Adaptation #2: Martha Rosler

Richard Hamilton, Just What Is It that Makes Today's Homes So Different, So Appealing?, 1956
Rosler, Vacuuming Pop Art, 1966-1972
I like Rosler’s subtle adaptation of Richard Hamilton's famous collage because by utilizing a few key elements from his work, she conveys larger meaning about the role of women in art and society.  Until fairly recently women have been snubbed from art history as cultural producers and instead have been celebrated only for their worth as eye candy subject matter for the male artist.  When we think of Pop Art we often envision Warhol’s Marilyn, Lichtenstein’s damsels in distress and Wesselmann’s lipsticked ladies.  Notice how no women artists come to mind?  Exactly.  It’s not that they weren’t making art at that time, the canon has simply excluded them from public record. Not only does Rosler remind us not to forget the contributions of women, the idea of “vacuuming Pop Art” sends a strong and humorous message regarding her view of the male dominated movement.

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