Friday, February 25, 2011

Gabriele Munter: Vitreous Femmage

Gabriele Munter: Vitreous Femmage, 10" x 10"

Finally after more trial and error with process and technique I have completed the first piece of what I am now calling 'vitreous femmage'. Femmage is a term that one of my Uomini Famosi, Miriam Schapiro' coined.

Femmage- A kind of feminist sewn collage made by Miriam Schapiro in which she assembles fabrics, quilts, buttons, sequins, lace trim, and rick-rack to explor hidden metaphors for womanhood, using techniques historically associated with women's crafts (techniques and media not elevated to the status of fine art). (Gardner)

While I am not using fabrics to convey this portrait of Munter, I am using a medium that has historically been used for decorative and functional purposes.
The portrait with focus upon the eyes and lack of a mouth connotes a message that needs to be retold until the canon accepts and rewrites the history of art to include women as contributors.
The millefiori used as the primary collage media also conveys a connotation about the female gender, and is used as a painting media with pixelated pieces of color within the composition.

Last semester I blogged about the artist, Liza Lou who uses millions of sequins and beads to create her installations. In reflection I see an evolving connection from Schapiro's work to Liza Lou's, and a connection to what I am trying to do with the millefiori/ murrini assemblage as again what I am beginning to call a 'vitreous femmage'- a collage using glass pieces with a feminist art connotation.

I have endured much trial and error in the firing process and the annealing of these pieces. I think I have finally arrived at the firing cycle for a positive outcome. I began with Munter for her story is engraved on my heart, and I am currently working on a homage painting of her. Her eyes are most provoking and haunting, and help to tell her story.

I have already blogged on the biography of Munter, but here is a great artful video dedicated to her at:


  1. oh my Betti!!! I love this one!!!!

  2. Thanks Aris! Just saw your comment. Hope all is well with you... gotta go finish my paper!