Echo is the first in a series of exhibitions, presenting works personally selected from the Tate Collection by an artist. Tate Liverpool invited Maud Sulter, as an artist, writer and cultural historian, to begin the series.
Although painting as a pastime was seen as a feminine accomplishment, access to formal art training was severely limited. It was not expected that women, like men, could become professional or avant-garde artists.
Women's practice in art has never been absolutely forbidden, discouraged or refused, but rather contained and limited to its function as the means by which masculinity gains and sustains its supremacy in the important sphere of cultural production.
Maud Sulter uses the physical presence of the work to introduce a wide range of issues. She asks us to consider the personal, social and political conditions which have affected generations of women artists.
In selecting work by women artists produced between 1850 and 1940, Maud has brought a present-day perspective to historic paintings from the Victorian and Edwardian eras, and the pre1940 period.
Her choice includes some works which have seldom been seen before. The paintings are historically and stylistically diverse. Yet in bringing them together she reveals the continuity of woman's art practice and recurrent themes. Her selection represents a chain of activity which a new generation of women artists can draw upon.