Fuck Painting #13, 2004

In a long career, Betty Tompkins has produced hundreds of canvases and several thousand of her trademark ‘Women Words’ and ‘Apologia’ series; all we can do here is display a representative selection of images to show the development of her work, from some of her ‘Fuck’ and ‘Cunt’ paintings, through the period when she was experimenting with adding words to those pictures, to some of the images from her ‘Women Words’ project.

In ‘Women Words’, book, magazine and catalogue images of well-known works of art by male artists have the female protagonists covered with relevant pink texts. This has the twofold purpose of contrasting the ‘beauty’ of the original painting with the gritty reality of responses to real-world women, and of demonstrating how women and their contribution to real-world art has been painted out of cultural history.

The ‘important male artists’ featured here are Vermeer, Raphael, Dürer and Botticelli, together with an unknown 1950s photographer.