May Stevens

American , 1924 -

May Stevens is a feminist activist artist, who came to prominence during the 1960s. Born in Quincy, MA, Stevens studied at the Massachusetts College of Art, the Art Students League, and the Academie Julian in Paris. She later taught at the School of Visual Arts, NY from 1961-1996. She was a founding member of Heresies, A Feminist Publication on Art and Politics (1976). From 1968-1997, Stevens and her husband, artist Rudolf Baranik, maintained studios in New York and exhibited widely. She began her first major painting series, Freedom Riders (with catalog essay by Martin Luther King, Jr.) in 1963. Other well-known painting series include Big Daddy (1967-76); Artemesia Gentileschi (1974-79); History Paintings (1974-81); Ordinary Extraordinary / Rosa Luxemburg and Alice Stevens (1976-91); Sea of Words (begun in 1990); and Rivers and Other Bodies of Water, (begun in 2001). Stevens made very few original prints throughout her career, but published six lithographs with Mary Ryan Gallery between 1998 and 2009.

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