Vancouver Island University is kicking off its fall Arts and Humanities Colloquium series with a discussion about the treatment of women artists in an early 20th century Italian avant-garde movement and its connections to modern day underrepresentation of women artists.
On Friday, Sept. 24, art professor Jennifer Griffiths presents Women Artists and Italian Futurism at VIU’s Malaspina Theatre. It will simultaneously be broadcast over Zoom.
For the past eight years Griffiths has been working on her book, Marisa Mori and the Futurists: A Woman Artist in an Age of Fascism. It tells the story of women involved with Italian futurism, an art group that in its 1909 manifesto “exclaimed a scorn for women quite infamously.”
“My talk is going to be speaking about these particular women using my own book as a case study,” Griffiths said. “But also asking these questions or proposing some answers to ones that we don’t know about these women, why are so few women artists famous, why don’t they get reputations?”
Griffiths said a recent study of major American art institutions revealed that from 2009 to 2019 11 per cent of their acquisitions were by women artists and 14 per cent of their exhibitions were dedicated to women artists.
“What we know on a broad scale is that women artists are still very much underrepresented in major institutions,” she said. “So I’m shining a light on a specific case study, a specific group of women, maybe to focus in on that larger broader problem.”
WHAT’S ON … Jennifer Griffiths presents Women Artists and Italian Futurism at Malaspina Theatre, VIU Bldg. 310, on Sept. 24 at 10 a.m. Zoom link and more information available here.