The Art Perspective provides a visual and audio forum for artists to exhibit their art and present exciting responses to major themes of our day. For this edition, titled The Day After, On the Issues Magazine highlights the work of Kate Millett, artist, writer and human rights activist. In this mini-retrospective of Millett's sculptural installations, the viewer can see how the artist addresses physical restraint and psychological torment in works that many viewers find both fascinating and disturbing.
Click on "Play" to view Kate Millett's art while hearing her own audio descriptions of her work.
The Art Perspective provides a visual and audio forum for artists to exhibit their art and present exciting responses to major themes of our day. I welcome feedback from online viewers: email to LindaStein@ontheissuesmagazine.com
Kate Millett, an artist, writer and human rights activist, is known widely for her extensive work on behalf of the rights of women, mental patients and the elderly, and has said that her "FBI file is in itself a work of art."
Born in 1934 in St Paul, Minnesota, Millett now lives in Poughkeepsie, New York, where she founded an art colony for women. She studied at the University of Minnesota, Oxford University and Columbia University, where, in 1970, she was awarded her Ph.D. with distinction for her thesis, Sexual Politics. Soon published as a book, Sexual Politics is a major work of literary criticism that became a standard bearer of second wave feminism and led to extensive media coverage, including TV debates with the writer, Norman Mailer, and other notables.
Millett has since published another 10 books while continuing as a sculptor, painter and photographer.
"I'm a sculptor who writes," Millett has said.
"My early work was very happy, rather Mozartian," Millett explained, "and then one day I read about a horrific crime in Indianapolis, Indiana. A young girl by the name of Sylvia Likens was confined in a basement, tortured, mutilated and murdered. Thereafter, my sculpture became entirely political: it was all about women's rights, confinement and subjugation and of course, my objection to war. They [the subjects in my installations] are about people and things in cages. It is how I view capital, the treatment of the poor, the homeless, the aged and those labeled mentally ill."
In her installation pieces, highlighted in the slide show above, Millett includes people behind bars who bring to mind the isolation of an Edward Hopper painting. One woman sits alone among empty chairs, while another is seated, looking down in a mood of aloneness, contemplation, forelorness. Clearly, no one would like to trade places with these women or be in a room with the punishing, even electrocution-types of equipment that Millett creates for viewers to ponder. In sync with many of her writings, Millett's deep-seated concerns about gender violence and gender justice are revealed through her art.
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