Abortion issue of On The Issues Magazine; Winter 2012
What's next for women's autonomy? To mark four decades of women exercising the right to abortion, our contributors share ideas & actions in On The Issues Magazine Winter 2012.

Ursula O’Farrell

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. This edition of On The Issues Magazine on Abortion highlights the work of Ursula O'Farrell, whose paintings focus on the inner struggle to reaching women's empowerment. Click on “Play" to view the art and hear audio descriptions by Ursula O'Farrell about her work. I welcome feedback from online viewers: email to LindaStein@ontheissuesmagazine.com

Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Ursula O’Farrell is a California-based artist whose oil paintings explore themes of womanhood. Her work offers expressions of the feminine in large-scale paintings known for their bold colors, gestural strokes, thick textures and highly-charged emotional content.

The core of O’Farrell’s work addresses issues of female empowerment, focusing on the psychological underpinnings that make up human relationships. She is fascinated with the myriad emotions experienced by a woman, especially at the point of making a life-changing decision, including whether or not to bear a child. The artist expresses a woman’s inner tumult, her fears and uncertainty, even as she reaches out toward the future that she wants and knows is the best for her, a future that O’Farrell expresses with bright, shimmering colors.

She notes,

“In my painting I seek to present the pathos in a woman's life, including her many complex relationships and situations that are part of all human experience. My gestural strokes with brush or palette knife create the thick textures and bold colors which enhance this fluidity of intense emotions.

Generally I start without preconceived ideas, applying paint and turning the canvas until I find a rhythm within the painting that resonates with my own life experiences."

O’Farrell studied art in Italy, was awarded a scholarship to study German and Austrian expressionism, and taught on the West Coast. Her work has been exhibited at galleries, universities and museums, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is profiled in the book, Emotion in Motion: Paintings of Ursula O’Farrell, published in 2001 by Fine Arts Press.

O’Farrell’s solo show, “The Pursuit of Beauty," was exhibited at the Los Gatos Museum of Art and the San Jose Institute of Contemporary Art in 2007. Her work can been seen on a YouTube video through Craighead Green Gallery and on her web site, www.ursulafineart.com.

Linda Stein is Art Editor of On the Issues Magazine. She is an artist-activist, lecturer, performer, video artist and currently has a three-year solo exhibition, The Fluidity of Gender: Sculpture by Linda Stein, traveling the country through 2013, accompanied by her feminist lecture: The Chance to be Brave, The Courage to Dare. Her web site is: www.LindaStein.com and her archives are at Smith College. Stein is Founding President of the non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation, Have Art: Will Travel! Inc. and V.P. of the Women’s Caucus for Art. She is represented by Flomenhaft Gallery in Manhattan and Longstreth Goldberg Art in Florida. Recently, her seven-foot bronze sculpture has been sited at Portland State University in Oregon, and she is currently displaying an installation of five eight-feet windows in Downtown Crossing, Boston. Her work can also be seen on her blog, YouTube videos and website. Stein’s work addresses core issues of empowerment by focusing on the causes and effects of oppression, especially sexism, racism and homophobia -- leading to Parity/Protection/Peace.

Also visit our catalog of Art Perspectives featuring:

Ursula O’Farrell is a California-based artist whose oil paintings explore themes of womanhood. Her work offers expressions of the feminine in large-scale paintings known for their bold colors, gestural strokes, thick textures and highly-charged emotional content.

The Guerrilla Girls is a group of artists – not always the same -- who work together. They are feminist masked avengers in the tradition of anonymous do-gooders like Robin Hood, Wonder Woman and Batman, but their "cover" is the mask of a gorilla -- itself a play on the word "guerrilla" as a radical, underground fighter and street theater performance style. Each participant takes the name of a dead artist.

For years, Frances Jetter has made linocuts with political subject matter, focusing on disarmament, labor rights and human rights, about which she is passionate. Weapons seem especially horrific and intriguing to her. The artist believes that no armor can make people safe, and the fragility and mortality of human beings is at the center or her work.

Mary Miss, who has founded the City as Living Lab, which provides a framework for making issues of social and environmental sustainability tangible through collaboration and the arts.

Judy Chicago (born 1939) is a feminist artist, educator and author whose career spans almost half a century. She is known as one of the founders of the Feminist Art Movement, creating in the early 1970s the pioneering Feminist Art Program at Fresno State College (now California State University), which became a vehicle for intellectual stimulation and social change, influencing generations of women.

The art of Regina Frank incorporates textiles, computers, the Internet, solar and LED technology to investigate fields of tension, such as those between the rich and poor, virtual and real, analog and digital, masculine and feminine.

Michelle Stuart seeks to educate with her art. She is in search of a visual language to express nature’s more elusive aspects, along with the fragility of existence. Over her 50-year career, Stuart has drawn upon aspects from the natural world -- cycles, forms, colors -- while studying myriad cultures and histories. View our mini-retrospective in the Spring 2010 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

In keeping with the topic of Passion, Freedom & Women, Miriam Schapiro is a groundbreaking artist who, in her 60-year career, stepped out of the mold to fight for women’s artistic freedom and the democratization of art in the Winter 2010 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Faith Ringgold’s illustrated story, How the People Became Color Blind, with Ringgold herself reading the text that accompanies the drawings in the Fall 2009 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Tammy Rae Carland: An artist tests identity by performing her father and mother in the Summer 2009 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Judith K. Brodsky addresses discrimination against women in male arenas in the Spring 2009 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

New York artist Joyce Kozloff, an originating figure of the Pattern and Decorative movement, in the Winter 2009 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Martha Rosler, known for placing unsettling images in familiar places, in the Fall 2008 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Suzanne Lacy's 1974 Project on Prostitution in the Summer 2008 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Linda Stein’s sculpture envisions empowerment for women with HIV-AIDS in the May 2008 edition of On The Issues Magazine.

Join the conversation. Leave a comment.

All comments will be reviewed before being posted live. All fields REQUIRED.


Follow us on:

Choices Women's Medical Center Banner Ad
Print page      Bookmark site      Rss Feed RSS Feed


© 1983 - 2015 On The Issues Magazine; No Reuse without permission. • Complete Table of ContentsPrivacyLinks of Feminist and Progressive Interest