P.P.O.W. announced today that it now represents Betty Tompkins, the feminist artist who, over the past few years, has seen a renewed critical interest in her work. The New York gallery notes, in a release, that Tompkins is a “natural addition” its roster, which tends to focus on artists involved with ideas related to gender and sexuality.
Tompkins’s work could recently be seen at Dallas Contemporary’s show “Black Sheep Feminism.” Curated by Alison Gingeras, the exhibition focused on feminist artists from the ’70s who incorporated graphically sexual content into their work. Tompkins’s work is right at home there—she’s best known for a series known as the “Fuck” paintings, which enlarge black-and-white stills from pornography in an effort to reclaim the male gaze. But Tompkins has also made less visually abrasive work, some of which is also currently on view in a show of her text-based paintings at New York’s Flag Art Foundation.
The news is proof that, since the ’70s, the art world has begun to do a 360 when it comes to feminist artists. In an article from 2015, published in the pages of this magazine, Tompkins explained that, in the ’60s, she couldn’t find gallery representation because she was a woman. Things have changed since then, but there’s still more change that needs to come. As Tompkins said in the article, “I feel appreciated for what I do and what I’ve done, but when I look at the big picture I still see a lot of tokenism.”