|Title||Gender, subjectivity and feminist art: the work of Tracey Emin, Sam Taylor-Wood and Gillian Wearing|
This thesis provides a missing link between the British feminist art movement from the 1970s onwards and three contemporary female artists, namely Tracey Emin,
Gillian Wearing and Sam Taylor-Wood. The dissertation demonstrates the influence that feminist art has had on contemporary women's art. It shows how various
elements, typically associated with feminist art from a previous generation of female artists. have been either consciously or unconsciously incorporated into the way the three artists in question approach their work.
The ideas. concerns and ways of working of a previous generation of feminist artists are discussed in relation to gender politics, the idea of the traditional male "genius", the question of feminist art practice, the role of the female body, performance versus performativity and the representation of women in visual culture. The contemporary work is discussed in relation to the above issues, drawing out comparisons to
feminist art practice where appropriate.
The thesis also contextualises Tracey Emin, Gillian Wearing and Sam Taylor-Wood
within the generation of the Young British Artists (YBAs) of the 1990s. Here it
focuses on ideas such as self-promotion versus patronage, the particular
sensationalist art practice of the YBAs, the problematic attitude towards cultural theory and finally, it demonstrates how women artists of that particular period
tended to work.
The dissertation does not aim to present a comprehensive survey of all feminist
visual arts activity in Britain and North America, the geographical locations of interest for this thesis, nor is it an all encompassing art historical overview of the activities in London, during the 1990s. The thesis should be understood as a
celebration of the significance of the feminist art movement and as a demonstration of the validity of many of its concerns, even today, as exemplified in the work of the three artists in question.