the patriarchy."______Mary Beth Edelson
In 1972 there were a number of 2nd edition offset runs: edition of 50 signed, numbered, edition of 500 signed & numbered (attributed to 1972), edition of 1,000 signed, numbered (date in the plate). This is the 3rd edition which is unnumbered but SIGNED with the date in the plate.