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This week its D & E!

⭐ D is for Elise Driggs ⭐

Elsie Driggs was an American painter known for her contributions to Precisionism, America’s first modern-art movement after World War One and before Abstract Expressionism!

She was the only female participant in the Precisionist movement, which in the 1920s and 1930s took a Cubist-inspired approach to painting the skyscrapers and factories that had come to define the new American landscape.

Briggs enjoyed painting these heavily industrial scenes that had dominated the landscape she grew up in.

Just look at how the beams of light are ‘cut’ through with the metal of the bridge in the first work - Queensborough Bridge, 1927 - I find this image just incredible!

Driggs traveled to Europe and was inspired by the work of Renaissance artist Piero della Francessca.

Driggs was represented by art dealer Charles Daniel in New York from 1913 - 1932 BUT withheld her gender from the reported misogynist dealer until he had offered her a place within his gallery programme.

She simply signed her work ‘Driggs’ and waited until the dealer showed a genuine interest in her work before she revealed her gender to him.

Not the first or last time a female artist had to resort to withholding their gender in order to 'get a seat at the table.’

⭐ E is for Tracey Emin ⭐

Well - I couldn’t do a series about Great Women Artists without looking at Tracey Emin!!!

My new found love for Emin has really come out of spending more and more time with the artist's work, looking back, thinking, feeling & experiencing them in real life too.

She has a rare ability to hit you between the eyes with something and even when I look back at her early works of the 90s, her Tent, Bed, Quilts - they all deal with mental health issues and awareness. Subjects no one would touch back then.

Emin once said in an interview SHE is her main subject, not only because she knows herself best BUT BECAUSE she is always observing how she is behaving and trying to be better; and lets be honest, she has been slated for that.

For me, Emin is a genius and has not had it easy. She maybe a millionaire now, but she HAS WORKED HARD, put up with a lot of shit and battled her demons openly.

So, I invite you to explore Emin’s work again, look at these works, what they COULD mean.

I also have a brilliant podcast episode with @kerrycurl about Emin. It’s episode 15 and the link is in my bio.

It’s a brilliant chat and I would 100% recommend you check it out!

Jo McLaughlin

November 2021.

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