Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Reading Linda Nochlin

"Why have there been no great women artists?" Linda Nochlin asked in 1971 and then went on to answer her own question in an essay of the same title. She raised many important issues, one of the most controversial being that women really haven't been able to be great artists (like Rembrant, Van Gogh, or Michelangelo) because the society that they lived in made it impossible.
She compares women artists to the many kings and queens who have loved and patronized the arts. (like Haydn's patron, Prince Esterhazy). Aristocrats
(like women) have too many social responsiblities and although they may have had leisure time and were encouraged to 'dabble' in many art forms they were just not taken seriously.
She raises some other good points in the essay. One is that we can raise our boys AND girls to be creative. Genius is not innate, it is learned, she asserts.

Let’s ask the right question, she says.

What are the conditions necessary to produce great art?


  1. yes, picture rothko occupying mental space thinking that there's no toilet paper in the house ergo he has to buy it.perhaps that's why there was a mrs.rothko? Think of lee strasner and helen frankenthaler(to name just 2) great artists yet their husbands, pollock and motherwell are the stars.
    could go on forever

    neki desu

  2. yes, you are so right. Yay, Mrs Rothko.
    However, I have been reading more and more about Rothko and admire that he was so serious about his work. Granted, he didn't have to think about the toilet paper purchase and so was not distracted...but still, he had the passion and it shows in his work.

  3. Isn't it about producing art no matter what the conditions either environmental or the physical body of the artist...what about Frida Kahlo battling illness yet producing what I would class as great art.


Thank you for taking the time to connect. Much appreciated.xx