Sleigh, A.I.R. Group Portrait, 1978, oil on linen,
Born in Llandudno, Wales.
Sylvia Sleigh trained as a realist painter in Sussex, England before emigrating
to America in 1961. She painted many group portraits in the same large
scale as the monumental painters of Abstract Expressionism. She painted
A.I.R. Group Portrait to document the twenty-one women members
of the Artist-in-Residence Gallery--one of the first feminist cooperative
galleries in the U.S. Her large-scale group portraits forced art audiences
to recognize many rising women artists in the1970s.
As a young woman in the 1940s, Sleigh remembers being told at art school,
"You have no talent. You're just here to waste time until you get married."