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Before the American artist Miriam Shapiro was known as a feminist artist, she painted abstract art. As such, in the 1960s, her art superficially appeared like that of her male contemporaries, but it didn’t attract much attention. This was one of the reasons she started to make obvious feminist art from domestic items that spoke about the condition of being a woman. The fourth wave of feminism that has taken hold, leading to hashtag campaigns such as #freethenipple and the more contentious #menaretrash, and global protests against Donald Trump, has finally put the female voice upfront and centre. Does all this female activism mean art made by women must evoke domestic life to get noticed? Perusing the catalogue for Aspire’s auction, which will take place in Johannesburg on July 17, it appears that SA’s women artists remain fixated on representing the female body. Two charcoal drawings by Diane Victor present the female form, as do several works by Penny Siopis (it is so rare for her ...

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