Exposition Art Blog: American feminist artist Anita Steckel

American feminist artist Anita Steckel

Anita Slavin Arkin Steckel (February 24, 1930, Brooklyn, New York – March 16, 2012, Manhattan, New York) was an American feminist artist known for paintings and photomontages with sexual imagery. She was also the founder of the arts organization "The Fight Censorship Group", whose other members included Hannah Wilke, Louise Bourgeois, Judith Bernstein, Martha Edelheit, Eunice Golden, Juanita McNeely, Barbara Nessim, Anne Sharpe and Joan Semmel.Steckel was born in New York to Russian Jewish immigrants Dora and Hyman Arkin. She studied art at the High School of Music & Art in Manhattan (now Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art), the Cooper Union, and Alfred University, as well as completing advanced study at the Art Students League of New York with Edwin Dickinson She also taught for several years at the Art Students League

 Steckel began showing her work in both solo and group exhibitions beginning in the late 1960s. In her "Giant Woman" series of works, Steckel painted oversized nude women onto photographs of city scene, an idea associated with a Women's movement theme that women had "outgrown their roles" in society as previously defined.In 1972, her work was exhibited at the Women's Interart Center in New York alongside pieces by the influential feminist artists Judy Chicago, Miriam Schapiro and Faith Ringgold.
Steckel came to public attention after her solo exhibition, The Sexual Politics of Feminist Art, held at Rockland Community College in 1973 The exhibition was controversial because Steckel's work was sexually explicit and some local authorities called for the closure of the show.
She created a series of artworks concerning erections, in defense of which she said, “If the erect penis is not wholesome enough to go into museums, it should not be considered wholesome enough to go into women.”She also created a series in 1963 which she called "mom art", in reaction to pop art.
In 2001, Steckel's work was exhibited at the Mitchell Algus Gallery.Wikipedia

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