Pt 4 Project Women artists

Select and annotate at least four works by contemporary women artists, including Sarah Lucas. How do these works relate to some of the theories and ‘isms’ that you’ve explored so far?


Two fired eggs and a kebab (1992) is a wooden table  with a kebab filled with meat near the edge of the short side of the table and two fried eggs placed further up the table approx a foot apart. At the other end of the table is a photo propped up, showing the contents of the table top in their current positions.

Lucas’s assembling and repurposing of objects here leaves little doubt that she is referencing the female human form. Not only that, she isn’t being pretty about it, the kebab as a representation of female genitalia open to view and the fried eggs as a flat image of breasts, on a table in this formation seems to me as a body laying ready for sex, or at the least, open to view.

This image plays with our knowledge of the body beautiful, we understand what it represents even thought the items are not of the body. The questions are;-

Does this refer to all women now? or is it an historical image? Does Sarah feel that art historically has portrayed women cheaply like two fried eggs and a kebab?

Is this inferring how we see ourselves? As women are we still brought up to believe that we are to be seen and that we should be as open to view as the table?

Is this how Sarah sees herself? In an earlier photo Vine posed with two fried eggs on her t-shirt, so perhaps this is a self portrait.

Is she discussing us as the viewer over a comment about the woman as the table? We are looking at a representation of a woman, it is graphic, its not going to offer scopophilic outcomes so is it to draw attention to how we view over what?


Louise Bourgeois Untitled work from 2002

A female torso with no limbs, made in patchwork with what looks like pale blue/white ticking, the body is stuffed and at the base of where the neck is a whisk has been inserted upright.

There is a suggestion of swelling at the belly.

this piece looks at the role of a woman ant gender roles generally. The domesticity and purpose. made out of utility fabrics with the stitches showing. There is a suggestion of pregnancy, whether this is the link to the whisk or the whisk became embedded before is not clear.

This person is not privileged, there is a sense of doing what has to be done over want.

Is this a question of how she got in this situation?

As a work of art, its not a comfortable question, am I observing something that throughout history is the accepted norm or is it unque to this one woman?


Elizabeth Murray Who Wants, 2003 This multimedia piece on papers represented as a decoupage, is an abstract collection of shapes that suggest a small building and an open doorway with 1 being looking into the space inside. on the triangular roof is a chimney spewing forth a stream of blue that curls around the right hand area of the image and underneath. Inside there is an obvious box room  and rectangular forms that appear to be suggesting furniture. The image is bright and colourful.

Is the being supposed to be looking in the room? they haven’t entered yet, do they have the right? are they surveilling?

Is the being liking what it sees? is this scopophilic?

Is the title in reference to an invitation by the being? Is the furniture a chair? or a bed? are we being invited inside?


Nancy Spero, Take No Prisoners II (2008)

A Maypole buried into the floor in the centre of a room, from its top are strung many multicoloured threads of ribbon. Each ends in an image, all appear to be simple enlarged drawings of people mouth opened in pain. Hair is represented as dishevelled and red is present on some of the heads.

This is a juxtapose between a maypole and pain, although I don’t know the link from an old English annual celebration. Its an odd mix, but the title Take no Prisoners, offers images of death, again, in contrast to the maypoles symbolism of the fresh growing season it represents.

We are asked to look at the celebration and see someones pain, many peoples pain in a reference to a battle.

Is Spero asking us not to forget the suffering as we enjoy ourselves?

Are we complicit in the pain?

Most battles are waged by men and the maypole represents fertility which is a female angle. This piece is not aimed at a male gaze, if it is, only as a criticism of the battle.


Lucas, S(1992) Two fried eggs and a kebab [wood, eggs, kebab, photograph] Place: [s.l]Available here: [accessed 29th April 2017]

Bourgeois, L(2002)Untitled, patchwork stitched stuffed pregnant torso with mechanical whisk in the position of the head [tapestry, aluminium] Place: [s.l.] available here [accessed29th April 2017]

Murray, E(2003)Who wants [lithograph, screenprint, paint] place [s.l.] Available here: [accessed 29th April 2017]

Spero, N(2008)Take no Prisoners [photocopies on board, ribbon, pole] Place: [s.l.] Available here [accessed 29th April 2017]


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s