Louise Bourgeois, 28 February 1992 Art: © The Easton Foundation/Licensed by VAGA, NY.


Kim Dingle, 25 August 1994


Alicja Zebrowska, 24 May 2010

For 100 Portraits: Women Artists, New York City-based photographer Barbara Yoshida traveled around the world to pay tribute to dozens of her contemporaries. Including everyone from feminist sculptors to traditional textile artisans, she constructs an inclusive survey of women artist who have broken through barriers to express ideas that are at once aesthetically and politically significant. The show will be on view at the Salena Gallery at LIU Brooklyn in celebration of Women’s History Month from March 3rd to 27th, 2015. 

Yoshida began the project in 1990 by photographing friends and colleagues. In the early days of the project, she set her sights on older artists, women like Louise Bourgeois whom she felt needed to be remembered before they passed away. After becoming a member of the Women’s Action Coalition, the activist organization famous for protesting the exclusion of women artists from major institutions like the SoHo Guggenheim, she gained unparalleled access to artists who were helping to usher in a new era in which female voices were not only heard but also acknowledged.

Once her subjects agreed to participate, Yoshida took the radical step of extending to them final approval of all published images. Once it was established that the sitter herself had a critical hand in how she would be depicted, a bond of trust and reciprocity was formed, allowing the photographer to capture moments in which both the vulnerability and strength of each character came to the fore. Each artist’s personal space—be it a home or studio— in some ways dictated the final image, as Yoshida chose only to shoot in the natural light afforded by the location. Included in most of the images are glimpses of the artists’ own work, an element that elevates the women from the position of subjects to that of collaborators and peers. Ultimately, says Yoshida, the project is about community.

Yoshida embarked on the project during the onset of what some might call the Third Wave of feminism, a time when women of all backgrounds were becoming increasingly visible. The photographer made a point of showcasing not only women from the United States and Europe but from all corners of the globe, some of whom were practicing art-making techniques that had been passed down from generation to generation of women. The women, regardless of their celebrity, stand together and on equal ground. During the evolution of the project, the art community has lost some of the women who sat for Yoshida’s portraits, but here each is recognized for her immortal contribution to a larger community of women artists.


Judy Chicago, 6 July 2012


Hannah Wilke, 21 February 1991


Lynda Benglis, 21 November 1991


Colette, 2 March 2013


Shona-Hah, 1 November 1992


Elizabeth Murray, 29 April 1992


Malado Camara Sidibeh, 22 November 2010


Veronica Ryan, 8 November 1991


Toshiko Takaezu, 17 October 1993


Julie Heffernan, 29 November 2013


Deborah Kass, 24 October 1991

All images © Barbara Yoshida

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