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Anita Steckel: The Feminist Art of Sexual Politics

February 3, 2022 (All day)
Stanford Art Gallery


The Department of Art & Art History presents Anita Steckel: The Feminist Art of Sexual Politics, an exhibition at the Stanford Art Gallery. Curated by Richard Meyer, Robert and Ruth Halperin Professor in Art History, Stanford University, and Rachel Middleman, Associate Professor, Art History, California State University, Chico.

February 3–March 11, 2022Monday–Friday, 11 am–5 pm Open to Stanford affiliates; Stanford ID required for entry.

Thursday, Feb. 24, 5 pmVirtual symposiumAnita’s Call to Arms: Radical Art, Politics, and TeachingPlease register in advance

Anita Steckel: The Feminist Art of Sexual Politics showcases the audacious work of American feminist artist Anita Steckel (1930-2012). Throughout her career, she confronted issues of gender inequity, objectification, female desire, and social injustice. The title of the exhibition cites Steckel’s show at Rockland Community College in 1972, which was attacked by local politicians for its sexual content. 

Visitors to that show found paintings, prints, montages, and sculptures that pushed the boundaries of what was considered acceptable for art, particularly for a woman artist. In response to the controversy, Steckel founded the Fight Censorship Group in 1973 with Louise Bourgeois, Martha Edelheit, Joan Semmel, Hannah Wilke, and other female artists. 

On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of The Feminist Art of Sexual Politics, art historians Richard Meyer (Stanford University) and Rachel Middleman (Cal State University, Chico) have organized the most comprehensive exhibition of Steckel’s art to date. It reunites, for the first time, work from the 1972 show and explores Steckel’s lifelong commitment to artistic freedom, feminist visibility, and the fight against censorship. 

Co-sponsored by The Program in Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies; The Clayman Institute for Gender Research; and the Burt McMurtry Arts Initiative Fund.

Image: Anita Steckel, Feminist Party Poster (detail), 1971.

In response to the ongoing public health situation, Stanford Art Gallery is open to Stanford affiliates only; Stanford ID required for entry. Please follow Stanford Health Alerts for the latest information on university policies.

Stanford Art Gallery is located at 419 Lasuen Mall, on the main Stanford campus. 

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Event Sponsor: 
Department of Art & Art History, Clayman Institute for Gender Research, Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies
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