Art Madrid'24 – ART ALSO JOINS THE FOURTH WAVE OF THE FEMINIST MOVEMENT

Several uprisings, protests and public initiatives demanding real equality between women and men in our society have given way to the so-called "Fourth Wave" of the feminist movement. We are starring in a historical period that defends that women's rights must be once again on the social and political agenda to settle a debt still pending on the much-needed parity. And in this context, the proposals that want to redeem the historical void that many women have suffered are of vital importance.

Varvara Fedorovna Stepanova, “Jugadores de billar”, 1920, © VEGAP, Madrid (photo via museothyssen.org)

To some extent, this effort to highlight the different professional roles that many women have developed throughout history constitutes a titanic effort. We must keep in mind that this forgetting is not only due to a tendency to relegate them following the dictates of the dominant patriarchal thought, but also to a factual reality, such as the lack of women who could make their way into each historical stage and stand out in their field in adverse circumstances for this. Without a doubt, there would have been many more examples with a propitious context. Let us think that the world population is divided equally between both genders. Seen this way, throughout these centuries, our collective knowledge, our progress and the evolution of our own history has been deprived of the contributions that come from half of society.

As we said, we live in a stage in which projects rediscovering relevant female characters in their respective specialities are in full swing. The objective of these initiatives is not, of course, to change the past, but to open new paths towards the future. The questioning of our location on this path through equality is a reflection of a global society that has matured and that dares to take giant steps in this direction. Self-criticism and the will to amend imply a prior exercise of reflection and analysis. Thus, extolling the work of women who were pioneers in their field shows that history has not always been as they have told us, but, above all, it provides models and examples that can inspire the women (and society) of the future to face their personal and professional development with the certainty that they will not have obstacles because they are women.

Viera Sparza (Mª Dolores Esparza Pérez de Petinto), Virginia, 1956, (photo vía museo.abc.es)

Large institutions also add to this trend. The Prado Museum will open next October 22nd one of the most anticipated exhibitions of the year dedicated to two great women of painting who practically went unnoticed for the history of art. Sofonisba Anguissola (ca. 1535-1625) and Lavinia Fontana (1552-1614) were two outstanding artists who were able to devote themselves completely to their passion despite living in an adverse environment that prioritised male work. This exhibition brings together for the first time 60 works by these two authors and will be a unique opportunity to get to know their legacy. Although the relevance they reached in their time, even in life, was blurred over the years, in recent times a huge interest in their work has aroused, both for researchers, scholars and experts and for the general public. And this is because these creators broke moulds, dismantled stereotypes and questioned some of the maxims long defended by the society of that time about the lower quality of female work in artistic disciplines.

For its part, the ABC Museum of Illustration closed last month its exhibition "Dibujantas", which brought to light the work of 40 women illustrators who collaborated in publications since the end of the s. XIX that, however, remained anonymous on numerous occasions. The Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum also contributed to this line with an exhibition dedicated to women of the Russian avant-garde, under the title "Pioneers", which took place from March to June of this year.

Sofonisba Anguissola, “Isabel de Valois sosteniendo un retrato de Felipe II”, 1561 - 1565 (foto vía museodelprado.es)

These proposals fulfil an exemplary and pedagogical mission, with a discourse for equality developed from the position of influence that many of these institutions have, serving as a model for many others. Without a doubt, we are on the right path, walking towards a balance in all areas of society, and this not only applies to art but to any other sector of activity.

 

“I paint in a completely free way, I don't have a plan, it's chaotic, but everything has a reason. I don't prepare anything before I start painting, what I paint is what I feel or try to communicate at that moment, so it changes a lot (from one work to another)”.

Chão limpo e o resto. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

Cultura Inquieta once again joins the experience of discovering and celebrating creative talent within the broad spectrum of artistic expressions present at Art Madrid'24. As a supporter of culture and contemporary art, its commitment to promoting and supporting emerging artists is reflected in a special initiative in this edition: highlighting and supporting the work of the REVELATION ARTIST of the 19th edition.

Só durmo na minha almofada. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

In this context, Ana Malta emerges into the contemporary art scene with a fresh voice and her own visual aesthetic. Born in Lisbon in 1996, Malta is a talented visual artist and freelance designer who has captivated the public with her distinctive approach and bold exploration of the beauty of everyday spaces through her investigations of color.

Her studies in Painting at the Faculty of Fine Arts of the University of Lisbon, as well as her Master's Degree in Creative Industries Management at the Catholic University of Portugal in Porto, have provided a solid foundation for her artistic practice. Currently, she also collaborates in the Communication and Production Office of Carpintarias de São Lázaro - Centro Cultural e Galeria Belo-Galsterer, showing her commitment to the cultural fabric of her community. She is also part of the artistic collective VÊS.TRÊS.

Ana Malta has been recognized in several platforms and media, including the 14th Edition of QUADRANTE, Melancia Mag and the SCROLL program of the RTP2 channel. Her participation in the book (AS)ARTISTAS - Ensaio Gráfico sobre Histórias e Práticas Artísticas no Feminino and in the April 21st Edition of Nova Awareness Club underlines her impact and relevance in the contemporary art scene.

Só um é que ganha. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

Ana Malta's work is characterized by her exploration of color, patterns, composition, and texture. These elements are not only vehicles of her plastic and visual expression, but also embody an intimate dialogue between aesthetic restlessness and the transformation of error into opportunity.

It is exciting to see Ana Malta make her debut at Art Madrid'24, represented by Galeria São Mamede (STAND B3). Her presence promises to further enrich the artistic experience of the event, inviting the public to approach the visually captivating and conceptually stimulating universe that the artist creates to narrate the chaos she rearranges in shapes and colors.

Não fico pendurada. Mixed media on canvas. 2023. Ana Malta. Courtesy of the artist.

In a world in constant movement, Ana Malta reminds us of the importance of experimentation and continuous exploration in the search for authentic and sincere artistic expression.

Her work has been REVEALED to us in the 19th edition of ART MADRID, thanks to the precise point of view of CULTURA INQUIETA as a testimony of the transforming power of art. In her hands, the entropy of forms brings us the possible memory of an endless summer; the luminosity of the sun becomes the caress of everyday life; we may even be surprised by the formula of happiness turned into a companion animal.

Ana Malta's pieces combines the restlessness of a space that appears to be in a state of chaos with the delicate synesthesia of vibrating at the velocity of light, nuances, lines and colors in her paintings.