At the start of her career, Sheila Levrant de Bretteville was often the only woman in a company of male designers and university professors. Design was just as homogeneous: posters, illustrations, and ads spoke the language of men. To change the situation, she began to use her visual and physical work to invite and reveal differences in gender and race.
Sheila believes that differences in general, and specifically in sexuality, continue to be overlooked and underrated in many places and by many people. She is convinced that graphic design is a powerful tool for social change that scrambles the hierarchy of center and periphery, private and public, powerful and powerless, by creating a sense of place, space, and time. During her presentation at Strelka on August 21, Sheila will speak about her public art projects including Pink, demonstrating how a poster discussing the color pink can draw attention to gender inequality and, eventually, make design more inclusive.
Sheila Levrant de Bretteville is a designer, artist, curator, and educator. She holds degrees in art history from Barnard College and Yale University. In 1971 she created the first women's design program. In 1973, de Bretteville founded the Women’s Graphic Center and co-founded the Feminist Studio Workshop (along with Judy Chicago and Arlene Raven), both based at the Woman's Building. In 1990, Sheila joined Yale University as The School of Art’s first tenured female professor. Her art projects can be found around the world, even in Yekaterinburg, where Sheila did a project in concrete for the Ural concrete plant, decorating stairs leading to an old water tower with texts of chastushki – a local form of storytelling in four-line stanzas.
The lecture will be held in English, with simultaneous interpretation into Russian. Receivers will be issued in exchange for an ID.
The event is organized with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.
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