New review: The Heretics

The Heretics charts the story of a feminist art magazine which grew out of the New York art scene in the 1970s. What was it like to work on Heresies? Where are these women today, and what has happened to their legacy? Review by Jess McCabe

We have plenty of caricatures of the ‘second wave’ – the upsurge of feminist activism which occurred in the 1970s – but what was it really like? For those of us too young to experience it for ourselves, The Heretics opens one window into those times.

The Heretics, directed by Joan Braderman, tells the story of the feminist art magazine Heresies – and the women artists who launched it – at a time when critics, galleries and other artists were lining up to keep the art world a male preserve.

Heresies launched in 1977, from the New York studios of a collective of women artists, and produced 27 issues before closing in 1993. The entire archive is available to download on the film’s official website – and this alone is a treasure trove, before even considering the wealth of interviews, archive footage and first-hand stories brought together by Braderman’s documentary.

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