It’s safe to say that women have less air time when it comes to being in the limelight for their art and well most industries. In the National Gallery, there are 2300 paintings on the wall and only 21 are produced by women. Studies show that on average, women sell their paintings for $2000 less than male artist according to the Artsy data study. That’s a lot of coffee and cake money we are missing out on if you ask me!
Here’s a list of our favourite top 5 female artists you do not want to miss.
These are not only some of the most inspirational female artists still alive, but they also possess inspirational styles of realism and portraiture which we love! ArtistAnd is a sucker for realism so when we saw these, we instantly fell in love and wanted to share that with you.
So, without further ado, let’s dive in!
#1 Jennifer Packer
The Body has Memory, 2018
Oil on canvas 152.4 × 121.9 cm
Jennifer Packer is an American painter from New York. Her works include mainly interior scenes, portraits, and still life’s depicting casual intimacy. The models in her paintings are mostly just friends and family, whom she paints with a limited color palette. In fact, her subjects often seem to somehow retreat into the background due to the limited use of color. Overall, this adds an emotional and psychological dimension to her paintings. As she explains, “I think about images that resist, that attempt to retain their secrets or maintain their composure, that put you to work. I hope to make works that suggest how dynamic and complex our lives and relationships really are.” She received the Rome Prize and the Hermitage Greenfield Prize in 2020. And she currently works as an assistant professor in the painting department at the RISD. You can check out some of her marvelous creations here.
#2 Jesse Mockrin
Weep into my eyes, 2019
Oil on cotton
Overall 52 in. x 72 "
Jesse Mockrin is one of the greatest female painters of today. She works primarily on figurative paintings that seek to transform Old Masters subjects into unsettling, contemporary positions. The Los Angeles-based painter also makes cropped scenes from the Vermeers or Caravaggios wherein she zooms in on specific body parts while most of the canvas remains empty. Jesse sometimes divides a composition across multiple canvases, skipping one crucial piece of the whole image, as she did in Abduction or Blinded, ridiculed, pitied.
Her work has been widely celebrated. It only makes sense to add her to the top 5 female artists of the contemporary era. Her collections have been displayed throughout galleries in Los Angeles, San Diego, New York, and even Seoul. She has received several accolades, including the Russell Foundation Grant, the Joyce Krosh Kaiser Fine Arts Grant, and the Alumnae Association of Barnard College Fellowship for Graduate Study. You can check out her works here.
#3 Jordan Casteel
Medinilla, Wanda, and Annelise, 2019
Oil on canvas,
96 x 78 "
Harlem-based painter, Jordan Casteel, is yet another figurative painter. She usually paints family, friends, lovers, neighbors, and strangers using bold colors and gestural brushwork. She seeks to elicit underlying temperaments, and her works are celebrated as honest evocations. One of her greatest achievements is the fact that she presented a solo exhibition at the New Museum in New York in 2020, titled “Within Reach.” Besides this, her collections have been displayed in numerous exhibitions. She is also the recipient of the MacArthur Foundation Fellowship for 2021. You can get some inspiration from her paintings here.
#4 Becky Suss
Emerald Street, 2011
oil on canvas,
60 x 84 "
Another of the top 5 female artists of this era is Becky Suss, who hails from Philadelphia. Her paintings explore the concepts of domesticity, intimacy, and memory and are considered holistic depictions of sensory space. On the other hand, her small paintings include books and objects that become a library of personal items. But what sets Becky apart from other female painters of today is the fact that her works are devoid of figures and mostly center around exaggerated proportions, flattened architecture, and distorted perspectives. She aims to elevate the historically female private spaces that are typically deemed insignificant but are the places where identity and family are first created and defined. Her inspiration is her own memory and, of course, her imagination. You can check out some of her beautiful paintings here.
#5 Christine Wang
The ice all melted, 2019
Acrylic on Canvas
36 x 48"
Christine Wang currently works as an assistant professor of drawing and painting at the California College of Art in San Francisco. Her works have been exhibited at the Night Gallery, Ever Gold, Frans-Haals Museum, M. LeBlanc Gallery, Foxy Production, and the African American Museum, among others. In addition to this, she has also been awarded the Pommery Prize while she was nominated for the Paulo Cunha E. Silva Art Prize. And she was a finalist for the SFMoMA’s SECA Art Award in 2017. You can be mesmerized by some of her collections here.
What’s the Takeaway?
As we discuss the top 5 female artists of the modern era, you should take these female painters of today as an inspiration to know that you have what it takes to create artwork. Make your art as unique as you are because the beauty of art lies in its uniqueness. We don’t need to hang up our coats because of our gender. We need to keep making artwork that we love and someone will love in return. Celebrate and support your fellow female artists and we can help close this gender pay gap in our most precious industry.
As Jackson Pullock rightly said...
“Art is coming face to face with yourself. So, be you and do you because that’s all that matters in the world of art.”