Sunday, February 24, 2019
The Portrayal of Women in Art: 1962-2002
We have, more or less, as an audience become used to the see depiction of women. Often, oddly in classical styles, they were portrayed as reclining nudes who were at that place for the viewers pleasure. With averted eyes, they touched themselves sensually, typically innocent and oblivious that thither is someone painting her for all to see. When they werent sexual-fantasy fodder, they were servile and obedient in particular in the 1940?s and 1950?s after the end of the strong women time of World War II.They wore their hair in perfect curls, with their perfect dresses and worked happily away in their perfect kitchens. In Jack Levines daughterfriend with Red Hair there is a shift away from the perfect, cargon-free char char charr that came before. Rather, nudity is embraced as an aspect of the womans power or else than the viewers object. The subject confronts the viewer with her gaze. This portrait is non a portrait of a naked girl, but rather, a girl who happens to be naked . in that respect is no trace of sexiness or sensualitywe be drawn to her face so that we may attempt to discern what this girl is shortenking.Though her breasts ar there, they ar poorly rendered comp bed to the depth of her face and do not trap the eye like the neatly depicted name of the reclining nudes. Hotline for Troubled Teens, 1970. Joe DeMers (1910-1984). Acrylic on board, 22 ? x 18 ? in. young Britain Museum of American Art, Gift of Walt Reed, 2000. 45. Through both this artistic empowerment of women and the accordingly energized Feminist Movement, women became less objects for a viewers pleasure and sooner independent characters. In Joe DeMers Hotline for Troubled Teens, the gender is nearly removed from the girl.She is seen erosion an over-shirt that hides her breasts and her other feminine features are minimized. The girl is entered into a narrativeno longer is there a displaced nude body just manufacturing around. Instead, we are shown a girl in her not-so-id eal life. Her face is concerned and the call off cord is wrapped about her shoulders and wrist. She appears to be entirely dismissive of her viewing audiencebe they out on the street around her, or elsewhere. She is selfish and concerned with only her present situation.The title even suggests that this girl is reach out (at the time, even that would have been taboo) in order to help herselfa principle that began to empower women during the Feminist Movement. Laneisha II, 1996. Dawoud Bey (b. 1953). Polacolor ER prints, 90 x 45 3/4 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Members Purchase Fund, 2000. 34. This is one of my favorite routines of the collection for many reasons. Predominantly, the depiction of women has centered around the ideal womanwhich, if you havent picked up a magazine lately, is typically white, attractive, young, thin and perky.The woman here, however, is the antithesis. Though she is attractive, she does not have the elegant features that a cougar might hav e looked for in the first half of the century. She is fragmented into sextuplet readys and while they mostly match upin that there are no huge gaps of informationthere is a significant deformation of her figure. Her face is extra wide and left arm seems oddly long. A clear difference between the perfectly kept and rendered women of the past, this modern woman allows her flaws and her discord to be reflected in between each frame.She is a woman, not an object to behold. Untitled, 2000. Cindy Sherman (b. 1954). Color photograph, edition 1/6, 32 1/2 x 22 in. Members Purchase Fund, 2000. 88. I particularly enjoy this piece for several reasons like the piece above, she is not typically beautifulparticularly for the era in which it was taken. Rather, her appearance is outdatedthick, dark eyebrows, slicked dressing hair and that awful blue blouse she is eating away. Instead of dismissing the woman as ugly, we are able to see past her physicality.She bears a face that almost says Yeah, s o what? to her audience. She isnt hip, nor is she young and beautiful (as dictated by the standards of society) any more. There is a bluntness to this photograph that disempowers the sitter it almost seems as if shes the one judging and not vice-versa. Beauty I, 2002. Mark Catalina (b. 1965). Acrylic on canvas, 72 x 72 in. New Britain Museum of American Art, Gift of the Artist, 2003. 01 Lastly, this piece seems to me to be the most poignant out of the bunch.We are not reclusive to the real image, but only its negative. In form, we might recognize the mortal as a female. They have breasts, long flowing hair, jewelry some of the key indicators of what we may associate with being a woman. However, with the inverted colors, we are shown someone with manly features and thus, the lines of gender are blurred. Clearly, the makeup the subject is wearing is exaggerateddark lips and cat-like eyeshadowand further masks the individuals gender.This piece is so inexorably tied to the way in whi ch sex and gender are separated and defined. In this, the artist is redefining the appearance of women, in that women may not even be feminine at all. This piece broaches the subject of womanhood and womanhood in an entirely new way, and is entirely appropriate in the evolving context of women in art. What do you think about the portrayal of women in art? How has it changed in the last 500 years? 50 years? 5 years? How can women gain power through federal agency in art? How does this compare to men in art?