Rose Garrard

Rose Garrard is a contemporary English artist, who works in installation, sculpture, performance and video. She is also an author and historian and much of her work is historical in nature.

Garrard’s “Models Triptych” (1982 – 83) depicts three female artists who were well-known during their lifetimes, but immediately fell into posthumous obscurity. The artists are Artemisia Gentileschi, the 17th century Italian Baroque painter, Judith Leyster, at work in Holland during the same period, and Elizabeth Vigee Le Brun, a prominent French portrait painter of the late 18th century.

Leyster’s self-portrait is framed by cascading Madonna figurines, which tumble down to the floor, while in Gentileschi ‘Flaccid Guns’ the guns melt, flowing away from the image; in that of Vigee-Le Brun ‘Bird Talk’ the birds lift off from the image.

She explained the symbolism of these objects, saying: My mother always put a Madonna by my bed and my father always had this gun in the lockbox. Judith Leyster, at work in Holland during the same period, was almost erased from history after her death by dealers who attributed her work to male contemporaries like Franz Hals.