Disregarding Art

Disregarding Art - Disregarding Aesthetics Feminist art...

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Disregarding Aesthetics Feminist art historians believe that gender “is an essential element in understanding the creation, content, and evaluation of art”. With that in mind, the feminist art historians object to formalism on the basis that works of art as well as the artists reflect the culture. It is their belief that there is no need for the formal techniques used by artists. They feel that the use of line, color, or perspective will reveal nothing in regards to the painting. Their way of interpreting art revolves around the subject matter and meaning, and some iconography. The problem with approaching art this way is that the art is no longer seen as art- it is seen as a political/social statement. Ribera’s The Bearded Woman, 1631, can be perceived as a painting made to entice the Spanish interest in the grotesque and the macabre. Instead, the painting becomes a message to feminists; a message which tells us that Ribera gives differing views of gender as opposed to his predecessors. This painting—to the feminist art historians—declares that man is not the measure of all things, because saying that Man is the measure of all things would be wrong. But there is nothing wrong with this approach to art; after all, art invites the viewer to create meaning based on their interpretation. It’s just that this approach to studying art works of the Renaissance has no interest in the aesthetics of the art, but in the message it conveys for the Feminist art historians. Feminist art historians challenge the traditions of art history and its approach to judging art. The feminist art historians assume that although humans have a ‘biologically fixed sex division between the male, the masculine and feminine roles we live out are not ‘natural’ or ‘essential’, but established by the society in which we live” ¹. Feminist art historian’s views seem to have nothing to do with art; their views are political and sociological. It is commendable however, that they are unearthing and bringing the works of ¹ Sylvan Barnet, A Short Guide to Writing About Art—9 th edition
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Jose Revuelta TA: Carolyn Stuart Art History 57, Disc. 1J women artists of the past to the public. But this is unfair to the artists who painted works such as the Birth of Venus or Apollo and Daphne, morphed into statements that feminists view as misogynistic. After all, in that time, what they were doing was art; those artists just believed that the female body showed greater aesthetic qualities than the male body; there
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Disregarding Art - Disregarding Aesthetics Feminist art...

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