Deborah Kass is a contemporary American artist. With a practice spanning across media and disciplines, Kass’ work is notable for her pointed feminist critique. Through her use of appropriation, she often mimics the work and styles of male artists to comment on and rewrite the patriarchal narrative of art history. Often working in series, Kass forms a poignant and didactic political commentary while retaining a sense of self-reference with her autobiographical paintings, lyrics, and prose.
“It was very clear to me that there was something new from a formalist point of view: a new, female subjectivity,” she has said of the 1970s art world. “It’s quite stunning to think about all the women who were painting in New York and all the men they’ve influenced. When you say Julian Schnabel, I think Joan Snyder. Ross Bleckner, I say Pat Steir. In Carroll Dunham, I see Elizabeth Murray.”
Born in San Antonio, TX in 1952, she went on to receive her BFA from Carnegie Mellon University and study at both the Whitney Independent Study Program and the Art Students League in New York before rising to art world fame. Her honors include a mid-career retrospective at The Andy Warhol Museum in Pittsburgh, inclusion in multiple Venice Biennales, and the position of senior critic at the Yale University painting program.