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Old 04-10-2011, 02:15 PM
mame mame is offline
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Why have there been no great women artists?

The tangent cjorgenson's thread took reminded me of an historical perspective.

But first - KUDOS TO YOU CJORGENSON - your humility and graciousness are superceded only by your guts in standing naked in front of strangers! You have what it takes.

Okay - Linda Nochlin wrote the above captioned essay and it turned the art world on its head. Her thesis is that we were asking the wrong questions regarding "women's art". Her contention is that we should be looking at how the political structures throughout the world determined Art (and I suggest still does) as a man's world.

WHY HAVE THERE BEEN NO GREAT WOMEN ARTISTS? – Linda Nochlin
http://people.uncw.edu/ricej/art/Why...0A rtists.pdf

The following is a lecture about domesticity and "the home" in women's art over time
http://youtu.be/PYRnH-DmO7E

hope these links work
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Old 04-10-2011, 04:12 PM
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alfreda alfreda is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

The answer is simple, there have been great women artists that they continue to be ignored is another question

enjoyed the links.
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Old 04-10-2011, 06:40 PM
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Keith Russell Keith Russell is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

Yes, I've never understood this question. (Of course not; I'm one of those evil, white men of European descent!)

Nevertheless, we know there have been plenty of highly-skilled, highly-influential women artists. I could list hundreds, off the top of my head.

Alfreda claims they've been "ignored." Well, ignored in what way? And, ingored, by whom? (I mean, if I know so many of them, how "ignored" could they be? How "ignored" could they have been?)

So, I guess, I don't know what really is the problem...
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:21 PM
mame mame is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

Oh now, don't get defensive Keith. Read the essay. It's an historical PERSPECTIVE by a woman scholar who lived the history.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:25 PM
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

The following is a lecture about domesticity and "the home" in women's art over time
http://youtu.be/PYRnH-DmO7E
___

Does this type of discussion not just feed the bias? Why does women's art have to be about domesticity and the home? (topic which don't interest me in the least and having nothing to do with this woman's art, anyway) It's pigeonholing one segment of subject that some women artists might approach. (and I have a very close friend whose work is all about domesticity) But lumping it together with general discussion of "women artists" is rather like saying men paint war and automobiles. Firstly, why do women continue to segregate themselves? (women's art, women's art societies... why not just artist and artist societies?) Secondly, why is it still acceptable, again from women, to generalise and keep categorising our work about domesticity? I just don't get this. I'm in an women's art society and essentially it's a lot of complaining. Best guest speaker we ever had (successful commercial woman artist, who raised her kids at home and her career supports the whole family) came in and basically said stop complaining about being a woman artist and just be an artist, get off your butt and do the things you want to do.

Tina.
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Old 04-10-2011, 07:47 PM
mame mame is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

excellent points, timelady, however.....my rationale for the link was that it's okay to discuss the issue of domesticity in relation to women artists - it continues to be a popular subject for art making. Finally, (in contemporary art) women are no longer afraid to own it if they choose.

I tried for a very long time to work in a "genderless" style. I eventually came to the realization that for me it didn't feel like honest work. I don't think like an albatross and I can't think like a man. I'm a woman. My work comes out of what I know and what I feel as a woman - and the critics be damned........

PS - And men are getting on the band wagon creating traditional "women's art" - quilting, weaving, knitting, crochet, embroidery, etc. Perhaps we WILL get to a time where it's just ART.

Last edited by mame : 04-10-2011 at 07:57 PM.
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Old 04-10-2011, 09:22 PM
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Horsa Horsa is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

Interesting that you choose embroidery as a traditional "women's art". As recently as Elizabethan England embroidery was a men's pursuit. Especially proffessional embroiderers.

Why are there no great women artists? Likely because women have not been afforded the opportunities to become great artists that men have.
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Old 04-10-2011, 10:40 PM
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

I only mention the domesticity thing because it seems to be the topic whenever women artists are discussed. Domesticity, "traditional" women's mediums (textile, sewing, etc).

But then again I've been told many times my art is very masculine. My art is precise, specific, and empirical. But I don't think like a man either. I'm a woman and think like a woman. So maybe I don't get what woman thinking is supposed to be. To me I see it along the whole spectrum of subjects and styles. Ditto for the men in my life.

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Old 04-11-2011, 01:08 AM
olde bob olde bob is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mame
The tangent cjorgenson's thread took reminded me of an historical perspective.

But first - KUDOS TO YOU CJORGENSON - your humility and graciousness are superceded only by your guts in standing naked in front of strangers! You have what it takes.

Okay - Linda Nochlin wrote the above captioned essay and it turned the art world on its head. Her thesis is that we were asking the wrong questions regarding "women's art". Her contention is that we should be looking at how the political structures throughout the world determined Art (and I suggest still does) as a man's world.

WHY HAVE THERE BEEN NO GREAT WOMEN ARTISTS? – Linda Nochlin
http://people.uncw.edu/ricej/art/Why...0A rtists.pdf

The following is a lecture about domesticity and "the home" in women's art over time
http://youtu.be/PYRnH-DmO7E

hope these links work

wow, Linda's piece gives several interesting debates: why arent there any great black artists? Why arent there any great artists from the aristocracy? Why arent there any decent eskimo tennis players?

The good news is that there are many great women artists today, and more and more of them. The artist who has a victim mentality today, truly sabatouges themself. If you want it, you can get it. It's all up to the individual....that is if you live in a free-western society. If you live in a women-oppressed society, well, that's a different story, of course.
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Old 04-11-2011, 01:28 AM
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

OLDE Bob said
"The artist who has a victim mentality today, truly sabatouges themself. If you want it, you can get it."

You can't always get what you want.
We aren't out of the woods yet. "Up to the individual" is a mantra in our society. One thing many women artists had in common is that they didn't see themselves as victims; they were artists, in the social condition of women. The social condition of women has changed a lot so that now we have words to address it with but there are still so many pitfalls on the way. It's isn't easy for anybody to be successful. It's a hard road. Women and men face different challenges on that road, but men always had more openings in the past and the challenges for women have only STARTED to ease.
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Old 04-11-2011, 02:39 AM
olde bob olde bob is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu
OLDE Bob said
"The artist who has a victim mentality today, truly sabatouges themself. If you want it, you can get it."

You can't always get what you want.
We aren't out of the woods yet. "Up to the individual" is a mantra in our society. One thing many women artists had in common is that they didn't see themselves as victims; they were artists, in the social condition of women. The social condition of women has changed a lot so that now we have words to address it with but there are still so many pitfalls on the way. It's isn't easy for anybody to be successful. It's a hard road. Women and men face different challenges on that road, but men always had more openings in the past and the challenges for women have only STARTED to ease.

of course the road to success isnt easy, but again, if you really want it, truly desire it, you can get it. You can find a way. And to clarify, if you want it on both a conscious and sub-conscious level, you will succeed. Too many of us have inner subconscious conflicts and thus we sabatouge ourselves, and sadly, we look for someone 'out there' to blame for our failure rather than to take responsibility.

And regarding men and women, I hope most women would realize that generally speaking they are more conservative in their outlook than men are. I have found that women often search for the rules in order to follow them while men find rules and want to break them. Maybe it's a hormone thing (testosterone vs estrogen). I dont know. But generally speaking, that's the way it is. So we really need to constantly give ourselves permission to not play it safe, to go beyond boundaries, to take chances.

I have zero interest in arguing that one sex is better than the other. Both are marvelous and perfect in their own ways. If I have offended women I am truly sorry. I think I'll shut my yap now.
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Old 04-11-2011, 06:56 AM
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Robotus Robotus is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

Quote:
Originally Posted by bleu
the challenges for women have only STARTED to ease.

Or get worse. Maybe its becoming more difficult for women who would prefer choose a traditional role today.

Of course I'm just looking for opposing ideas.

Remedios Varo!
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Old 04-11-2011, 07:18 AM
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Greg Long Greg Long is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

Historically a womens place was in the home child-rearing. Up until 40 years ago here in Ireland, those women working in the civil service had to leave upon marriage.
The main reason for the historic gender bias, was gender bias. It is not the same today. There are probably more female artists than male artists working today, and I think the gender balance reflects this in many places.
How many of these artists will be seen as great is another question, however there is no longer a barrier to female art in the establishment, or outside it, if thats what floats your boat.
As Kieth said earlier there are great women artists down through history, and particularly from the 1960's on. The perception that man is a better artist than women is down to earlier traditions of women rearing families and men working to support them. Art was at one time seen as a proper respectable job, and to be an artist was to be a proper tradesman with prospects. This has changed. Today many people see art as a past-time alone, not as a career, not a "proper job".
Things change throughout history, technology has changed art and has offered the modern artist many more ways to create it while also giving computor generated "art" offerings to non-artists.
As far as female artists becoming successful, I know many who are successful, not because they are going head-to-head with their male counterparts, but because they are creatting their own, more feminine art. It should be remembered today, more women buy art, there are possibly more female art curators than male ones. I know regionally (here) that most arts officers in local councils and executives/curators of arts organisations are women. This is possibly because of the cross over with more women working, and fewer men becoming artists as a full-time career, but more likely due to a womens aptitude for seeing new career opportunities where they are not chasing a glass ceiling. Years ago we didn't have the publicly funded supports for the arts that we have today, and we didn't have these careers established. This has allowed women to exploit the opening of these new opportunities without the associated problems of competing in a male dominated world. In time this will balance itself too.
Within the arts historically to succeed, as in all other areas you had to be exceptional if you were a woman, or use a psuedonom (George Elliot for example) and pretend to be a man. This was a social barrier, nothing to do with ability or creativity, and as the social barriers have now gone this is no longer a factor in an artists success within the business. (In my opinion.)
In recent times there have been numerous young irish authors gaining international sucess and accolades for "Chick Lit" novels written by women for women. Surely this is no different for other arts businesses? The opportunities are there for anyone who has the ability to be able to exploit them.
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:07 AM
mame mame is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

Horsa said "Interesting that you choose embroidery as a traditional "women's art". As recently as Elizabethan England embroidery was a men's pursuit. Especially proffessional embroiderers."

This sounds very interesting for a little reading/learning. Txs Horsa!
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Old 04-11-2011, 09:27 AM
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Rob't Emmet Rob't Emmet is offline
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Re: Why have there been no great women artists?

I disagree with the basic premise of this thread...not to diminish the struggles of female artists, but when I think of great artists, Georgia Okeefe and Imogene Cunningham stand right next to Andy Warhol and Ansel Adams. But maybe that is just me...
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