Hannah Wilke Tracing the Legacy of an Artist Who Made Yonic Forms from Chewing Gum

AnOther Magazine Oct 23, 2018

Who? Hannah Wilke was born Arlene Hannah Butter in New York, 1940, the granddaughter of Jewish immigrants from eastern Europe. Demonstrating an artistic flair from a young age, at just 14 years old she posed for photographs wearing her mother’s fur stole in front of a wall featuring her name in large typography, a precursor to the self-portraiture she would create later in life. Naturally, Wilke went on to study art, enrolling at Stella Elkins Tyler School of Fine Art, Temple University in Philadelphia. It was here she met designer Barry Wilke who she married in 1960, receiving a Bachelor of Fine Arts and a teaching certificate two years later. The brief marriage broke down and ended with a divorce in 1965, culminating in Wilke returning to New York where she remained until her untimely death from lymphoma in 1993.

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