The exhibition Radical Women: Latin American Art at the Hammer Museum features political artworks by 120 women artists, many of whom have never been shown at museums or widely studied.

Marisol, Self-Portrait, 1961-1962. Photo: Elisa Wouk Almino/Hyperallergic

The curators are Cecilia Fajardo-Hill and Andrea Giunta, who have been working on the exhibition for seven years. The show includes both well-known artists – Lygia Pape, Ana Mendieta and Marisol – and names unknown to the general public.

Fajardo-Hill wrote in the exhibition catalogue that Andrea Giunta and she were criticised for their project. Many said women artists were not as good as men. The curators wanted to prove that works by female artists are worth displaying, especially if women struggle for the right to control their bodies.

The exhibition view. Photo: Elisa Wouk Almino/Hyperallergic

Cecilia Fajardo-Hill told Hyperallegric: “We did not take no for an answer. And especially we did not take no for an answer from men.” Many artists included in the show had active hot discussions with one another. Representing South America from Central America to Argentina, they protested against the dictatorships across the continent, revealed the monotony of domesticity and expressed their sexuality in self-portraits, exposing breasts, vaginas, and tongues, which was a brave gesture for Latin American art of that time.

After Los Angeles, the exhibition Radical Women: Latin American Art will be shown at the Brooklyn Museum in New York and the Pinacoteca in São Paulo.

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