Art1204 we don't need another hero the art of feminism


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Art1204 we don't need another hero the art of feminism

  1. 1. THEARTOF FEMINISM Professor Will Adams
  2. 2. Structure of lesson By the end of this lesson, you will have an understanding of • What is Feminism? • Representation of Women /women artists in Art History • Feminist Art
  3. 3. Introductory questions • In groups, discuss these questions and jot answers: – How would you define Feminism? – If you can’t define it, list what you know about it. e.g. can you name any feminists? – Would you consider yourself a Feminist? Why or why not? – Is there still any need for feminism?
  4. 4. FEMINISM IS A political discourse [way of thinking] which seeks • equality of opportunities & and rights for women • It is about challenging – Relations between men and women – power structures & laws that keep women subordinate – Division of labor along gender lines And empowering women to have their full rights as citizens and human beings.
  5. 5. Feminism A political discourse [way of thinking] which seeks – equality of opportunities & and rights for women 3 main “waves” of Feminism – 19th C-early 20th C: Suffragettes - voting rights. – 1960s-70s: Civil rights movt  Feminist movt. Sought Legal / social equality for women. – 1990s- to the present: Post-colonial and Third World Feminism. Critiqued ethnocentricity in Western Feminism. Faith Ringgold We Came to America 1997
  6. 6. If you marry, would you take your husband’s name? • In August 2009, the American Sociological Association held its annual meeting in San Francisco. Researchers presented findings from a national survey of 815 people on family and gender issues. Apparently, 71 percent of Americans believe a woman should take her husband's last name, and half believed it should be a legal requirement. (Fri August 14, 2009. Mother Jones magazine)
  7. 7. What’s the difference between a Woman and a Female? • WOMAN • Gender • Related to identity • “One is not born a woman, one becomes one.” (Simone De Beauvoir, 1908- 1986) • Is gender ‘performative’? i.e. about the way we act? • FEMALE • Sex • Related to biology • “Female: one of the opposing, or unfair sex.” (Ambrose Beirce, 1842-1914) • Are female traits inherent in our biological make up?
  8. 8. 1960s – 70s Feminism N.O.W - National Organisation of Women (formed by Betty Freidan & others) campaigned for equal rights • Contraceptive pill  sexual revolution. – Women had a CHOICE about whether to be a mother/homemaker • Other Issues of importance – Treatment of rape victims – Abortion rights – Domestic violence
  9. 9. Books that influenced Feminist theory • SdB showed how women are treated as “other” (not-men; inferiors to men) (1949) • BF challenged the roles of women in society, presenting statistics comparing womens’ participation in higher education / labour force. (1963) • GG called for women’s liberation through sexual liberation. (1970)
  10. 10. Women in Art History “Why have there been no great women artists?” (Linda Nochlin, 1971) Group 1: write down as many male artists you can think of. Group 2: Write down as many women artists that you can think of.
  11. 11. Did you get…? • Artemisia Gentileschi • Rosa Bonheur • Angelica Kauffman • Kathe Kollwitz • Mary Cassatt • Berthe Morisot • Suzanne Valadon • Georgia O’Keefe • Judy Chicago • Alice Neel • Frida Kahlo • Remedios Varo • Faith Ringgold • Bridget Riley • Lee Krasner • Audrey Flack • Eva Hesse • Marisol • Meret Oppenheim • Paula Modersohn- Becker • Cindy Sherman • Miriam Schapiro • Guerrilla Girls • Barbara Kruger • Emily Karaka • Jacqueline Fahey • Carole Shepheard • Robyn Kahukiwa
  12. 12. Where were all the women artists? Pre-70s Art History texts rarely mentioned them. L-R: Works by Artemisia Gentileschi, Angelica Kauffman , Elizabeth Vigee Lebrun
  13. 13. Artistic Context • Few women artists admitted to Art academies • “Old Masters” – almost all male! • Female artists often ignored by art historians (often men!) • Art done by women often seen as second rank or “feminine” (decorative, sentimental, amateur, uncreative) e.g. watercolours, miniatures, embroidery, pottery • Women barred from Life Drawing classes 16th-19th C • Women were often the OBJECTS of art (i.e. models
  14. 14. Role of women in Renaissance Italy• Humanism promoted the education of women (so they could be better wives and mothers) • Virtuous, ideal Christian woman = chaste and obedient. Ideal man = self-sufficient and active. • Castiglione’s Book of the Courtier: Lady  educated and cultured. Her task to charm, but male courtier’s was to prove himself in action. • Women artists do feature in Vasari’s Lives but as ‘exceptions’- 4 out of the 160 artists he mentions are women. Self Portrait of Sofonisba of Cremona (16th C) I’m exceptional
  15. 15. Evidence of Discrimination • Women under represented in exhibitions and galleries even though there were just as many women artists e.g. Lee Krasner, Elaine De Kooning Gothic Landscape, Lee Krasner 1961 Elaine & Willem De Kooning. “ It is so good that you would not know it was done by a woman.” (Hans Hoffman, 1930s) Heard of me, honey?
  16. 16. Evidence of Discrimination • HW Janson’s History of Art first published in 1962 contained neither the name or work of a single woman artist. • It was this context that motivated Judy Chicago’s Dinner Party and Mary Beth Edelson’s work Some Living American Women Artists / Last Supper “I have not been able to find a woman artist who clearly belongs in a one- volume history of art.” HW Janson, 1979
  17. 17. Challenging the Patriarchy • Women artists, art historians and critics join together and protest against male- dominated art institutions • 1970 - Lucy Lippard and others demand equality at the Whitney museum annual shows (5% women artists shown). • 1971 – Art historian Linda Nochlin’s article in Art News “Why have there been no great women artists?” • W.A.R – Women Artists in Revolution used guerrilla tactics 1980s Guerrilla Girls formed. Anonymous group wore gorilla masks and plastered posters around NY city to protest discrimination against women artists.
  18. 18. What kind of ideas about women are presented by these images?
  19. 19. Representation of women in art • Stereotyped roles, e.g. Virgin or whore • Women’s bodies presented as sexual objects • Associated with traits such as vulnerability, passivity, nature, purity • Art work assumes the controlling position of a male spectator (the “male gaze” – Laura
  20. 20. Feminist Art History becomes Herstory Ingres Turkish Bath v. Sylvia Sleigh Turkish Bath
  21. 21. What is Feminist Art? Art that • challenges the patriarchy (Patriarchy = social system that gives power to men; discriminates against women) Through 1. Raising women’s political issues e.g. rape, abortion women’s roles in society 2. Exploring a female heritage, e.g. Increasing respect for women artists, recognising women’s historical contributions to society or women in mythology 3. Challenging notions of high art vs. craft art, e.g. through collaboration 4. Use of Feminist imagery 5. Challenging gender stereotypes
  22. 22. 1. Women’s political issues • Allie Eagle (NZ) “The Personal is Political” Faith Ringgold’s Weight Loss performance Story quilt 1986
  23. 23. Guerrilla Girls
  24. 24. 2. Exploring female heritage • Paying homage to women artists and role models from history as well as reclaiming goddess imagery Mary Beth Edelson, Some Living American Artists 1971 and Woman Rising 1974.
  25. 25. 3. Challenging division between high art and “craft” • Miriam Schapiro’s femmage (Feminist + collage) Wonderland 1983 Mother Russia 1994
  26. 26. 4) Feminist Imagery e.g. Judy Chicago’s “Core” Imagery – “My central core, my vagina, that which makes me a woman.”
  27. 27. 5. Challenging gender stereotypes • Cindy Sherman & Barbara Kruger
  28. 28. 6. Interest in Identity • Cindy Sherman’s Bus Stop series, Untitled Film Stills
  29. 29. Feminist art is not a specific style • It was“neither a style nor a movement, but instead was a value system, a revolutionary strategy, a way of life…. That what was revolutionary was not its forms but its content.” • (Lucy Lippard) Would you consider any of these ‘Feminist’?
  30. 30. Revision of Key Terms Define to your partner: • Feminism • Feminist art • Representation • Patriarchy • Male gaze