press release

From postering activists to virtual cyber art. Forty years of art history are on display in rebelle. This exhibition focuses on works by female artists who are or have been greatly inspired by feminism. While the topic of art and feminism has both champions and opponents, everyone is in agreement about one thing: feminism permanently changed the artistic landscape.

Recent exhibitions in MOCA, Los Angeles and the Brooklyn Museum in New York, amongst other institutions, reveal a renewed interest in art with a feminist slant. What does this theme mean for young female artists? And how did it inspire the work of earlier generations of female artists? The MMKA offers a major survey of works by a hundred female artists revealing similarities and differences between generations and cultures: from American pioneers like Faith Ringgold and Eastern and Western European pioneers like Ewa Partum, Nil Yalter, Gülsün Karamustafa and Ulrike Rosenbach, to contemporary female artists from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Netherlands. The exhibition rebelle reveals that feminist art is not about any single style or particular subject. Topics such as desire, the body, memory, masculinity, and social critique are explored. In addition, the exhibition focuses on female artists who stretch the concept of art in how they work – by collaborating with others, for example, or by using new media.

The exhibition rebelle brings together work from different generations and parts of the world. The South African Berni Searle (1964) who often uses natural pigments and changes the color of her skin with them – recalling the spice trade and colonization – is, for example, influenced by Cuban American Ana Mendieta’s (1948-1985) “earth prints.” The Guatemalan Regina Galindo (1974) belongs to a generation of performance artists that use their bodies to question chaos and violence in their societies. Her work recalls that of Gina Pane.


Newspaper clippings, documentaries and photos add another layer to rebelle. The art is placed in the context of important social developments, the changing position of women, and ‘action’ and intervention in the art world in particular. From 1969 when the first meeting of Women Artists in Revolution (WAR) took place in America and in the Netherlands the activist group Dolle Mina was started, until 2009, the year of looking back. In rebelle viewers are offered the opportunity to look again at feminist art, freed from the cliches of pink overalls and easy dismissals ("damn anachronism") that have clouded its representation over the past decades. Here the way is opened to fresh interpretations of art and its global implications.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a catalogue.

only in german

rebelle. Kunst & Feminisme 1969-2009
Kurator: Mirjam Westen

Künstler: Lida Abdul, Marina Abramovic, Helena Almeida, Renate Bertlmann, Ursula Biemann, Diana Block / Marlo Broekmans, Melanie Bonajo, Monica Bonvicini, Louise Bourgeois, Miriam Cahn, Sophie Calle, Helen Chadwick, Judy Chicago, Marlene Dumas, Tracey Emin, VALIE EXPORT, Esther Ferrer, Andrea Fraser, Regina Galindo, Ghazel , Melissa Gordon, Mona Hatoum, Risk Hazekamp, Mathilde ter Heijne, Dorothy Iannone, Sanja Ivekovic, Birgit Jürgensen, Gülsün Karamustafa, Anne-Mie van Kerckhoven, Elke Krystufek, Yayoi Kusama, Inez van Lamsweerde, Natalia LL , Sarah Lucas, Monali Meher, Ana Mendieta, Annette Messager, Zanele Muholi, Ingrid Mwangi / Robert Hutter, Ria Pacque, Niki de Saint Phalle, Adrian Piper, Gina Pane, Ewa Partum, L.A. Raeven, Faith Ringgold, Tracey Rose, Ulrike Rosenbach, Suzanne Rossenberg, Julika Rudelius, Charlotte Schleiffert, Carolee Schneemann, Lara Schnitger, Lydia Schouten, Berni Searle, Zineb Sedira, Joan Semmel, Nancy Spero, Lily van der Stokker, Ferdi Tajiri, Rosemarie Trockel, Kara Walker, Hannah Wilke, Sue Williams, Nil Yalter ...