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The Guerrilla Girls Talk Back Exhibited by the National Museum of Women in the Arts
Guerrilla Girls (active 1985– ), Erase Discrimination, 1999. Pink rubber with ink screenprint, 1 1/8 x 2 1/2 x 1/4 in. each. Credit:Collection of the Akron Museum of Art. Photo: Courtesy Akron Art Museum.
WASHINGTON, DC.- The National Museum of Women in the Arts (NMWA) presents The Guerrilla Girls Talk Back, an exhibition featuring more than 70 works by the gorilla-masked crusaders, including posters, newsletters, stickers and erasers.

The Guerrilla Girls, a group of anonymous artist-activists, critique the sexism and racism pervading contemporary culture. Through their populist art production, the group raises awareness about discrimination.

Drawn primarily from NMWA’s collection, the exhibition presents posters from two portfolios, Guerrilla Girls Talk Back: The First Five Years, 1985–1990 and Guerrilla Girls Talk Back: Portfolio 2, both donated to the museum by Baltimore-based collector Steven Scott.

The first Guerrilla Girls posters appeared in 1985, pasted onto structures in lower Manhattan. Combining bold advertising-style graphics with eye-opening facts and figures, the posters detailed discrimination by the city’s art galleries against women artists and artists of color. Since then, the group has produced scores of posters, billboards, and books to promote inclusiveness in the cultural and political realms.

Humor is a vital part of the Guerrilla Girls’s art, making the serious messages of their works accessible and engaging. In addition to the wry texts in their printed materials, members of the group wear gorilla masks that protect their anonymity during the lectures and actions/protests that they present worldwide. The group produces their works in quantity to reach a broad audience. Over the years, the Guerrilla Girls have broadened their range of targets for critique to include sexism and racism in Hollywood and the mass media; art censorship; government corruption and apathy; and the battle for reproductive rights.

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