There had never been art like the art produced by women artists in the 1970s, and there has never been a book with the ambition and scope of this one about that groundbreaking era. WACK! documents and illustrates the impact of the feminist revolution on art made between 1965 and 1980, featuring pioneering and influential works by artists who came of age during that period, Chantal Akerman, Lynda Benglis, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha, Valie Export, Mary Heilmann, Sanja Iveković, Ana Mendieta, Annette Messager, and others, as well as important works made in those years by artists whose careers were already well established, including Louise Bourgeois, Judy Chicago, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville, Lucy Lippard, Alice Neel, and Yoko Ono.
The art surveyed in WACK! includes work by more than 120 artists, in all media, from painting and sculpture to photography, film, installation, and video, arranged not by chronology but by theme: Abstraction, "Autophotography," Body as Medium, Family Stories, Gender Performance, Knowledge as Power, Making Art History, and others. WACK!, which accompanies the first international museum exhibition to showcase feminist art from this revolutionary era, contains more than 400 color images. Highlights include the figurative paintings of Joan Semmel; the performance and film collaborations of Sally Potter and Rose English; the untitled film stills of Cindy Sherman; and the large-scale, craft-based sculptures of Magdalena Abakanowicz.
Written entries on each artist offer key biographical and descriptive information and accompanying essays by leading critics, art historians, and scholars offer new perspectives on feminist art practice. The topics, including the relationship between American and European feminism, feminism and New York abstraction, and mapping a global feminism, provide a broad social context for the artworks themselves. WACK! is both a definitive visual record and a long-awaited history of one of the most important artistic movements of the twentieth century.