Guerrilla Girls

8. September
— 15. December 2024

The Art of Behaving Badly

The absence of women in history and art not to mention the deliberate exclusivity of male-dominated networks gave rise from 1980s onwards to countless institutions and alliances that continue to exist to this day, among them in 1984 frauen museum wiesbaden.

That same year, the New York Museum of Modern Art launched an exhibition entitled An International Survey of Painting and Sculpture that set out to bring together the most important contemporary positions in the art world. There were only 13 women represented among the 169 selected positions there. All of the exhibitors were, moreover, white, and came from the United State or Europe. In this context, female activists from the art world founded a group to tackle the severe structural inequality in the treatment of women and People of Color in the art world: the Guerrilla Girls.

They counted how many solo shows had been held in major US museums, how many female artists were represented by commercial galleries, and what they earned. They made the sobering results public on what are now world-famous posters and leaflets.

As the “art world’s conscience” they have for 40 years now been exposing the exclusion mechanisms and under-representation of women and People of Color in the art and culture world, which so likes to claim it is diverse, enlightened and progressive. Their art does not shy away from tackling Pop culture or politics, either. In order to preserve their anonymity, the members wear gorilla masks when in public and act using the pseudonyms of historical female artists, such as Käthe Kollwitz or Frida Kahlo.

In a special show, over 30 posters and films offer an overview of what is to this day an incomparable creative output.

The Art of Behaving Badly marks the launch of the jubilee shows to celebrate the 40th anniversary of frauen museum wiesbaden, with the kind support of the State of Hessen, SV SparkassenVersicherung and the City of Wiesbaden’s Department of Culture.