24 Powerful Works by Contemporary Women Artists You Should Know

Like other realms of the culture, the visual arts are, at the moment, a male-dominated profession. A recent book put together by arts scholars, entitled The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium, records the same kind of problem you often hear women writers complaining about: in spite of the fact that MFA graduates are overwhelmingly women, it’s men who get the crucial solo exhibitions at galleries which can make or break an artist’s career. The Reckoning seeks to correct this by recognizing the work of 25 young female artists who are breaking new ground, these days. Here is a sampling of their work.

Tracey Emin, “Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995” (1995)

Tracey Emin is an English artist whose work is often called “confessional.” Her most famous work includes the above installation of a tent, called Everyone I Have Ever Slept With. (The names of said people are appliquéd on the inside of the tent.) If this sounds like a euphemism for all the people Emin has, well, had sex with, it isn’t, quite: her grandma’s name is on there, for example. The original tent was destroyed in a warehouse fire, in 2004; she’s never recreated it.