20 Pioneering Female Artists You Should Know

Höch was an unlikely addition to the early 20th-century group — which favored the irrational, nihilistic, collaborative, and spontaneous — namely, because Höch was a woman. One of the group’s pioneering photomontage artists, Höch critiqued the role of women, beauty standards, marriage, the politics of her home country, Germany, and the oft-misogynist Dada group itself. Take Höch’s 1919 work Cut With the Kitchen Knife Dada Through the Last Weimar Beer-Belly Cultural Epoch of Germany, for instance. The title says it all.

In honor of Höch, we’re highlighting other pioneering women in the art world. Their photos are largely absent in the history books, but we hope to put faces (and their words) to the names too often said in passing — if at all.

Leonora Carrington2

Leonora Carrington

I didn’t have time to be anyone’s muse . . . I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist.”

From the Guardian:

The consistent element was her art: wonderful paintings in which mingle the fantasies of Bosch, the elegance and spatial understanding of the quattrocento and her own personal mythology (drawing on Catholicism, Jewish mysticism and Celtic elements to create an utterly individual and at times impenetrable symbology). And yet, despite their fantastical elements, when you encounter them they seem natural and familiar: they might be the paintings of one’s own dreams. As Luis Buñuel once wrote of her work, it “liberates us from the miserable reality of our days.”