pretty much everything: reaction

From my Art & Spirituality journal.

Perhaps as a result of my previous art history elective, Women in Art (which I loved and adored, in part because I savored the chance to make all my feminist wonkery useful for something other than pissing off my parents), one question kept nagging at me throughout the quarter:

"Where are the women?"

I saw more female nudes than female artists. I counted two women that we studied throughout the entire quarter-- Georgia O'Keefe and Frida Kahlo. These two tend to be the standard artists to use when the occasion calls for "[insert girl painter here]," so it's not quite that I quibble with their inclusion per se, but that they were the only ones. Given that the twentieth century was a time of unprecedented accessibility for female artists, there should have been far more than just two female artists to analyze.

Where was Hannah Koch and the spirituality of Dada? Romaine Brooks' somber exploration of solitude and sexuality? Eva Hesse's tactile minimalism? It bothered me in particular that Sonia Delaunay was excluded from the book's discussion of her husband Robert's work, considering that hers was similar in outlook as well as incorporating collage and fiber elements and using abstraction in a manner predating even Kandinsky's.

It bothers me, as a woman and an artist, that art history can apparently blithely exclude an entire gender's perceptions of spiritual and artistic experience without noticing anything missing.

Labels: ,

thus saith Liadan at 3:48 AM


Post a Comment