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Women artists in twentieth century art history : a secondary school focus 1983

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WOMEN ARTISTS IN TWENTIETH CENTURY ART HISTORY A SECONDARY SCHOOL FOCUS by MYRA ANNE EADIE B.Ed., The U n i v e r s i t y of B r i t i s h Columbia, 1976 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF ARTS in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of V i s u a l and Performing Ar t s i n Education Faculty of Education We accept t h i s thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA A p r i l , 1983 (c) Myra Anne Eadie, 1983 In presenting t h i s thesis i n p a r t i a l f u l f i l m e n t of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of B r i t i s h Columbia, I agree that the Library s h a l l make i t f r e e l y available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of t h i s thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It i s understood that copying or publication of t h i s thesis for f i n a n c i a l gain s h a l l not be allowed without my written permission. Myra Eadie Department Of V i s u a l and Performing Arts i n Education The University of B r i t i s h Columbia 1956 Main Mall Vancouver, Canada V6T 1Y3 Date A p r i l , 1983. DE-6 (3/81) ABSTRACT Given the recent emphasis i n Art Education on the h i s t o r i c a l and c r i t i c a l as well as the productive modes, of inquiry, i t i s important that a rt educators become aware of past biases and d i s t o r t i o n s i n conventional approaches to Art History and become responsive to'current changes in the art world. In t h i s t h e s i s , the proposal i s made that a reconceptualization of Art History i n Education i s needed to expand the framework of the d i s c i p l i n e beyond the narrow structure of conventional approaches to allow for the inquiry into the l i v e s and works of women a r t i s t s . The expanded model proposed i n t h i s t h e s i s encompasses the knowledge, constructs and s k i l l s that would enable students to i n v e s t i - gate the important themes and meanings revealed i n the a r t i s t i c forms of contemporary women a r t i s t s . A r a t i o n a l e and framework for t h i s expanded approach to c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l inquiry i s established through a review and analysis of l i t e r a t u r e . An examination of basic o r i e n t a t i o n s i n Art History scholarship and teaching helps to i d e n t i f y the past biases of conven- t i o n a l approaches and provides d i r e c t i o n s for a re-evaluation of art by women. An analysis of the selected views of s o c i o l o g i s t s , a r t i s t s , and art educators concerning the function of role models and the i r relevance to students provides the ration a l e for a study of contemporary women a r t i s t s . F i n a l l y , a summary of major developments i n Aesthetic Educa- t i o n regarding methods for c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l enquiry establishes a framework and methodology for the study of women a r t i s t s and insures that the content i s related to important goals i n art education. It i s upon t h i s t h e o r e t i c a l framework that a model i s presented to illuminate one possible open-ended approach to the study of ar t by women in a c u l t u r a l and h i s t o r i c a l context. The f i r s t component of t h i s study focuses on the often unique s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l conditions faced by women a r t i s t s i n various times. It i s within t h i s h i s t o r i c c u l t u r a l context that s p e c i f i c works are analyzed, interpreted and evaluated. This context takes into account not only the h i s t o r y of the a r t i s t s but the needs and in t e r e s t s of the students. The second component of t h i s study provides new stra t e g i e s for seeing and understanding the ways contemporary women a r t i s t s have expanded their use of co l o r , form and space to explore a changing s e l f image and a h o l i s t i c view of nature. Two i n t e r r e l a t e d themes—interpre- t a t i o n s of a human r e a l i t y revealed i n images of women and inte r p r e t a - tions of the r e a l i t y of nature through a b s t r a c t i o n — a r e explored to provide new opportunites for c u l t u r a l and aesthetic awareness. F i n a l l y , a unit, designed and implemented by the author, provides the secondary school teacher with a s p e c i f i c approach to teaching about the work and l i v e s of important women a r t i s t s . In t h i s u n i t , students are provided with opportunities to discover new ro l e models, to work c o l l e c t i v e l y and i n d i v i d u a l l y , and to integrate the c r i t i c a l , h i s t o r i c a l and productive modes of inquiry i n a major project. It i s hoped thatmthis i n v e s t i g a t i o n the materials w i l l provide a supplement to existing approaches to Art History and C r i t i c i s m , and w i l l help e s t a b l i s h a broad view of our a r t i s t i c heritage so that men's a r t h i s t o r y may eventually become human art h i s t o r y . TABLE OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT i i ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS v i Chapter I. INTRODUCTION 1 Art History and the Neglect of Women A r t i s t s 1 New Developments in Art Education 6 Importance of the Study . . . 8 I I . WOMEN ARTISTS AS ROLE MODELS - FUNCTION AND AVAILABILITY 14 The Concept of Role Models - Major Considerations . . 14 A S o c i o l o g i c a l View 16 A r t i s t s ' Views 17 Art Educators' Views 19 Some Biases and Distortions i n Art Education 25 Summary and Implications 30 II I . A FRAMEWORK FOR THE STUDY OF WOMEN ARTISTS 33 Aesthetic Education - Major Constructs 33 C r i t i c a l and H i s t o r i c a l Methods 36 Sociology, Philosophy and Womens' Studies 42 Design of the Study - Elements and Components . . . . 45 IV. ART HISTORY AND THE EMERGENCE OF WOMEN ARTISTS . . . . 54 The Sixteenth to Nineteeth Centuries 56 The Twentieth Century 72 V. EXPLORATION OF IDENTITY IN CONTEMPORARY ART BY WOMEN . 97 Images of Women by Women - Discovery and Reaffirmation 97 iv The Maternal Image - The Domestic Role 103 The Physical Image - A New Sexual Identity 114 The Mythic Image, History and S o c i a l Change 121 VI. MOVEMENT TOWARD NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT THROUGH ABSTRACTION 140 New Interpretations of Nature 140 Toward Nature - Early Abstraction i n Painting . . . . 149 Nature and P h y s i c a l i t y - Organic Use of Materials . . 164 Toward Environment - Sculptures Architecture 171 VII. A CURRICULUM MODEL FOR THE INQUIRY INTO THE LIVES AND WORKS OF CONTEMPORARY WOMEN ARTISTS 182 Introduction: Objectives of the Unit 182 The Problem 187 Approaches to the Study 187 Art Materials and Ins t r u c t i o n a l Materials 188 A c t i v i t i e s and Procedures 189 Exhi b i t i o n and Evaluation 194 Suggestions for Other A c t i v i t i e s 198 BIBLIOGRAPHY 200 APPENDIX: A LIST OF AUDIOVISUAL MATERIALS ON WOMEN ARTISTS 210. v ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS A number of in d i v i d u a l s provided invaluable help i n the r e a l i z a t i o n of t h i s t h e s i s . A warm appreciation i s extended to members of my th e s i s committee: i n p a r t i c u l a r to Dr. Rosalie Staley for her continuous support, s c h o l a r l y guidance, and ins i g h t s into the work and l i v e s of contemporary women a r t i s t s , to Mr. Bob Steele for h i s help i n r e l a t i n g the a rt of women to a broad art h i s t o r i c a l context, and to Penny Gouldstone for her recognition of the need i n Art Education for the study of the l i v e s and work of momen a r t i s t s . A s p e c i a l thanks i s extended to Avis Rosenberg, whose extensive knowledge concerning the h i s t o r y of women a r t i s t s helped me gain the impetus for t h i s i n v e s t i g a t i o n . Gratitude i s also extended to Dr. Graeme Chalmers and Dr. James Gray, who recognized the importance of my topic and helped me to see i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to some important aspects of Art Education. Grateful thanks i s also given to Mrs. Joan Prentice for her patient assistance with the typing. F i n a l l y , a warm thanks to John, for h i s confidence i n me and h i s loving care throughout the preparation i o f t h i s work. M.E. v i 1 CHAPTER I INTRODUCTION Art History and the Neglect of Women A r t i s t s U n t i l recently, Art History has f a i l e d to account for the wide range of art created by women. Basic survey t e s t s , for example, used i n most i n t r o d u c t o r y a r t h i s t o r y c o u r s e s — J a n s o n ' s H i s t o r y of A r t , Gardner's Art Through the Ages and Gombrich's The Story of Art, f a i l to include any reproductions of work by women a r t i s t s . The teaching and study of Art History appear', to operate from a Western European male perspective and i t has focused mainly on a r t works of "key h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e , " i . e . , the monuments of Western art by male a r t i s t s . Unfortunately, a rt educators have been persuaded to -follow t h i s approach and women a r t i s t s ' contributions have been neglected i n the theory and pr a c t i c e of art education. Not only are women a r t i s t s g e n e r a l l y excluded i n a r t h i s t o r y s u r v e y s , c u r r i c u l u m m a t e r i a l s , reproductions and s l i d e s used by art teachers, but they are given l i t t l e d i s cussion i n the most widely read a rt education texts used i n art teacher t r a i n i n g programs. As t h i s t hesis w i l l show, a r t education has not been responsive to major developments i n the art world and i n society and our students have been deprived of a relevant c u l t u r a l heritage which includes a r t i s t i c contributions of both men and women. Given the fact that a rt educators have adopted a view of a r t hi s t o r y from the perspective of the t r a d i t i o n a l a rt h i s t o r i a n , we must understand the o r i g i n s and v a l i d i t y of t h i s approach i n the d i s c i p l i n e i t s e l f . If we perceive a biased perspective we must discover how a bias could develop. This understanding may serve to de-mystify the d i s c i p - l i n e of art h i s t o r y and i t may indicate why many contemporary a r t hi s t o r i a n s have chosen recently to r e - i n t e r p r e t our a r t i s t i c heritage. F i n a l l y , these new ar t h i s t o r i c a l i n q u i r i e s help us address and correc t t h i s bias , and enable us as art educators to give voice to neglected perspectives of art h i s t o r y . The poor representation of women a r t i s t s i n art h i s t o r y education i s a condition that finds one of i t s o r i g i n s i n a convincing but biased perspective which has, u n t i l recently, governed the d i s c i p l i n e of a r t hi s t o r y and the process of historiography. I t i s acknowledged among h i s t o r i a n s such as Panofsy (1953) that art historiography i s determined, not only by f a c t u a l evidence but also by a somewhat subjective i n t e r p r e - t a t i o n of that evidence. According to Panofsky (1933), i n choosing works of " h i s t o r i c a l s i g n i f i c a n c e " a r t h i s t o r i a n s obey, knowingly or not, a p r i n c i p l e of "pre-selection" which i s d i c t a t e d by t h e i r " c u l t u r a l equipment," i . e . , t h e i r values and i n t e r e s t s (pp. 1-25). The a r t , for example, that h i s t o r i a n s choose not to discuss could r e f l e c t t h e i r biases i n favor of c e r t a i n a r t i s t s , groups of a r t i s t s or s t y l e s of ar t (Feldman, 1980, p. 22). Because, i n the past, most a r t h i s t o r i a n s have been white males, i t would appear that they have pre-selected h i s t o r y from th e i r perspective. The l a s t decade has seen the emergence of a more self-conscious i n v e s t i g a t i o n by some art h i s t o r i a n s into the biases and assumptions which have l i m i t e d the language and structure of art h i s t o r y and contributed to the neglect of women and non-white male a r t i s t s . In these i n v e s t i g a t i o n s , a number of h i s t o r i a n s such as Sandler (1973), Sloan (1973) and Feldman (1980) have i d e n t i f i e d a western ethnocentric 3 bias i n the teaching and study of art h i s t o r y . Feldman (1980) describes art h i s t o r i a n s ' obsession with monuments that belong to the western t r a d i t i o n and Sloan (1976) and Berger (1973) i l l u s t r a t e how art h i s t o r y projects a kind of " c u l t u r a l imperialism"—racism and sexism. This assertion becomes believable when we r e a l i z e that, u n t i l recently, no sc h o l a r l y surveys of Afro-American or women a r t i s t s were a v a i l a b l e . It i s also supported with v i s u a l documentation i n Berger's analysis of Western art—Ways of Seeing. Here, the sexism and r a c i a l prejudice projected i n much art h i s t o r y can not be overlooked. Feminist a r t "historians such as Nochlin and Harris (1976), Tufts (1974) and Fine (1978) have also researched and documented the ways art h i s t o r y has contributed to the neglect of once recognized and acclaimed women a r t i s t s through poor documentation, m i s - a t t r i b u t i o n and p a t e r n a l i s t i c h i s t o r i c a l and c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s . The e l i t i s m , racism and sexism, i d e n t i f i e d as i l l s which have infected the h i s t o r y of art and art h i s t o r y education are perhaps a r e f l e c t i o n of the same c u l t u r a l i d e o l o g i c a l i l l s plaguing the society as a whole. According to John Stuart M i l l (1869), the subjugation of women in a l l aspects of society and culture was both a cause and a symptom of a fundamental imbalance and lack of wholeness i n the modern world r e f l e c t e d i n many of the in e q u i t i e s and s o c i a l problems that beset Western Society. Though the i n j u s t i c e s of the past cannot be changed, they need not be repeated. With the r i s i n g t i d e of feminism and the woman's art movement i n the 1970's, h i s t o r i a n s found the impetus for a re-discovery and r e - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the contributions of women a r t i s t s to our c u l t u r a l heritage. Beginning with Linda Nochlin's (1971) l a n d s l i d e question, "Why Have There Been No Great Women A r t i s t s ? " , h i s t o r i a n s began inves t i g a t i n g the contributions of women a r t i s t s i n each century and the reasons for the i r neglect. In these s c h o l a r l y studies, a r t hi s t o r i a n s such as Fine (1978) and Nochlin and Harris (1976), found recurring patterns of c r i t i c a l / h i s t o r i c a l bias and s o c i a l and i n s t i t u - t i o n a l obstacles which thwarted the a r t i s t i c development and recognition of women a r t i s t s i n each century. At the same time, a number of accomplished women a r t i s t s of the past who, despite the obstacles, became accepted as court painters, as pro f e s s i o n a l s , and were often u n s t i n t i n g l y appreciated by th e i r contemporaries, were i d e n t i f i e d and given s c h o l a r l y in-depth study (Tufts, 1974, p. x) . In a major survey, Women A r t i s t s 1550-1950, Harris i d e n t i f i e s a number of women a r t i s t s i n the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries whose work could e a s i l y be defended i n both introductory survey courses and i n more d e t a i l e d period surveys. She argues for the i n c l u s i o n of Sofinsba Anguissola, the f i r s t woman a r t i s t to become a c e l e b r i t y during her time; Maria van Oosterwyck and Rachel Ruysch, extremely accomplished Dutch s t i l l l i f e painters; and Rosalba C a r r i e r a , Angelica Kauffman and Vig ee-Lebrun, Rococco and Neo-Classical p o r t r a i t painters. She claims that "by the time a survey reaches the nineteenth century, major women a r t i s t s are even more abundant and the i r neglect harder to j u s t i f y " (p. 44) . In other e f f o r t s to redress the neglect i n art h i s t o r y , major exh i b i t s such as Women A r t i s t s 1550-1950 have t r a v e l l e d i n t e r n a t i o n a l l y , making v i s i b l e the long-forgotten works of women a r t i s t s , i n order that they be re-examined. Large c o l l a b o r a t i v e works such as "Dinner Party", conceived and co-ordinated by Judy Chicago, have made v i s i b l e the 5 accomplishments of women in a l l f i e l d s and have provided valuable r o l e models for women. Excellent survey books on women a r t i s t s , such as Nochlin and Harris' Women A r t i s t s 1550-1950, Greer's The Obstacle Race, T u f t ' s Our Hidden H e r i t a g e , Wilson and Pet e r s e n ' s Women A r t i s t s ; Recognition and Re-appraisal, and Fine's Women and Art have documented the h i s t o r y of women a r t i s t s within the context of th e i r times and discussed techniques and meanings of the i r art as well as the conditions that fostered or i n h i b i t e d t h e i r development. In addition, excellent biographies and autobiographies such as Georgia O'Keeffe, and Mary Cassatt; A Biography of the Great American Painter, have provided deep, rewarding insights into the l i v e s and works of exceptional women a r t i s t s . Journals such as the Feminist Art Journal, C h r y s a l i s and Women A r t i s t s Newsletter have forged new l i n e s of communication for women and offered s c h o l a r l y reviews of t h e i r work. Respected c r i t i c s such as Lucy Lippard, i n her book From the Center, Lawrence Alloway, Cindy Nemser and G l o r i a Orenstein, have begun to forge new c r i t e r i a by which to evaluate the forms and meanings of art by contemporary women within the context of th e i r l i v e s . They have provoked considerable dialogue concerning the questions of a female s e n s i b i l i t y , a female form language, and on the value of a new feminist a r t c r i t i c i s m . Their writings, found i n both feminist art journals and well-established a rt journals such as Art i n America and Art Forum, are bringing to public attention the major achievements of women a r t i s t s i n the 1970s and 1980s who Laurence Alloway (1976) claims c o n s t i t u t e a new avant-garde. F i n a l l y , numerous women's studies courses i n art h i s t o r y , some of which are documented i n Fine's, Gellman's and Loeb's Women's Studies and 6 the Arts (1978) have implemented these four main objectives i n feminist a r t programs: a) inquiry into the h i s t o r y of past and present women a r t i s t s ; b) r e - i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of the image of women in t r a d i t i o n a l a r t ; c) consciousness-raising concerning the b a r r i e r s that have prevented women from producing the q u a l i t y and quantity of a r t that men have produced; d) change i n the* status of women in the art world (White, 1976). In summary, the contributions of outstanding women a r t i s t s to the fund of knowledge i n art hi s t o r y have slowly been acknowledged and re-interpreted by a r t i s t s , a rt h i s t o r i a n s and art c r i t i c s . The i n c l u - sion of women a r t i s t s into a rt hi s t o r y content has begun to enrich the f i e l d by making men's art h i s t o r y human art h i s t o r y . New Developments in A r t Education In the f i e l d of Art Education, the Women's Art Movement has also been a c a t a l y s t for a recent i n t e r n a l questioning of assumptions and biases that have created i n e q u a l i t i e s and d i s t o r t i o n s i n the f i e l d . The Women's Caucus for Art, which grew out of the National Art Education Asso c i a t i o n , has played a c e n t r a l r o l e i n addressing current issues regarding the status of women in a r t , a r t h i s t o r y and art education. Research, conferences, workshops and a newsletter sponsored by the W.C.A. have focused oh topics such as women's studies i n art h i s t o r y , h i r i n g p r a c t i c e s i n college and uni v e r s i t y art departments, and affirma- t i v e action projects concerning f a i r e x h i b i t i o n p r a c t i c e s , granting and funding practices and c r i t i c a l / h i s t o r i c a l p r a c t i c e s . Individual research e f f o r t s i n art education have also r e c e n t l y responded to basic questions regarding women's ro l e and status i n art education, art and art h i s t o r y . Major areas of research have addressed three c e n t r a l concerns: 1. Sex differences i n art preferences (Chalmers, 1977), i n children's art production (Feinberg, 1977), and in career a t t i t u d e s (Whitesel, 1977). 2. The status of women as leaders and professionals i n the art academe (Llovano-Kerr, 1979; Packard, 1977; Michael, 1977). 3. Women's roles and sexism in art and art education (Bastion, 1975; C o l l i n s , 1977, 1978; Dobbs, 1975; Loeb, 1975; Sandell, 1979; Snyder Ott, 1974; Whitesel, 1975). (Sandell, 1979). While the writing and research on these important issues has exposed basic problems of inequity i n a r t education, p a r t i c u l a r l y i n the way i t a f f e c t s professional women i n the art academe, i t has had l i t t l e e f f e c t on our teaching. Georgia C o l l i n s (1977) and Ren<ee Sandell (1979), professors of art education i n major American u n i v e r s i t i e s , have undertaken research r e l a t i n g the issues of the feminist a r t movement to contemporary a r t education p r a c t i c e s . In a recent a r t i c l e , Sandell (.1 979) s t a t e s , " A r t e d u c a t o r s , examining c u r r e n t s e x u a l - p o l i t i c a l concerns i n art and soci e t y , may note that the educational e f f o r t s of a r t i s t s , a r t h i s t o r i a n s and art c r i t i c s who comprise the women's a r t movement have, for the most part, by-passed school-age c h i l d r e n " (p. 8) . In the area of art h i s t o r y education, evidence of the gap between the ne"w developments i n Art History and contemporary p r a c t i c e s i n art education i n the secondary schools i s p a r t i c u l a r l y notable. Enid Zimmerman (1981) describes her experience: Within the l a s t decade a number of books have been published about women a r t i s t s who worked from the middle ages to the present time. As an art educator and active supporter of the women's movement, I am aware that t h i s movement has had no 8 impact on the art materials, art textbooks and art c u r r i c u l a used i n our schools. Those who are'preparing to be art teach- ers, and those who are teaching a r t , are generally unaware of the h i s t o r y of women's art and are unprepared to integrate women's art into the mainstream a r t c u r r i c u l a i n the schools. (P. 5) To substantiate these claims i t w i l l be shown in Chapter II of t h i s t hesis that the neglect of women's contributions to the fund of know- ledge in secondary school art education can be found i n four areas: i) major art education research and texts; i i ) teacher t r a i n i n g courses for art educators; i i i ) c u r r i c u l a ; and iv) teaching p r a c t i c e s . The Importance of the Study While the neglect of t h i s important aspect of art h i s t o r y can not be overlooked, i t i s evident from a number of workshops this author has conducted with groups of B. C. Art Teachers, that a small core of p r a c t i t i o n e r s have become conscious of the need to include art by women in the curriculum. The majority of art educators, however, do not understand the importance for students of t h e i r i n c l u s i o n i n art c u r r i c u l a , are not aware of the reference materials now ava i l a b l e or have had inadequate preparation i n the i r teacher t r a i n i n g programs. In order to correct t h i s s i t u a t i o n , more research i s needed i n a r t education which can discover how a r t by women can broaden and balance the fund of knowledge i n art h i s t o r y . A d d i t i o n a l research i s needed which can reveal how t h i s knowledge can be integrated into school c u r r i c u l a and how i t can promote student competencies and s e n s i b i l i t i e s which would enable i n d i v i d u a l s to become responsible world c i t i z e n s capable of i n t e l l i g e n t , non-biased understandings of v i s u a l forms. Five major questions for art education research emerge from an analysis of t h i s current s i t u a t i o n . These questions provide d i r e c t i o n for research undertaken in t h i s t h e s i s . F i r s t l y , we should ask in what ways do students require a relevant c u l t u r a l heritage which includes both women and men a r t i s t s as ro l e models? An inv e s t i g a t i o n into the often overlooked concept of r o l e models and how they operate for students i n secondary school a r t education can provide a focus for t h i s understanding. This research which forms Chapter II may help to convince art educators who are not presently conscious of the important contributions of women a r t i s t s (and t h e i r s i g n i f i c a n c e for students) of the need for the i r i n c l u s i o n i n art c u r r i c u l a . Once we are aware of the importance of women a r t i s t s , we need to know how a r t by women contributes to the fund of knowledge i n a r t education and how the a c q u i s i t i o n of t h i s knowledge r e l a t e s to the basic goals of art education. We also need to know how t h i s content can be integrated into art c u r r i c u l a . It i s proposed, i n Chapter III of t h i s t h e s i s , that c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l inquiry methods discussed i n the recent l i t e r a t u r e on aesthetic education can provide a structure and reveal basic themes for a study of women a r t i s t s i n art education. Basic aims of aesthetic education applied to knowledge about a r t by women i n a h i s t o r i c a l , s o c i a l context w i l l insure that t h i s research contributes and becomes related to the important goals of art education. The aims i n art education related to the study of women a r t i s t s can be summarized concisely. They are: 1. Learning to understand the functions and meanings of art by women in a s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and art h i s t o r i c a l context. 10 2. Development of v i s u a l s k i l l s and s e n s i b i l i t i e s which would enable i n d i v i d u a l s to broaden th e i r understanding of the meaning of v i s u a l forms by women. 3. Learning to appreciate the role of the woman a r t i s t i n a h i s t o r i c a l context. The t h i r d , fourth and f i f t h questions are more s p e c i f i c a l l y r e l a t e d to content and emerge out of the general d i r e c t i o n s established i n Chapter I I . The t h i r d question should address i t s e l f to the role of the a r t i s t . What, for example, was the ro l e of the woman a r t i s t from the sixteenth to the nineteenth centuries and how has t h i s changed i n the twentieth century? How have s o c i a l , educational, economic and c r i t i - c a l / h i s t o r i c a l conditions affected her ro l e and her art production i n these time periods? In addition, we should ask how women a r t i s t s have influenced major movements in a r t , changes i n society and s h i f t s i n cu l t u r e . In Chapter IV, e n t i t l e d "Art History and the Emergence of Women A r t i s t s , " the ro l e of women a r t i s t s w i l l be explored. It w i l l be shown how a r t by women studied i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l context gives added meaning to the understanding of the art by providing knowledge from an i n t e r - d i s c i p l i n a r y perspective. A fourth very important question about women a r t i s t s would ask how the contributions of outstanding i n d i v i d u a l s to the fund of knowledge i n art h i s t o r y i s s i g n i f i c a n t to students. while art by women should be seen i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l context, t h i s thesis w i l l show how the aesthetic value of art by women should not be reduced only to s o c i a l , economic and p o l i t i c a l f a c t o r s . In Chapters V and VI, t h i s thesis w i l l expand i n depth upon several major themes which twentieth century women a r t i s t s have chosen to explore i n a v a r i e t y of forms. These themes have been 11 selected, not only because they re l a t e to major concerns of ^secondary school students but also because they are not explored i n t r a d i t i o n a l approaches to art h i s t o r y . Although the focus i s l i m i t e d to p a r t i c u l a r women a r t i s t s of the twentieth century, the themes explore some funda- mental meanings which reveal truths p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant to our s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y i n the l a t e twentieth century. Because of the fundamental nature of these themes, t h i s study remains open ended; i t i s capable of being expanded to include the other unique contributions of women a r t i s t s not discussed. This inquiry can also provide important i n s i g h t s f o r , and become related to, the mainstream art of the twentieth century. Sources for meaning and understanding of these art forms w i l l come from the various academic areas including Sociology, Psychology, Philosophy, Women's Studies, Feminist Studies, Art History, Art C r i t i c - ism and Ar t . This i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y approach w i l l allow for a broad correspondence with related f i e l d s of knowledge. Based on the framework established in Chapter III and the body of knowledge acquired i n Chapters IV, V and VI, we must f i n a l l y ask: "How do we e s t a b l i s h a revised curriculum which takes into account women a r t i s t s ? " A curriculum model i s then provided which adapts the ideas and issues developed in previous chapters to the goals of aesthetic education and to the needs of students. This concise model, developed and implemented by the author i n a secondary art program, can be expanded to include an enlarged content and changed to s u i t the i n d i - v i d u a l needs of students and teachers i n d i f f e r e n t s e t t i n g s . A l i s t of audio-visual materials which rel a t e to t h i s unit i s provided. Sugges- tions for follow-up studio a c t i v i t i e s based on the concept that both a r t i s t i c expression and inquiry can s y n e r g i s t i c a l l y provide a dynamic 12 forum for creative and i n t e l l e c t u a l growth, are also provided i n t h i s u n i t . Through i n t e l l i g e n t curriculum r e v i s i o n , integration of neglected areas of art h i s t o r i c a l inquiry (such as the study of women a r t i s t s ) can be brought into the secondary curriculum by the art educator. We can not wait for t r a d i t i o n a l a rt h i s t o r i a n s to restructure t h e i r texts and teaching of art hi s t o r y . We must respond to the important changes i n society and the art world and to the needs of students who are entering t h i s world. As Feldman (1980) states, " a r t h i s t o r i a n s have not d i s - played s u f f i c i e n t c u r i o s i t y about the structure of t h e i r d i s c i p l i n e i n r e l a t i o n to the general p u b l i c — t h e school students, students of a r t hi s t o r y and the general p u b l i c " (p. 9). In summary, a study of the art of outstanding women a r t i s t s within the context of the i r l i v e s , may begin to make "men's art h i s t o r y human art h i s t o r y . It w i l l expand knowledge and bring new perceptions of exi s t i n g knowledge" (White, 1976, p. 343). If art i s , as McFee de- sc r i b e s , "the objective expression of people's concept of r e a l i t y , the nature of s o c i a l r o l e s and a feedback system that keeps the s o c i a l organizations going" (in Chalmers, 1978, p. 20), we as a r t educators have a great r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to provide for our students a wide range of ar t which communicates a broad view of r e a l i t y . Cassirer (1944) suggests that through v i s u a l forms men (and women) attempt to grasp the r e a l i t y of th e i r world. He suggests that an understanding of the conditions and meaning of existence through expressive form provides the key to "inner freedom" and i s a "means of s e l f l i b e r a t i o n " (p. 149). By providing content and methods for c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l i n q u i r y into the expressive forms created by women as well as men, a r t 13 educators enable students to discover through v i s u a l exploration a richer and broader view of r e a l i t y . Provided with t h i s knowledge, our students are more prepared to discriminate, make i n t e l l i g e n t • c h o i c e s and fi n d deep meanings i n art and in l i f e . An attempt i n art education to provide role models of women as a r t i s t s and to recover the l o s t corre- spondence of women's s e n s i b i l i t i e s i n a r t i s t i c forms, w i l l enable our students to discover new keys for s u r v i v a l in a world characterized by a fundamental lack of balance and wholeness. 14 CHAPTER II THE IMPORTANCE OF ROLE MODELS FOR FEMALE STUDENTS The Concept of Role Models — Major Considerations As art educators, i t i s important to be conscious of the type of art that we present to our students and how our se l e c t i o n s of a r t , made ava i l a b l e through books, s l i d e s and reproductions, a f f e c t s them. It i s important, as Feldman (1980) suggests, that our s e l e c t i o n of a r t i s t s "ought to be influenced by some theory about what i n t e r e s t s h i s or her p u p i l s ; what c h i l d r e n need to know; what they are not l i k e l y to see elsewhere; what they can understand and respond to" (p. 9). One reason we should c a r e f u l l y consider the s e l e c t i o n of a r t i s t s and t h e i r work that we discuss and present i s that a r t i s t s can serve as r o l e models for our students. As t h i s research w i l l show, relevant a r t i s t r o l e models serve very important functions in aesthetic and psychological development. Without access in art education to both male and female a r t i s t s from varied c u l t u r a l groups, our female students could be denied equal access to r o l e models, and a l l students could be denied access to a broad range of a r t i s t i c and aesthetic experiences. The purpose of t h i s chapter i s to c l a r i f y the concept of modelling ( and to discover what functions r o l e models serve for our students. It i s also important to f i n d out which a r t i s t s , teachers most often discuss i n c l a s s and whether we make available a broad range of v i s u a l materials and books which include women a r t i s t s . We must become aware of the implications of our choices for our students and be w i l l i n g to examine our biases. F i n a l l y , we must discover how to broaden our discussions 15 about a r t i s t s and our selections of s l i d e s and reproductions so that the works of women as well as men a r t i s t s are provided for students. Before examining the function of role models, i t i s important to know why, in the past, t h i s factor has been overlooked in art education. Feldman (1980) suggests that "the ideology of art education tends to accept without question a somewhat romantic approach to influence, which i s that i t i s a bad thing: the a r t i s t — c h i l d or adult—must above a l l be o r i g i n a l " (p. 25) . The fact that r o l e models are not discussed i n the current research i n a r t education may be p a r t i a l proof of t h i s romantic ideology. A number of art educators, Lanier (1981), Feldman (1980) and Chalmers (1978), have recently sugested that art educational research should begin to explore "the economic, ethnic, educational and cla s s factors that shape a r t i s t i c and aesthetic experience" (Feldman, 1980, p. 84). However, some of the only d i r e c t discussion concerning the function and nature of relevant a r t i s t r o l e models can be found i n the writings of feminist a r t i s t s , a rt educators and h i s t o r i a n s and a r t c r i t i c s . They speak of the past neglect i n art h i s t o r y of women and the devastating a f f e c t s that the lack of ro l e models has had on young a r t i s t s , i n both their a r t i s t i c production and response to a r t . Similar discussions are found by the art educators who speak out on behalf of minority c u l t u r a l groups. For t h i s t h e s i s , however, the question must be asked: how important i s i t that we make information about women a r t i s t s a v a i l a b l e to our students and do we present a stereotype of the a r t i s t which must be corrected? In order to answer t h i s question, we must look beyond art education to the writings of S o c i o l o g i s t s — t h e o r i g i n a t o r s of role theory—and to a r t i s t s whose many statements refer to influence and modelling. This 16 c l a r i f i c a t i o n of the often overlooked concept of r o l e models i s neces- sary i f we are to discover how they function for students, a r t i s t s and a l l members of society. Within t h i s framework, i t i s possible to discover how art educators have overlooked the ways students are affected by r o l e models. It i s also possible to discover in research, c u r r i c u l a and p r a c t i c e what a r t i s t s we as a r t i s t s / t e a c h e r s present to students and i f these models are relevant to female as well as male students. These understandings provide the motivation for re-assessment and change in our s e l e c t i o n of defensible art objects for a r t educa- t i o n a l i nquiry. A S o c i o l o g i c a l View S o c i o l o g i s t s , Psychologists and Anthropologists have employed the role model concept in theories of s o c i a l i z a t i o n for decades (Brookover, 1971). In s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n theory, s e l f concept and i d e n t i t y emerges from an i n d i v i d u a l ' s i n t e r a c t i o n with others. This i n t e r a c t i o n i s determined by r o l e s or "sets of normatively prescribed expectations of b e h a v i o r , i n c l u d i n g r i g h t s , o b l i g a t i o n s , s k i l l s and a t t i t u d e s " (Brookover, 1971, p. 557). The most prestigious occupations, such as the p r o f e s s i o n s , have i n v o l v e d forms o f " c a r e e r s o c i a l i z a t i o n . " Professionalism in' and out of the art world "has implications for the p r a c t i c e of work and for the r e c i p i e n t s of the products or services that the profession o f f e r s " (Woolacot, 1976, p. 19). Whereas s o c i a l i z a t i o n involves active i n c u l c a t i o n and teaching i n and out of school, enculturation involves the a c q u i s i t i o n of behavior by the young through modelling, imitation and i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , whereby the 17 behavior of a v a i l a b l e models serves to narrow the behavioral a l t e r n a - t i v e s a v a i l a b l e (Segall, 1971),. From a s o c i o l o g i c a l point of view, art students derive cues for a r t i s t i c behavior through both the teacher and the a r t i s t model pre- sented to him/her in school and through media. For those educators who view a r t i s t i c development as o r i g i n a t i n g i n "deeply rooted c r e a t i v e impulses" (Lowenfeld, 1970) the idea of role models and modelling i s an unpopular concept. This p r i n c i p l e i s , nevertheless, supported i f we look at the statements by acknowledged a r t i s t s . A r t i s t s ' Views Role models for a r t i s t s may include the l i v e s and works of acknow- ledged or l i t t l e known a r t i s t s of the past or present. An a r t i s t ' s l e t t e r s , d i a r i e s , memoirs and works are some of the forms through which behaviors, ideas, attitudes and s k i l l s may be i d e n t i f i e d or even imitated. While i t becomes apparent on one hand, that "contemporary western a r t i s t s and audiences a l i k e , often tend to regard evidences of influences with contempt," a r t i s t d i a r i e s and journals are woven with references to each other's influence (Gombrich, 1965, p. 24). Elaine de Kooning (Chipp, 1966), claims that "Western art i s b u i l t on biographical passion of one a r t i s t for another: Michelangelo for S i g n o r e l l i ; Rubens for Michelangelo; Delacroix for Rubens; Cezanne for Poussin; the Cubists for Picasso; the philanderer for anyone he sees going down the s t r e e t " (p. 210). In t h e i r statements, several v a r t i s t s s p e c i f i c a l l y r e f e r to other a r t i s t models as providing confidence, support and c u l t u r a l pride. Paul Cezanne, for example, in a l e t t e r to Emile says, "We turn toward the 18 admirable works that have been handed down to us throughout the ages, where we f i n d comfort; a support such as a plank i s for a bather ... yes, I approve of your admiration for the strongest of a l l the Venetians: we are celebrating T i n t o r e t t o " (Chipp, 1968, p. 243). Judy Chicago (1977), i n Through the Flower, r e f e r s to the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n and c u l t u r a l support she attained i n her study of the l i v e s and works of Georgia O'Keeffe, V i r g i n i a Woolf and Ariais Nin. She says, "the accep- tance of women as authority figures or as ro l e models i s an important step i n female education. If one sees a woman who has achieved, one can say: I am l i k e her. If she can do i t , so can I. It i s t h i s process of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , respect, then s e l f - r e s p e c t that promotes growth" (p. 108). Eugene Grigsby (1947), spokesman for ethnic a r t i s t s , also claims that models of relevant ethnic a r t i s t s are e s s e n t i a l to the self-esteem and motivation of young Black, Chicano or Native a r t i s t s . Models with whom young people can r e l a t e and emulate give to young people a c u l t u r a l pride and l i n k with a c u l t u r a l heritage. A r t i s t models also provide a language of form from which the young art student may c u l t i v a t e aesthetic l i t e r a c y and an a r t i s t i c expression. According to Grigsby (1977), Woodruff, an Afro-American a r t i s t known mainly i n the 1960's and 1970's, found the forms and images of h i s protest art i n i t i a l l y through the works and ideas of Diego R i v i e r a , the Mexican mural painter. This contact and modelling, according to Grigsby, gave Woodruff the groundwork upon which to b u i l d h i s own unique protest s t y l e . A r t i s t s such as Calder, Miro, Dennis and Chicago, also claim that respected a r t i s t s provided them with s t y l i s t i c and formal art elements upon which they could b u i l d . Calder states, "My entrance into the f i e l d 19 of abstract art came about as a r e s u l t of my v i s i t to the studio of P i e t Mondrian i n Paris in 1930" (Chipp, 1968, p. 561). The Spanish p a i n t e r , Joan M<iro, stated, "I learned the structure of a picture from Cubism." A few years e a r l i e r , Maurice Dennis, a spokesman for the Symbolist pa i n t e r s , s a i d , "Gaugin freed us from a l l the hindrances imposed upon our painter's i n s t i n c t by the idea of copying ... the theory of equiva- l e n t s which we had extracted from Gaugin's expressive imagery, furnished us with the means toward t h i s goal ... Gaugin gave us a claim to l y r i c i s m " (Chipp, 1971, p. 103). Chicago (1977) says, a f t e r examining the work of Woolf, Nin and O'Keeffe, I had discovered a q u a l i t y of transparency, both in the writing and in the imagery.... This r e a l i z a t i o n helped me a f f i r m my own ipulse as an a r t i s t — t o make my work openly subject matter oriented (while s t i l l being abstract) and to t r y to reveal intimate emotional material through my forms. (p. 176) Despite the den i a l of modelling and imitation by many a r t i s t s , i t i s apparent that a r t i s t s ' role models serve some very important per- sonal, c u l t u r a l and aesthetic functions for a r t i s t s which are e s s e n t i a l to aesthetic and a r t i s t i c development. Having established a s o c i o l o g i c a l framework for our d e s c r i p t i o n and function of role models and a v e r i f i c a t i o n of t h e i r importance through a r t i s t s ' statements, l e t us look at how educators view the function of r o l e modelling and the a r t i s t as a r o l e model. Art Educators' Views Few a r t educators refer to an a r t i s t ' s work as providing a "role model" for a student. The idea that students model t h e i r a r t i s t i c and aesthetic behavior on other a r t i s t s i s , as Gombrich ,(1965) has sai d , 20 "been regarded with contempt by a r t i s t s and t h e i r audiences" (p. 24) . This i s generally true in art education as w e l l . There are several reasons why few art educators have, i n the past, r e a l i z e d that students do use and require relevant r o l e models in some stages of development. Diana Korzenik (1979), in her a r t i c l e S o c i a l i z a - t i o n and Drawing, claims that art has r a r e l y been examined in the context of s o c i a l i z a t i o n , because art educators have been mainly f i x a t e d upon the romantic notions of " c h i l d a r t . " However, Victor Lowenfeld (1970), the most i n f l u e n t i a l proponent of c h i l d a r t , claimed that young children's deeply rooted creative impulses develop n a t u r a l l y without s o c i a l or a r t i s t i c influence from outside. While Lowenfeld's view i s applicable to young c h i l d r e n , Brent and Marjorie Wilson (1971) have found that adolescents are quite n a t u r a l l y concerned with how others have perceived and expressed t h e i r r e a l i t y and that they can benefit from c e r t a i n outside influences. In regards to the work of mature a r t i s t s , Gombrich (1965) suggests that "the more we become aware of the enormous p u l l in man to repeat what he has learned, the greater w i l l be our admiration for those exceptional beings who could break t h i s s p e l l and make a s i g n i f i c a n t advance on which others could b u i l d " (p. 25). According to Eisner (1979), the r e s u l t i n g emphasis on i n d i v i d u a l personal expression and freedom from intervention in art education had i t s roots in the general s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l climate of the war and post-war period of the 1940's and 1950's, in which the a l l i e s were f i g h t i n g to preserve freedom in the world. The value of freedom found i t s endorsement in Lowenfeld's views which might be relevant only to young c h i l d r e n . 21 Even though there i s s t i l l l i t t l e d i r e c t reference to the a r t i s t as a r o l e model, there i s c u r r e n t l y more willingness to acknowledge the general importance of outside aesthetic and s o c i a l influences which a f f e c t c r e a t i v e expression and perception. Contextualists such as Vincent Lanier (1980), i n Six Items on the Agenda for Art Education in the 80's, stresses that art should be reviewed in i t s s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l context, in order that c h i l d r e n become aware of images that further and endorse th e i r " s o c i a l oppression." Edmund Feldman (1980), i n Anthropological and H i s t o r i c a l Conceptions of Art C u r r i c u l a , sug- gested that "art lessons can begin with an examination of something other than a c h i l d ' s own a r t i s t i c expression ... and that a teacher's c r i t e r i a for s e l e c t i o n ought to be influenced by some theory about what in t e r e s t s h i s or her p u p i l s ; what c h i l d r e n need to know; what they are not l i k e l y to see elsewhere; and what they can understand and respond to" (p. 7). These views indicate that some art educators are w i l l i n g to account for s o c i a l and aesthetic influences that are derived from other " a r t i s t s ' " work and that a broad s e l e c t i o n of work should be shown. There are, however, a few notable exceptions amongst art educators who e x p l i c i t l y acknowledge children's s o c i a l i z i n g a c t i v i t y ; the use of i m i t a t i o n and role modelling i n t h e i r a r t . Feldman (1980) sees also that: the influence of one a r t i s t on another i s i d e n t i f i e d by various means: by e s t a b l i s h i n g a teaching r e l a t i o n s h i p ; by acknow- ledgement of a young a r t i s t that he admires an older or dead a r t i s t ; sometimes by showing only that the a r t i s t has seen the work of an e a r l i e r a r t i s t or a r t i s t s ; and f i n a l l y by i n t e r n a l or v i s u a l evidence. (p. 85) Most of the discussion about influence and modelling, however, has centred around the idea of copying and imitating the work of peers as a process of s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n and s o c i a l i z a t i o n . Marjorie and Brent Wilson (1977), Diana Korzenick (1979), and Angolia C h u r c h i l l (1970) have examined the reasons for children's desire to copy or imitate t h e i r peers, popular images or the i r e l d e r s . Angolia C h u r c h i l l (1970) speculates, for example, about why nine and ten year olds want to copy. By copying ch i l d r e n want to f i n d out how grown-ups perform ... and perhaps what the culture has in store for them. Marjorie and Brent Wilson (1971) have studied the influence of popular images, derived from media, i n children's art as well as the influence of peers. There are two more general groups of a r t i s t s and art t h e o r i s t s who repeatedly discuss and explain the importance of a r t i s t s as r o l e models. I r o n i c a l l y , both feminist a r t i s t s and ethnic a r t i s t s and educators, most often discuss the nature and importance of a r t i s t s as ro l e models, yet they are two of the groups that have been t r a d i t i o n a l l y denied relevant models i n western a r t h i s t o r y . Judy Chicago (1976), a r t i s t and a r t educator, i n Through the Flower, claims that the serious lack of women a r t i s t s presented by t r a d i t i o n a l a rt h i s t o r y has l e f t women students without h i s t o r i c a l context with which to i d e n t i f y , without relevant r o l e models with which to f i n d personal d i r e c t i o n s , without a language of form on which to b u i l d , and without the self-esteem derived from knowing women can succeed i n the art world. Educators such as Stephen Dobbs (1975) argue that we can not create women models i n art h i s t o r y from a ser i e s of minor women a r t i s t s , but Nochlin and Harris (1979), Tufts (1976) , and Greer (1979) claim there are many valuable and equally important women a r t i s t s of the past who have been excluded from a c u l t u r a l l y and sexually biased art h i s t o r y . They f e e l that these models should be included i n the art we present to students and that the i n s t i t u t i o n a l , s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l obstacles presented to women a r t i s t s 23 of the past and present should also be related to any discu s s i o n of women a r t i s t s . I t would be incorrect^ however ( to conclude from these statements that r o l e modelling i n art i s e n t i r e l y sexually based. The a r t i s t an i n d i v i d u a l admires or chooses as a model i s often p r i m a r i l y based on com p a t i b i l i t y of insigh t s and a shared human f e e l i n g for the exploration of l i n e , color or form. A female student may f i n d t h i s c o m p a t i b i l i t y with a male a r t i s t or a male student with the work of a woman a r t i s t . However, because women a r t i s t s have been neglected i n art h i s t o r y there are l i m i t e d p o s s i b i l i t i e s for i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , p a r t i c u l a r l y for female students. From the ro l e model point of view, t r a d i t i o n a l a rt h i s t o r y t e l l s students that women can't be a r t i s t s , and that a woman's view of r e a l i t y expressed through v i s u a l forms i s not important. Surveys, such as Contemporary Canadian Women A r t i s t s (1980) and studies such as Whitesel's Attitudes of Women Art Students are some of the only works that have researched the e f f e c t s of lack of r o l e models on student behavior. Both works found that female a r t i s t s and students experience a deep sense of i s o l a t i o n , a l i e n a t i o n from c u l t u r a l heritage, poor self-image and low career aspirations due, i n part, to a lack of available female role models in art h i s t o r y education. Eugene Grigsby, J r . (1977), i n Art and Ethnics, speaks out on behalf of Afro-American, Mexican American and Native Indian a r t i s t s . He claims that "the self-image of youth i s based to a large degree upon models seen i n the course of i n t e l l e c t u a l development" (p. 8) . The in c l u s i o n of the good works by a l l c u l t u r a l groups i n society i s a duty, according to Grigsby (1977) , and to ignore t h i s r e s p o n s i b i l i t y i s "to castrate a group and to deny them any knowledge of t h e i r ancestors" (p. 8) . He claims that Clark, in his book C i v i l i z a t i o n , i s biased in h i s singular exclusion of other than European a r t i s t s . Historians such as Sandler (1973) and Sloan (1973), have c a l l e d t h i s approach to a r t h i s t o r y a form of c u l t u r a l imperialism. Nochlin (1979) has c a l l e d i t an a r t of white male dominance which has cut women and m u l t i c u l t u r a l groups o f f from relevant role models that many people can take for granted. Although t h i s survey of t r a d i t i o n a l , feminist and m u l t i c u l t u r a l art education views on the function of r o l e models could be expanded, there are some important implications for art education in the views covered. F i r s t l y , except for related views of the Wilsons, Feldman, C h u r c h i l l and Whitesel mentioned e a r l i e r , there has been l i t t l e thorough mainstream art education research into the existence and functions of r o l e models. M u l t i c u l t u r a l and feminist studies have, however, provided us with some important d i r e c t i o n for further research in t h i s area. Secondly, there seem to be some general sexual and c u l t u r a l biases in the presentation of a r t i s t s and t h e i r work i n general art h i s t o r y education. These d i s t o r t i o n s center around a stereotype view of the a r t i s t as the white, male archetype. In order to determine the v a l i d i t y of the l a s t but most relevant claim, i t i s important to know which a r t i s t s are recommended by i n f l u - e n t i a l educators and l o c a l teachers. The author w i l l review the statements regarding recommended selections of art by seven widely read educators in t h e i r most commonly used texts. The B.C. Art Curriculum (1981) w i l l be examined in the same way for i t s recommendations as w i l l a questionnaire given to ten B.C. Secondary School teachers. 25 Some Biases and D i s t o r t i o n s in Art Education This section w i l l analyze what Eisner (1972), Lansing (1976), Hubbard (1967), McFee (1977), C h u r c h i l l (1970), Chapman (1978) and Horwitz, Luca and Lewis (1973) suggest as appropriate s e l e c t i o n s of a r t to use in art education. Their sel e c t i o n s w i l l be analyzed for c u l t u r a l and sexual bias as well as other d i s t o r t i o n s . Starting with Eisner (1972), we f i n d a number of general statements that acknowledge that teachers provide important models when they s e l e c t examples of student and professional work. He states that, while m u l t i c u l t u r a l models of art are important to provide, they are not r e a d i l y a v a i l a b l e . While h i s general statements seem to indicate awareness of the importance of varied models that r e f l e c t the v a r i e t y of c u l t u r a l groups in our student population, at no time does he suggest ways of finding these important models. At no time does he mention the value in providing models for female students. In one section, Eisner discusses organizing themes for viewing a r t and he suggests the example of images of women. The a r t he suggests, however, as examples of t h i s theme, are a l l works by male a r t i s t s despite the excellent a v a i l a b l e works of women by women such as Cassatt, Valadon and Marisol. Nowhere i n h i s book does he c i t e s p e c i f i c examples of works by women or m u l t i c u l t u r a l a r t i s t s and one i s l e f t puzzling over his i n i t i a l generous statements. Lansing (1975), on the other hand, suggests that teachers should only concentrate on exposing students to the art of professional and well recognized American a r t i s t s because a r t h i s t o r y i s so broad and d i f f i c u l t to cover. He recommends that a representative a r t i s t from each major s t y l e would off e r the best view of our a r t i s t i c heritage. 26 This exposure to a r t , he says, w i l l benefit students' personal develop- ment by "showing them the i r place i n h i s t o r y , showing them the s p i r i t of America and increasing t h e i r confidence" (p. 109). He o f f e r s no examples, however, of women's, black or Native a r t . In terms of the e f f e c t that art appreciation has on a student's v i s u a l expression, Lansing says, great art provides students with "a source of ideas about content, composition and procedure" (p. 109). In addition, i t allows them "to see what has been done and what i s to be done" and "enables them to judge the s i g n i f i c a n c e of t h e i r own work" (p. 109). This statement does indicate awareness of the general function of rol e models. In a general way, Lansing also t a l k s about c u l t u r a l f a c t o r s a f f e c t i n g c r e a t i v i t y and c i t e s Meads' examples of B a l i , Japanese and New Mexico students who di s p l a y d i f f e r e n t c u l t u r a l symbols and character- i s t i c s i n their a rt work. He adds that a r t i s t i c p e r s o n a l i t i e s can only be b u i l t i n a c u l t u r a l environment that values a person's c u l t u r a l c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s , yet, at no point i n h i s book, A r t , A r t i s t and Art Educators, does he suggest that art educators provide s p e c i f i c examples of art from other cultures or of women. Because h i s s p e c i f i c p r e s c r i p - t i o n s for selections of art do not support h i s general statements the reader i s once again l e f t with a c o n t r a d i c t i o n . Guy Hubbard (1967), i n Art in the High School, agrees with Lansing that c h i l d r e n should be exposed pr i m a r i l y to American a r t . He claims that c u l t u r a l l y deprived c h i l d r e n have the lowest respect for our cultu r e and often contribute nothing to the nation or themselves, and that, because of t h i s , they need the most help to adapt. He does not 27 suggest, however, that they be exposed to art works from th e i r own p a r t i c u l a r c u l t u r a l group. C h u r c h i l l (1970), Horowitz, Luca and Lewis (1973), and Chapman (1978) recommend the presentation of m u l t i - c u l t u r a l a r t . Chapman claims that t r a d i t i o n a l notions of America as a c u l t u r a l melting-pot are responsible for educators' emphasis on American a r t . She f e e l s t h i s approach i s detrimental to the a r t i s t i c development of ethnic c h i l d r e n . No part of the a r t i s t i c heritage, she asserts, can have personal meaning for c h i l d r e n unless i t connects with th e i r own l i v e s . She adds that these connections must be made e x p l i c i t . In r e l a t i o n to these s t a t e - ments made in 1978, i t i s notable that i n her book no e x p l i c i t mention i s made of the importance of studying women a r t i s t s and the connections they have to the l i v e s of female students. She does, however, include reproductions of the work of a number of major contemporary women a r t i s t s . McFee, in Art, Culture and Environment, f e e l s that c h i l d r e n should be exposed to the a r t of many cul t u r e s and that c h i l d r e n of ethnic groups i n our culture should bring art objects from home to discuss. She claims that a l l art should be understood i n i t s c u l t u r a l context. Art from the cultures of each c h i l d , she says, w i l l aid in personal development, w i l l help them to "pursue t h e i r i d e n t i t y and understand t h e i r roots" (p. 293) . In addition, i t teaches c h i l d r e n to appreciate ehtnogroups, "respect t h e i r c u l t u r e s " and i t helps them to "understand the d i v e r s i t y of a r t i n the world" (p. 280). Unlike Lansing and Hubbard, McFee recognizes the necessity of including relevant a r t i s t s as ro l e models for a r t i s t i c development and f e e l s i t i s the art educator's r e s p o n s i b i l i t y to provide the kind of a r t 28 which each student can r e l a t e to, depending on h i s c u l t u r e . Of a l l seven views, only McFee explores in any depth the general function of r o l e models. In her a r t i c l e , "Society and Identity," she discusses s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l obstacles to her own development as an art educator and the importance of p o s i t i v e r o l e models for a l l women (in Loeb, 1979). While there i s a general acceptance of the idea that students benefit from exposure to art which i s relevant to them, a number of the seven art educators f a i l to back up t h e i r general statements with s p e c i f i c suggestions which support t h e i r general views. Paulo F r e i r e (1972), in Pedagogy of the Oppressed, may be r e f e r r i n g to t h i s type of approach when he says, "every approach to the oppressed by the e l i t e as a c l a s s , i s couched in the terms of f a l s e generosity" (p. 128). F r i e r e ' s statement i s p a r t i c u l a r l y applicable to the approach of Lansing who on one hand acknowledges the, importance of a relevant c u l t u r a l heritage but, on the other hand, emphasizes the importance of accepted works by American male a r t i s t s . In a questionnaire which the author gave in 1980 to a group of ten B.C. Art Teachers, a si m i l a r c ontradiction appeared i n t h e i r answers. While nine out of ten teachers did agree that a r t i s t s ' l i v e s and work functioned as r o l e models for students, f i v e out of ten teachers mentioned that the stereotype of the a r t i s t ' s personality and r o l e as presented in t h e i r commonly used text books, f i l m and video was that of the white "eccentric," "nonconformist," " i n d i v i d u a l i s t , " "middle c l a s s male." Janet Woolacot (1976), i n S o c i a l Relationships in A r t , examines the v a l i d i t y of t h i s generalization and traces i t s o r i g i n s . From the Renaissance onward, for example, the r o l e of the painter developed s p e c i f i c d e f i n i t i o n s . A r t i s t s gained a 29 reputation for being e c c e n t r i c , wild and subject to great emotional extremes. Freedom, independence and a throwing over of accepted rules and regulations were the c h a r a c t e r i s t i c features of t h i s notion. (p. 15) Georgia C o l l i n s (1979), i n An Androgynous Model for Art Education, claims that t h i s western view of fine a rt and a r t i s t s has created a d e f i n i t i o n of the a r t i s t which has eliminated the c r a f t s person, including many women and m u l t i - c u l t u r a l a r t i s t s who have accepted aesthetic s o c i a l , p o l i t i c a l , p r a c t i c a l function as one i n t e g r a l aspect of t h e i r role and the i r work. The contradiction becomes more clear i n the teacher questionnaire i n which g e n e r a l b e l i e f s were compared to s p e c i f i c p r e s c r i p t i o n s concerning a r t i s t r o l e models. In a question which asked, "What sel e c t i o n s of work do you present to students or have a v a i l a b l e i n your c l a s s ? " most teachers answered with statements l i k e : " s e l e c t i o n s from the whole of art h i s t o r y , " "Canadian and European a r t i s t s , " " C l a s s i c and modern a r t i s t s , " "as i n c l u s i v e as possible," and "everything a v a i l a b l e . " Such statements indicate that teachers t r y to use a representative s e l e c t i o n of role models which would be relevant to a l l students. However, when I l a t e r asked for "a l i s t of 15 a r t i s t s whom you most often show and discuss with your c l a s s , " Emily Carr was the only woman mentioned (and only once) and there were no Eskimo, Native Indian, Afro-American, Mexican American, Or i e n t a l or Indian a r t i s t s mentioned. F i n a l l y , i n a survey of the new (rough draft) B.C. Art Curriculum Guide (1980), there are no s p e c i f i c recommendations i n either h i s t o r i c a l or c r i t i c a l guidelines to include m u l t i - c u l t u r a l or women's a r t . Of the dozens of a r t i s t s which are suggested as examples of p a r t i c u l a r h i s t o r - i c a l and aesthetic concepts, only one woman a r t i s t and no m u l t i c u l t u r a l non-white a r t i s t s were mentioned. 30 The implications for art education of the general lack of under- standing of the function of ro l e models and the biases concerning s e l e c t i o n of art are important to consider i f art educators are to o f f e r equal access to aesthetic and a r t i s t i c experience. Summary and Implications From an analysis of statements by s o c i o l o g i s t s , a r t i s t s and art educators, a number of conclusions and t h e i r implications can be formulated. While many more views are relevant to t h i s d i s c u s s i o n , t h i s s e l e c t i o n does serve as a guide through which to focus on some of the most gl a r i n g d i s t o r t i o n s inherent i n the function and s e l e c t i o n of r o l e models in art education today. 1 . The statements of a r t i s t s and s o c i o l o g i s t s indicate that r o l e models provide a number of major functions for the a r t i s t or a r t student. They provide support, s e l f - i d e n t i t y and a l i n k to an a r t i s t i c heritage. Role models also provide a "language of form"—the s t y l i s t i c and formal art elements upon which to b u i l d understanding i n a r t . Without a language of form p u p i l s are required to invent the h i s t o r y of art over and over again i n both the i r a r t i s t i c expression and aesthetic response. When connections can not be made between students' work and that of others, he/she loses i n t e r e s t i n an a r t i s t i c heritage and acquires an a - h i s t o r i c a l perspective of l i f e and a r t . 2. Art educators, on the whole, do -not r e a l i z e the importance,- or f u l l y understand the function of a r t i s t r o l e models as they a f f e c t students and as they a f f e c t curriculum development. A c o n f l i c t e x i s t s between psychological d e f i n i t i o n s of c r e a t i v i t y and the 31 notion that a l l a rt i s based on e a r l i e r works of a r t . More study and research are needed in t h i s area to determine how ro l e models a f f e c t the development of sexual and c u l t u r a l i d e n t i t y , a e s t h e t i c l i t e r a c y and self-esteem. The concern about relevant r o l e models i s , of course, more prevalent amongst groups that have been deprived of them. 3. A con t r a d i c t i o n e x i s t s between general b e l i e f s about providing a broad and relevant range of r o l e models and s p e c i f i c p r e s c r i p t i o n s that are given. If the l a t t e r were accepted as a statement about which r o l e models were adhered to by most art educators, i t i s obvious that t h i s model follows a stereotype which represents only 25%-40% of our population. White, western, male f i n e a r t i s t s appear to be the most commonly accepted r o l e models. With the exception of very general statements by Lanier, McFee, Chapman, Feldman and Lewis, et a l . , few t r a d i t i o n a l a r t educators recommend the i n c l u s i o n of women a r t i s t s . Because the a r t i s t r o l e model plays an important function for students and has profound a f f e c t s upon the i r a b i l i t y to connect to an a r t i s t i c heritage and bu i l d upon i t in thei r own art expression, i t i s important that art educators re-examine the range of a r t i s t s and a r t works that they present to students. As Chapman (1978) suggested, the connections of a r t i s t i c heritage to students' l i v e s must not only have personal meaning but must be made e x p l i c i t . One way of providing broader connections i s by introducing the l i v e s and works of both women and men a r t i s t s within a h i s t o r i c a l context. In t h i s way, ar t educators can provide students with a view of the a r t i s t free of stereotypes. "Then a new generation of students w i l l be educated toward understanding and appreciating a rt created by a l l members of society" (Zimmerman, 1981, p. 5). The importance of providing a broad range of art and ro l e models i s only one perspective from which to view the issues concerning art by women i n art education. Important issues such as h i s t o r i c a l and c r i t i c a l p r a c t i c e s , i n s t i t u t i o n a l obstacles and the question of a female s e n s i b i l i t y are other areas which are relevant to art h i s t o r y and important to students i n the i r understanding of our a r t i s t i c heritage. In a very recent book by Edmund Feldman, The A r t i s t (1982), the author has attempted to enlarge our perspective of art h i s t o r y by including a chapter on women a r t i s t s and describing the h i s t o r i c a l conditions that affected her achievement. Although t h i s chapter lacks depth and i s too b r i e f to provide a model for curriculum r e v i s i o n , i t i s commendable and indicates a growing awareness amongst art educators of the importance of women a r t i s t s to our c u l t u r a l heritage. Although few art educators have addressed the need for a h i s t o r i c a l i n q u i r y into a rt by women i n secondary art programs, a model for aesthetic education has been developed i n art education which i s suited to an in-depth study of women a r t i s t s . Given the recent emphasis on the h i s t o r i c a l and c r i t i c a l dimensions of aesthetic education the time i s ri p e to expand the focus of t h i s model not ju s t to the vernacular, f o l k and popular arts but also to the art of women. 33 CHAPTER III A FRAMEWORK FOR THE STUDY OF WOMEN ARTISTS Aesthetic Education — Major Considerations A valuable body of knowledge concerning the l i v e s , work and h i s t o r i c a l context of women a r t i s t s , has been developed through recent research i n the areas of feminist art h i s t o r y and ar t c r i t i c i s m . If a r t educators are going to provide a relevant and meaningful a r t i s t i c heritage for secondary school students t h i s material must be integrated into art c u r r i c u l a . A e s t h e t i c e d u c a t i o n can p r o v i d e the g o a l s and methodologies necessary for the integration of women a r t i s t s into art c u r r i c u l a . An examination of the recent writings by Edmund B. Feldman (1980) and Vincent Lanier (1980, 1981) on aesthetic and v i s u a l l i t e r a c y w i l l reveal ways that a study of women a r t i s t s can be integrated into and contribute to the main goals of aesthetic education. The c e n t r a l conception and purpose of aesthetic education grew out of a disenchantment with the purely studio and production oriented approaches to art education which had dominated the f i e l d for several decades. In the 1960"s more r a d i c a l a rt educators began to question c r e a t i v e s e l f expression as the ce n t r a l purpose of ar t education. The sole pattern of art education, they claimed, was based e n t i r e l y on the behavioral model of the a r t i s t and had ignored the models of a r t h i s t o r i a n and c r i t i c . Barkan (1966) suggested that c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l modes of enquiry were e s s e n t i a l for the development of perceptual s k i l l s and aesthetic c r i t e r i a both for v i s u a l d i s c r i m i n a t i o n 34 and' c r e a t i v e expression. He proposed that a new construct for a r t education be expanded to include the triumvirate model of the a r t i s t , the art h i s t o r i a n and the art c r i t i c . "The c e n t r a l idea and conception of purpose in t h i s new d i r e c t i o n could be i d e n t i f i e d by the term 'aesthetic education'" (Lanier, 1980, p. 19). Aesthetic education, unlike past studio and production oriented approaches to art education, focuses primary attention on how we respond to v i s u a l images rather than only on a r t i s t i c expression. Feldman (1980) sees the importance of teaching the language of v i s i o n to students not only through d i r e c t performance but also through inqu i r y into the function and meaning of a broad range of v i s u a l forms. It w i l l be necessary to learn strategies of s e e i n g — s t r a t e g i e s which e n t a i l a l l sorts of i n q u i r i e s , discourse and inference of l i v i n g , making, using and valuing that p a r t i c u l a r art objects require or suggest. In other words, teachers w i l l have to le a r n to teach by examining works of art together with t h e i r pupils—works of art that were made outside the classroom. (Feldman, 1980, p. 9) Lanier (1980) c l a r i f i e s the goal of t h i s new d i r e c t i o n i d e n t i f i e d as aesthetic education. He suggests that, "The purpose of art teaching i s the l i t e r a t e c i t i z e n , one who i s a f f e c t i o n a t e l y knowledgeable about a l l the v i s u a l arts of the past and the present and of other cultures and" our own, and how these arts can be dealt with" (p. 19) . The l i t e r a t e student, he suggests, i s one who i s not just e f f i c i e n t i n h i s perception of v i s u a l images but has a "strong background in a wide,range of v i s u a l documents. In short, the proper single purpose of a r t education should be aesthetic l i t e r a c y " (p. 19). Because aesthetic l i t e r a c y requires primary attention on the aesthetic response or a e s t h e t i c e x p e r i e n c e , new understandings were needed concerning the nature of t h i s response. Langer (1953) began by remind- ing us that response to v i s u a l form i s not only a natural behavior for most people but that i t i s the necessary means for completing the process of the expressive symbol. Without response, the expressive symbol e x i s t s in a vacuum and holds no meaning. Mary Erickson (1979) states t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p between art object and beholder in another way. "The aesthetic experience ... comes into existence only when an aesthe- t i c a l l y worthwhile object i s perceived a e s t h e t i c a l l y by a subject" (p. 81). Lanier (1980) places the aesthetic experience within the context of the classroom and r e l a t e s i t to the c e n t r a l i s s u e — o u r students and the c e n t r a l g o a l — a e s t h e t i c l i t e r a c y . He suggests that: ... aesthetic l i t e r a c y ... involves the c r i t i c a l study of questions and problems of aesthetic theory, to the extent that they can be s i m p l i f i e d arid made i n t e l l i g i b l e to the age and grade l e v e l of the p u p i l s . Aesthetic l i t e r a c y would focus primary attention on how we respond to works of art or other t a e s t h e t i c a l l y evocative s t i m u l i rather than on the character and q u a l i t i e s of the objects themselves. (Lanier, 1980, p. 20) Not only i s c r i t i c a l response to v i s u a l forms a fundamental part of art and aesthetic experiencing, but i t i s also a necessary means to independent throught in an increasingly v i s u a l world. Feldman (1976) contends that the i n d i v i d u a l who can not understand v i s u a l images has no c o n t r o l over how they a f f e c t her/him. The danger for the h a l f l i t e r a t e person i s h i s defencelessness and openness to manipulation by the persuasive images and hidden messages in a l l kinds of v i s u a l imagery. According to Feldman, the p a r t i a l l y l i t e r a t e student i s also deprived of the tools for the understanding of deep truths and meanings which a more c r i t i c a l perception could discover. I f , then, we accept the r e s p o n s i b i l i t i e s of v i s u a l l i t e r a c y we must teach our students to 36 analyze and understand a v a r i e t y of images which confront them i n a wide range of popular, f o l k and fine art objects made by both men and women. The goals of aesthetic education provide the framework for the meaningful study of art by women by secondary school students. Because aesthetic education stresses and describes the value of knowledge i n a wide range of v i s u a l documents, the way has been paved for a study of ar t by women. While art by women has been neglected by t r a d i t i o n a l studio or art h i s t o r i c a l approaches t we can now begin to see i t s r e l e - vance to a comprehensive aesthetic l i t e r a c y . A c r i t i c a l ^approach to inquiry into a r t made by women, allows students to develop s k i l l s and knowledge about v i s u a l forms created by that h a l f of our population previously ignored i n t r a d i t i o n a l a rt h i s t o r i c a l approaches. Through writings i n aesthetic education we can see how a c r i t i c a l understanding of v i s u a l forms by women as well as men i s a necessary means to indepen- dent thought i n an increasingly v i s u a l world. Strategies of seeing and inquiry into art by women would g r e a t l y benefit from discourse concern- ing study of the i r l i v e s , conditions for production, the function and the value of the i r a rt at d i f f e r e n t times i n d i f f e r e n t periods. In order to make the study of questions and problems of aesthetic theory i n t e l l i g i b l e and relevant to a l l the students we teach, aesthetic l i t e r a c y would involve the a c q u i s i t i o n of s k i l l s and knowledge about the unique contributions and unique conditions faced by women a r t i s t s through the ages. C r i t i c a l and H i s t o r i c a l Methods - •" The need for v i s u a l l i t e r a c y and c r i t i c a l perception of art by women can not be separated from the goals of aesthetic education and i t s \ 37 importance can not be denied, but how do we achieve t h i s goal? The c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l methods discussed i n the writings of aesthetic education can d i r e c t us to t h i s end. C r i t i c i s m or the c r i t i c a l method, seen as a way of asking questions about v i s u a l objects, can be applied to the study of women a r t i s t s . The teacher's job, according to Feldman (1980), i s one of d i r e c t i n g and ordering the v i s u a l experience and verbal response. In Becoming Human Through Art (1970) he describes a four-staged c r i t i c a l method appropri- ate for students i n t h i s s t u d y — d e s c r i p t i o n , formal a n a l y s i s , i n t e r p r e - t a t i o n and evaluation. Through t h i s method students would be direc t e d from the obvious to the more complex aspects of an image and would a r r i v e at a judgement or evaluation. They would f i r s t i d e n t i f y obvious v i s u a l objects in the work; secondly, i d e n t i f y the r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the formal elements and contextual f a c t o r s ; t h i r d l y , f i n d meaning i n these forms; and, f i n a l l y , would evaluate the work in the context of other works. The obvious advantage of t h i s c r i t i c a l method i s that students would be allowed to evaluate a work by a woman a r t i s t — n o t according to some pre-determined standard b u t — o n l y after t h e i r own in-depth under- standing of the work in i t s context. Dorn (1981) sees that t h i s method "allows us to suspend evaluation of the object i n view u n t i l we have had a chance to inte r a c t with the object, i t s context and i t s background" (p. 12). Lanier (1981) suggests, i n a discussion of h i s valuation theory, that the c r i t i c a l method can be a way of prizing' i n which" the appreciation of a new aesthetic object can become the goal rather than the ranking of i t against t r a d i t i o n a l standards. J 38 Feldman's c r i t i c a l method enables art by women to be appreciated i n * i t s own context. In comparison, the t r a d i t i o n a l c r i t i c a l method suggested by Osborne (1976) and Broudy (1974), would reduce art by women to a l e v e l of i n s i g n i f i c a n c e by ranking i t against standards of t r a d i - t i o n a l art which do not apply. P r i z i n g , according to Osborne (1976) and Broudy (1974), would e n t a i l the judgement of works of a r t by ranking them against a r t i f a c t s "honored through the t e s t of time." Osborne (1976) suggests that the monuments of Western (male) a r t serve as the key exemplars and that these works e s t a b l i s h "a new standard of ap- p r a i s a l for future work" (p. 39). While Feldman's method allows students to f i n d meaning and understanding of art expression by women a f t e r prolonged study and i n q u i r y , the t r a d i t i o n a l method f o r c e s students to apply standards established i n art h i s t o r y which have served to negate almost a l l art by women. This premature closure would prevent students from appreciating art by women in i t s own r i g h t . Art h i s t o r i a n s and c r i t i c s such as Lippard, Raven and Nochlin speak of the danger of t h i s r e d u c t i o n i s t approach to c r i t i c i s m . They describe how t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l approach has not only furthered misinterpretation of art by women but, i n many cases, has removed i t from t r a d i t i o n a l a r t h i s t o r y . Arlene Raven (1973) describes how i t has operated: She (woman) has not pa r t i c i p a t e d i n the mainstream of the (male) c u l t u r e , and the culture does not operate from her perspective. Her contribution has neither spoken to nor been understood by that system, and the content of her art has been bypassed by interp r e t a t i o n s which could not reveal i t . (pp. 14-20). Lucy Lippard (1976) speaks of her reasons for attempting to broaden the accepted t r a d i t i o n of a formalist art c r i t i c i s m which has bypassed the art of women to a new feminist 1 c r i t i c i s m which i s more capable of i t s i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Although she acknowledges the objective human 39 c r i t e r i a by which we judge art by women and men, she has developed a c r i t i c a l method which allows for more personal and l y r i c a l i n t e r p r e t a - tions of a r t , gives more attention to values, meanings and p o l i t i c a l content, allows for a discussion of h i s t o r i c a l context and bridges the hierarchi e s of a r t / c r a f t and male/female which have tended to devalue women a r t i s t s . Because of i t s f l e x i b i l i t y , L i p p a r d ' s method harmonizes with aspects of Feldman's c r i t i c a l method. While Feldman provides organiza- t i o n to the sequence of our questions he does not, however, f u l l y appreciate the p a r t i c u l a r issues and questions which are relevant to a study of art women. It i s then to the f i e l d of feminist Art History and Art C r i t i c i s m that we must begin to look for the major issues concerning women a r t i s t s . Lanier (1981) describes a general i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y approach which w i l l be used i n t h i s t h e s i s to open up layers of meaning found i n a r t forms by women. He says that questions "can be approached by a dialogue curriculum, which would allow teachers and pupils to b u i l d a base of knowledge about a l l the v i s u a l a r t s , both vernacular and f i n e , from a l l the d i s c i p l i n a r y viewpoints" (p. 20) . The d i s c i p l i n a r y viewpoints most relevant to t h i s study are Art C r i t i c i s m , Art History, Philosophy, Sociology, Feminist Studies and Psychology. The knowledge of art h i s t o r y i s i n t e g r a l to an i n t e l l i g e n t approach to art c r i t i c i s m . Lanier (1981) suggests that "the h i s t o r y of an object i n many of i t s ramifications contributes to the meaning, and thus to the p o t e n t i a l , for response that object has for the viewer" (p. 7) . The a r t i s t and a r t i s t i c production takes place i n a s o c i o / c u l t u r a l context and an understanding of art h i s t o r y includes knowledge about the s o c i a l , c u l t u r a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l conditions that a f f e c t production. In a discussion of Rosa Bonheur, for example, we can enlarge our understand- ing of "Horse F a i r " when we become aware of the context of her l i f e i n a s t r i c t V i c t o r i a n society. The fact that she was a member of the Saint Simoneons, who believed in the complete equality of men and women, helps us to understand the o r i g i n s of her unique a t t i t u d e , her willingness to break conventions and her freedom to study i n slaughterhouses the anatomy of animals. With the support of a l i b e r a t e d father we can understand how she broke the t r a d i t i o n of women as p o r t r a i t and s t i l l l i f e painters and entered the pretigious f i e l d of h i s t o r y and narrative p a i n t i n g . Without a broad h i s t o r i c a l perspective and the understanding of - h i s t o r i c a l and s o c i a l context, "the view i s l i m i t e d to negotiation of formal q u a l i t i e s and obvious content" (Lanier, 1981, p. 8) . Art h i s t o r y i s p a r t i c u l a r l y valuable to a study of women a r t i s t s when i t i s gained from current writings i n feminist art h i s t o r y . Either women a r t i s t s ' accomplishments have been e n t i r e l y l o s t or they have been misinterpreted i n t r a d i t i o n a l h i s t o r i c a l accounts. While both Pli n y and Vasari wrote about Renaissance a r t i s t s l i k e S o f i n i s b a Anguissola without resoring to stereotypes, the accounts are very b r i e f and have been overlooked by some contemporary h i s t o r i a n s . In the few t r a d i t i o n a l books on women a r t i s t s such as Sparrow's Women Painters of the World, much of the commentary i s directed towards the a r t i s t ' s appearance, personality and morals and, therefore, loses i t s aesthetic value. As t h i s t h e s i s w i l l show i n Chapter IV, these t r a d i t i o n a l h i s t o r i c a l accounts are also often marred, by sexual biases and stereotyping which tends to demean the woman a r t i s t and d i s t o r t the value of her work. 41 Feminist and non-biased h i s t o r i c a l works by Nochlin and Harris (1976), Tufts (1974), Fine (1978), and Greer (1979) account for educa- t i o n a l , s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l factors which o f f e r i n s i g h t into the t r a d i t i o n of women who have created a r t . By viewing art by women in the context of th e i r h i s t o r y we can see how t h e i r perceptions have been b u i l t upon a language of form developed through time and, also, how these perceptions and expressions have been affected by i n s t i t u t i o n a l conditions. Unlike t r a d i t i o n a l approaches to art historiography which concentrates on s t y l e alone, feminist a rt h i s t o r y maintains that a r t must be seen i n h i s t o r i c a l context. P a r t i c u l a r l y i n Nochlin and Harris Women A r t i s t s 1550-1950 we see a balance on aesthetic as well as s o c i a l c u l t u r a l f a c t o r s . We see that: Individual commentaries consider the work of each a r t i s t i n the context of her time, t e l l the story of her l i f e , often quoting from l e t t e r s , journals and the memoirs of contemporaries, and discusses not only the techniques and p r i n c i p l e s of her ar t but also the conditions and expectations that fostered or i n h i b i t e d her development. (Nochlin and Harris, 1979, cover) As we move into a study of women a r t i s t s i n the twentieth century, we can understand art by women more i n terms of i t s dynamic i n t e r r e l a - t i o n s h i p with mainstream and avant-garde movements (Sondheim, 1977). Less constrained by s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l conditions, contemporary women a r t i s t s have begun to produce art with some of the same advantages as male colleagues and have begun to influence major movements in a r t . The question of influence, which has fascinated a r t h i s t o r i a n s for centuries, viewed within a feminist perspective may provide meaningful questions. An in t e r e s t i n g question of influence, derived from feminist art h i s t o r y might ask, not only how women a r t i s t s have been influenced by the world around them but also how they have influenced i t . This i n v e s t i g a t i o n could be p a r t i c u l a r l y f r u i t f u l among a r t i s t s married to 42 each other l i k e Sonia and Robert Delaunnay, Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, or Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson. Sociology, Philosophy, Women's Studies Sociology i s another academic f i e l d which helps us to understand the r e l a t i o n s h i p between the arts by women and other aspects of s o c i a l l i f e . Janet Woolf (1981), i n The Relevance of Sociology to Aesthetic Education, suggests that, The best kind of sociology would investigate the s o c i a l process of the production and also the reception of works of a r t , but without resorting to crude empiricism or to abstract theor- i z i n g . In other words, i t would be concerned with a r t i s t s and what they do and with mediators and other p r a c t i t i o n e r s , and not merely theorizing about a r t as ideology. (p. 77) A s o c i o l o g i c a l perspective of a r t by women helps us to uncover questions concerning the ro l e of the woman a r t i s t . Sociology can provide us with questions about s o c i a l , economic, educational and c r i t i c a l factors which determine the role she has played i n various time periods. An examination of women a r t i s t s ' educational conditions, for example, shows why they were l i m i t e d to a few genres and why they were often dismissed as amateurs. Hist o r i a n s Nochlin (1976) and Greer (1979), for example, illuminate s e v e r a l important e d u c a t i o n a l l i m i t a t i o n s on women a r t i s t s which remained unchanged u n t i l the 19th century. F i r s t l y , most women a r t i s t s were daughters of a r t i s t s , married to a r t i s t s and were often trained by a male r e l a t i v e . Discouraged from entering the workshop of a master, and prevented from entering the great academies i n France and England, women ̂ had no other access to art t r a i n i n g . Dependency and obedience demanded by t h i s family t r a i n i n g often o b l i t e r a t e d women's sense of freedom which provides the conditions for true c r e a t i v e expression. Women often served as models and helpers i n fathers' or husbands' studios and wer denied the p a r t i c i p a t i o n i n some aspects of c u l t u r e . Women, u n t i l the 19th century, were also denied access to l i f e drawing c l a s s e s — d u r i n g a period when the most esteemed genres of art depended, to a large extent, upon the a b i l i t y to depict the human nude convinc- i n g l y . This condition would be p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant i n a discussion of 17th and 18th century flower painting on p o r t r a i t u r e . This important f a c t helps us to explain why women worked so often i n these "minor" genres and so r a r e l y i n the more esteemed forms of r e l i g i o u s and h i s t o r i c a l p a inting. A s o c i o l o g i c a l inquiry into art by women can also give insight into the ways gender i s a var i a b l e i n both art production and response to a r t . While Chalmers (1977) has studied d i f f e r e n c e s i n the aesthetic preferences of men and women, Feinberg (1977) has discovered the ways boys as opposed to g i r l s depict c e r t a i n themes i n a r t . More work must be done to determine whether these di f f e r e n c e s are due to s o c i a l i z a t i o n or to innate b i o l o g i c a l d i f f e r e n c e s . At any rate, the hotly debated issue of a "feminine s e n s i b i l i t y " i n art i s one that deserves attention i n any discussion of art by women (Lippard, 1976). The more complex/ aspects of t h i s issue deserve lengthy discussion in the next chapter. In Women's Studies courses (Loeb, Gellman and Fine, 1978) we see that a s o c i o l o g i c a l feminist inquiry into the image of women i n a r t h i s t o r y also r a i s e s our consciousness about how images can serve to rei n f o r c e or change the s o c i a l r o l e s of women. By comparing, for example, the images of women by a r t i s t s such as Kathe K o l l w i t z , N i k i de Saint Phalle, Marisol, Audrey Flack, to the images of women by male 44 a r t i s t s such as de Kooning, Picasso, Roualt and Rosenquist, we can see some diff e r e n c e s i n women's and men's views of female i d e n t i t y . Janeway (1974) suggests that male projections of fantasy into a female image have often acted as negative stereotypes. She says: Perceptive men have spoken for centuries of the mysterious woman, the female enigma, hiding her inner q u a l i t i e s from the world. Upon t h i s blank space, t h i s turned-away face of the s e l f , they have projected th e i r desires and fancies, time out of mind. F e r t i l i t y f e t i s h from the caves of the Stone Age, v i r g i n goddess, a l l - g i v i n g mother, demoniac maenad, s y b i l l i n e prophetess, malign witch, angel i n the house, golden-hearted whore, we have been a l l these things and more. A s o c i o l o g i c a l feminist perspective can a s s i s t students i n ques- t i o n i n g and challenging the id e a l i z e d or o b j e c t i f i e d images of women. It can help her/him understand the meanings of the images of women by women a r t i s t s and how women have also been portrayed as competent, active and talented people. As female students are exposed to the more r e a l images of woman as a r t i s t , worker, mother and s o c i a l a c t i v i s t , she w i l l be l e s s l i k e l y to i n t e r n a l i z e a l i m i t e d self-image and w i l l be more i n c l i n e d to develop broader aspirations for he r s e l f as a mature adult. F i n a l l y , through r e a d i n g s i n f e m i n i s t t h e o r y by w r i t e r s such as Shulamith Firestone, a broader understanding may be gained about the hi s t o r y of women's role and the p o l i t i c a l reasons for change. While Art History and Sociology provide h i s t o r i c a l depth and aesthetic meaning to our response, Philosophy can extend t h i s knowledge to universal ideas and d i r e c t i o n s for our future. Through the p h i l o - sophic writings of Ernst Cassirer (1944), Susanne Langer (1953), E r i c h Neumann (1963) and F r i t o f Capra (1980), we can fi n d meanings which connect art forms to large ideas and world views. The Berkeley physi- c i s t and philosopher, Capra (1981), for example, i n his recent book The Turning Point, speaks of a c u l t u r a l transformation occurring i n our society which was inspired by the s o c i a l feminist and e c o l o g i c a l movements of the 1960's and 1970's. It i s possible to i n t u i t i n the works of recent environmental a r t i s t s a synthesis of what Capra c a l l s a systems view that i s e c o l o g i c a l , s p i r i t u a l and feminist i n i t s essence. Through the philosophic writings of Capra and others we can extend, the meanings revealed i n contemporary a r t by women into Ideas of c u l t u r a l transformation and i d e o l o g i c a l change i n Western Society. A search for these larger meanings i n art enables us to comprehend how art r e l a t e s to other d i s c i p l i n e s and to culture as a whole. The c r i t i c a l method as described by Feldman and Lanier allows for questioning i n a wide range of d i s c i p l i n e s . The knowledge gained from t h i s inquiry allows us an understanding of how and why we place aesthe- t i c value on art made by women. The questions we ask and the knowledge we gain from t h i s inquiry can be organized into curriculum materials that are useful i n the secondary school. The materials to be presented i n Chapters IV, V, and VI may be described as curriculum content rather than a curriculum model. This curriculum content provides a base of knowledge which must be adapted by a teacher through methodologies suited to a p a r t i c u l a r school s i t u a t i o n . Design of the Study — Elements and Components The content of t h i s t hesis i s also concerned with components t h a t t make up what Berleant (1970) terms the "aesthetic f i e l d " (p. 49). Some aspects of content developed i n t h i s t hesis can be described within the framework of aesthetic education outlined by Lanier (1981) in Popular- i z a t i o n Without M i s r e p r e s e n t a t i o n : Curriculum Content for Aesthetic L i t e r a c y . The elements described by Lanier which are important to t h i s study are the object, the h i s t o r y (or the s o c i a l environment i n which both object and viewer developed and presently operate), and the viewer. These elements provide a structure for the content of t h i s t hesis as i t re l a t e s to the goals of aesthetic education. An understanding of these components as they are defined by proponents of aesthetic education,can provide a useful framework for the important themes, understandings and meanings relevant to a study of contemporary women a r t i s t s . The object i s the most obvious consideration in terms of content and Lanier and Feldman o f f e r several relevant theories on what c o n s t i - tutes a defensible s e l e c t i o n of a r t objects and what should be con- sidered in the i r viewing. These w i l l a s s i s t us in our s e l e c t i o n s i of women a r t i s t s for consideration. Feldman (1980) suggests that our s e l e c t i o n of objects for inquiry not be l i m i t e d to those that serve only aesthetic functions. He proposes that "the so-called a rt by 'geniuses' ... represents a very small proportion of the t o t a l aesthetic production, and that t h i s approach to human c r e a t i v i t y ignores the magical, u t i l i t a r i a n , r e l i g - ious, p o l i t i c a l and i n d u s t r i a l functions of a r t , e s p e c i a l l y i n non- Western cu l t u r e s " (p. 88) . The concept of genius also ignores the s o c i e t a l determinants of c r e a t i v i t y and treats i t as an innate g i f t of a few rare i n d i v i d u a l s . Elizabeth Janeway (1974) agrees with Feldman and suggests that, i n the fol k arts by women, for example, we fi n d c r e a t i v i - ty which, i f conditions had been d i f f e r e n t , might have been dire c t e d to the more prestigious areas of painting and sculpture. She says: C r e a t i v i t y i s not r e a l l y a rare g i f t ... i t i s present not just i n the high a r t s of music and drama and dance and l i t e r a t u r e and painting and sculpture; i t i s present i n f o l k a rt too. The q u i l t s our great-grandmothers made, the k n i t t i n g patterns they 47 adapted, the embroidery with which they enlivened simple t r a d i - t i o n a l s t y l e s of c l o t h i n g , were a l l products of c r e a t i v i t y . So were fol k songs and work songs and country dances, weaving and pottery making, and a l l the c r a f t s that were i n e a r l i e r days a necessary part of l i f e . (p. 14) Feldman and Janeway would seem to suggest that i n a study of ar t by women, the functional and i n d u s t r i a l arts by women should not be overlooked even though they may not require the same type of accomplish- ment demanded by the sculpture and painting of fi n e a r t i s t s . While the author i s in whole-hearted agreement with t h i s concept, t h i s t h e s i s i s not capable of discussing a l l the art d i s c r i m i n a t e l y categorized i n the past as "minor a r t s . " What w i l l become an important consideration of t h i s t h e s i s , however, w i l l be the many art forms which employ the use of non - t r a d i t i o n a l c r a f t s for s o c i a l and aesthetic functions. The break- down of the a r t / c r a f t hierarchy i n much of the contemporary art by women, i s a major aspect of contemporary art and has important implica- tions for student response and art expression. Notable c r i t i c Lawrence Alloway (1970), i n Women's Art i n the 70's, describes how the functional a r t s of women have contributed to a new d i r e c t i o n i n contemporary a r t . Cra f t techniques such as sewing, weaving and knotting f i b r e s ... i n broad use among men and women, at present can be pro- grammatically associated with women because of t h e i r t r a d i - t i o n a l domestic appreciation. Many women working with these means do construe a kinship with th e i r female ancestors or with t h i r d world women—that i s with women in whose l i v e s these operations r e a l l y are (or were) fundamental. If today there i s a female penchant for c r a f t s , i t would seem to be on t h i s conscious basis, as an iconography i n which process acts s i g - n i f i c a n t l y , not because there i s an i n s t i n c t i v e female urge to c r a f t . Aesthetics of art and the operations of c r a f t have overlapped so a common base of work, accessible to men or women, i s apparent. (p. 71) Theories concerning a defensible s e l e c t i o n of objects for aesthetic inquiry include a l l the v i s u a l arts forms. Lanier (1980), i n a discus- sion of students' every-day contact with the popular arts contends that, 48 "as a r t teachers, we owe i t to them to enlarge the content (from f o l k a r t s , popular arts and vernacular arts) to include the fi n e arts as well" (p. 17) . The sculpture, painting, graphic and multimedia a r t by women help us to understand a broad range of expressive forms which reveal f e e l i n g s and truths about ourselves and about nature, cu l t u r e and environment. If we adopt Langer's (1957) view, we can see the importance of examining t the deep meanings i n the art of women. She says: A r t i s t i c form i s congruent with dynamic forces of our d i r e c t sensuous, mental and emotional l i f e : and that works of ar t are projections of " f e l t l i f e " as Henry James c a l l e d i t , into s p a t i a l , temporal and poetic structures. (p. 174) Art works by women have much to say about the " f e l t l i f e " — t h e sensuous, mental and emotional experience of women at various points i n time. Their meanings are e s s e n t i a l to a h o l i s t i c view of c u l t u r e . The scope of t h i s thesis w i l l be l i m i t e d to v i s u a l a r t s by women in the twentieth century. There are a number of reasons for t h i s d e c i s i o n . F i r s t l y , a comprehensive study of contemporary women a r t i s t s i s not available for use in the secondary art program while h i s t o r i c a l surveys of women a r t i s t s i n e a r l i e r periods are. Secondly, as i n s t i t u t i o n a l l i m i t a t i o n s have lessened i n the twentieth century, women a r t i s t s have had an increasingly important impact on the d i r e c t i o n of modern art and culture as a whole. F i n a l l y , the themes that are c e n t r a l to a study of contemporary a r t by women are congruent with some major i n t e r e s t s and needs of students at the secondary l e v e l . The three inter-connected and open-ended themes which have emerged from t h i s author's research into contempoary women a r t i s t s w i l l be developed i n the chapters which follow. Taken together they w i l l show how woman's emerging sense of i d e n t i f y through a struggle for s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n i n a r t i s t i c expression has begun to l i b e r a t e her from the confines of l i m i t e d roles and an unexplored s e l f . From an exploration of s e l f - i d e n t i t y women a r t i s t s have moved into new dynamic r e l a t i o n s h i p s to nature, c u l t u r e , p o l i t i c s and environment. Giving v i s u a l form and expression to these r e l a t i o n s h i p s , women a r t i s t s have become leaders of a new s o c i a l l y and a e s t h e t i c a l l y relevant a r t . F i n a l l y , t h e i r art i s at the heart of a far-reaching c u l t u r a l transformation. The three themes which organize the body of t h i s t h e s i s are c e n t r a l to the int e r e s t s and concerns of students at the secondary school l e v e l . As Feldman (1980) suggests, the c r i t e r i o n for a defensible s e l e c t i o n of art for study "ought to be influenced by some theory about what i n t e r - ests h i s or her pup i l s ; what chi l d r e n need to know; what they are not l i k e l y to see elsewhere; what they can understand and respond to" (p. 19).- Chapman (1978), i n her book Approaches to A r t , provides us with a useful theory or set of guidelines concerning viewer i n t e r e s t s and needs at the mid-adolescent age l e v e l . She suggests that two concerns are c e n t r a l to adolescents. In her f i r s t point, she reminds us that secondary school students are p a r t i c u l a r l y interested i n the i r sexual and s o c i a l roles and the i r emerging s e l f - i d e n t i t y . The second major concern n a t u r a l l y evolves around "the adolescent's consciousnes of the l i n k between career status education and money" (p. 215). Vocational choice i s then a major concern for the secondary school student. Chapman suggests that teachers should become more aware of those images in art that have the p o t e n t i a l for making a v i t a l connection with these s o c i a l , economic and vocational concerns of the adolescent. Further, 50 she sees that the teacher must help the student see, f e e l and think about the connections. The s e l e c t i o n of each of the three themes—the r o l e of women a r t i s t s , the struggle for s e l f i d e n t i t y and the movement through abstraction towards nature, environment and culture r e l a t e to viewer concerns on many l e v e l s . An exploration of the ro l e of women a r t i s t s and the conditions that have oppressed them are very relevant to what students should know about sexual r o l e s . As Lanier sta t e s , "youth should learn to be l i t e r a t e above a l l about those v i s u a l documents which explore the conditions and reasons for t h e i r s o c i a l oppression" (p. 19) . Through the i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y i n q u i r y into the image of women in contempoary a r t , students can learn how stereotyped images help to define r o l e s and reinforce the oppression of women. Through a study of images of women by women, students can appreciate other women's and th e i r own struggle for s e l f i d e n t i t y . Through the r e a l and genuine images of women as a r t i s t , mother, worker, etc., students can explore a v a r i e t y of roles and vocational options which are open to them. Female students can free themselves from the stereotype of the passive and even subservient woman who accepts without question the domination of others. Through inquiry into the p o l i t i c a l , c o l l a b o r a t i v e and pub l i c a r t forms by women in the l a s t decade, students can become aware how, through p o l i t i c a l action and c o l l a b o r a t i o n , women can change the s o c i a l s t r u c - ture. Students are able to see how a r t i s t s , through a new i n t e r d i s - c i p l i n a r y r o l e , have made art responsive to environmental, c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l needs. F i n a l l y , students can gain a broader image of the a r t i s t — o n e which includes women; one which i s s o c i a l l y and environ- 51 mentally responsible; and one which i s instrumental in the transforma- t i o n of c u l t u r e . In summary, the c r i t e r i a for the s e l e c t i o n of a r t forms to be studied in t h i s t h e s i s i s based on a wide range of considerations r e l a t e d to the aims and concepts of aesthetic education. The following concise o u t l i n e w i l l a s s i s t us in tying together the c r i t e r i a for objects before going on to a discussion of their h i s t o r y . The Object of Study Art forms by women in the 20th century are selected which r e l a t e to her struggle for s e l f i d e n t i t y and her new r o l e i n c u l t u r a l and environ- mental t r a n s f o r m a t i o n . C o n s i d e r a t i o n s which have determined the sel e c t i o n s are: 1. Art services various functions and a s e l e c t i o n of art would r e f l e c t these functions: . aesthetic . s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l . u t i l i t a r i a n 2. Art must be seen in i t s h i s t o r i c a l context and the factors which t a f f e c t i t s production and reception must be understood. The role of the a r t i s t i s dependent on the following f a c t o r s : . s o c i a l conditions . h i s t o r i c a l / c r i t i c a l attitudes . educational conditions 3. Art s e l e c t i o n s must r e l a t e to the i n t e r e s t s and needs of the student viewers and the connections to these concerns must be made e x p l i c i t : 52 . adolescent concerns - social/sexual i d e n t i t y and career . adolescent needs - understanding of images that explore oppres- sion and promote aesthetic, s o c i a l , and p o l i t i c a l understandings. We have now developed a structure for the content of t h i s t h e s i s based upon the object and the viewer components of aesthetic education. To complete t h i s structure we are reminded by Lanier (1981) that no object e x i s t s i n i s o l a t i o n from h i s t o r y . The h i s t o r y component of t h i s content model would include the h i s t o r i c a l , s o c i a l and educational factors which a f f e c t the production and reception of a work of a r t . We must also look at the role of the woman a r t i s t and how i t functions i n society and c u l t u r e . We must look at the l i f e of the a r t i s t and how i t i s r e f l e c t e d in the expressive art forms produced. F i n a l l y , we must place her work i n an art h i s t o r i c a l context. Although many of these h i s t o r i c a l factors were discussed i n the previous analysis of methodology these elements should be t i e d together in a more coherent o u t l i n e before in-depth discussion i n the next chapter on "Art History and the Emergency of Women A r t i s t s . " The History of the Art Object and A r t i s t a) The Art H i s t o r i c a l Context: includes the form, media and content of the art form as i t r e l a t e s to major movements in h i s t o r y and art h i s t o r y . It would include an inquiry into the p r i n c i p l e s and techniques of art by women and aspects of influence, patronage and s t y l e as they r e l a t e to a work i n an art h i s t o r i c a l context. The re l a t i o n s h i p s between the expressive character of the image and the „ formal devices which contribute to i t s r e a l i z a t i o n would be a major consideration. b) The A r t i s t ' s Biography: including a l l the important events i n an a r t i s t ' s l i f e . The o r i g i n s of the need to make a r t , the support off e r e d by family and f r i e n d s , the geographic l o c a t i o n of the a r t i s t ' s l i f e and i t s influences, and the a r t i s t ' s philosophy of l i f e . c) The S o c i a l / C u l t u r a l / H i s t o r i c a l Context: including the t r a i n i n g and educational conditions faced by the woman a r t i s t ; the s o c i a l r o l e s and expectations which affected her as an a r t i s t ; and the h i s t o r i - c a l / c r i t i c a l a ttitudes which affected the production and reception of her a r t . The role of the a r t i s t and the function of the art would be major considerations. To introduce t h i s major study of art by contempoary women the h i s t o r i c a l context of the woman a r t i s t w i l l be researched i n the following chapters. While the h i s t o r y does not e x i s t i n i s o l a t i o n from the art i t s e l f , the work described i n the l a t e r chapters w i l l gain more meaning i f seen against t h i s h i s t o r i c a l backdrop. It i s against the background of women's s o c i a l r o l e s , t r a i n i n g and reception i n the a r t world that we can best comprehend the exploration of s e l f - i d e n t i t y i n images of women by women discussed i n Chapter V. It i s against t h i s background that we can t r u l y appreciate woman's ro l e i n shaping an a r t that through abstraction moves out from the s e l f to i n t u i t a new in t e r p r e t a t i o n of the r e a l i t y of nature and human l i f e . 54 CHAPTER IV ART HISTORY AND THE EMERGENCE OF WOMEN ARTISTS Although a r t making i s and always has been a cre a t i v e a c t i v i t y performed by i n d i v i d u a l s with the desire to give form to f e e l i n g , s o c i o / c u l t u r a l factors a f f e c t i t s production and reception. Art History and Art Education have tended to over-emphasize the psychological aspects of c r e a t i v i t y and ignore the s o c i a l and i n s t i t u t i o n a l conditions generally productive of a r t . Feldman (1980) sees that the psychological basis of Art Education, which or i g i n a t e s from a c u r i o s i t y about the source of a r t i s t i c c r e a t i v i t y within the i n d i v i d u a l , " r e s u l t s i n an e s s e n t i a l l y a h i s t o r i c a l conception of c r e a t i v i t y . S o c i a l and c o l l e c t i v e f a c t o rs ( r e l i g i o n , c l a s s ethnicity) tend to be ignored" (p. 86) . Art h i s t o r i a n Linda Nochlin (1971), i n her very i n f l u e n t i a l a r t i c l e Why Have There Been no Great Women A r t i s t s ? suggests that i t i s no accident that the whole question of the conditions productive of great a r t have been overlooked or relegated to the province of some other d i s c i p l i n e . She sees that "a dispassionate, impersonal, s o c i o l o g i c a l - l y — a n d i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y — o r i e n t e d approach would reveal the e n t i r e romantic, e l i t i s t , i n d i v i d u a l - g l o r i f y i n g and monograph-producing substructure upon which the profession of art h i s t o r y i s based" (p. 6). C a l l i n g into question t h i s romantic approach, Nochlin reveals the whole myth of the Great A r t i s t — " s u b j e c t of a hundred monographs, unique, g o d l i k e — b e a r i n g within h i s person since b i r t h a mysterious essence, rather l i k e the golden nugget i n Mrs. Grass's chicken soup, c a l l e d Genius" (p. 7). If one, however, casts a dispassionate eye on the conditions under which great art has been produced, we can fi n d several consistent s o c i a l and economic factors that are necessary for success. F i r s t l y , Nochlin (1971) reminds us that almost a l l great and not so great a r t i s t s had a r t i s t fathers. Holbein, Durer, Raphael, Bernini, Picasso and Braque are a l l examples. ^Further study also reveals that most a r t i s t s sprang from the lower and middle classes and r a r e l y from the a r i s t o c r a c y . Nochlin suggests tha't the confining s o c i a l expectations of the a r i s t o - cracy often placed such severe l i m i t a t i o n s on the young upper c l a s s a r t i s t that much of their c r e a t i v e p o t e n t i a l was subverted (a condition also suffered by women a r t i s t s , with a few exceptions l i k e Mary Cassatt). If we abandon, then, the "golden nugget" theory of genius and focus attention on the i n s t i t u t i o n a l factors which affected the production of a r t by women and i t s reception, i t i s possible to expand our understand- ing of her work. We can also see how, in the past, i t was " i n s t i t u - t i o n a l l y impossible for women to achieve excellence or success on the same footing as men, no matter what t h e i r t a l e n t or genius" (Nochlin, 1971, p. 37). Through an examination of the s o c i a l r o l e s imposed on women a r t i s t s , the t r a i n i n g they received and the h i s t o r i c a l , c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s they faced, we can understand some of the factors which influenced the form and content of the i r work i n past centuries. Against t h i s h i s t o r i c a l background we can better appreciate the struggle of women a r t i s t s i n the twentieth century who, with the help of the feminist movement, have challenged these l i m i t a t i o n s and attempted to redefine t h e i r r o l e as a r t i s t s . We can appreciate more f u l l y how contemporary women a r t i s t s have begun to emerge from the confines of 56 i n s t i t u t i o n a l l y imposed oppression to play a prominent r o l e i n the d i r e c t i o n of contemporary art and the transformation of c u l t u r e . It i s also hoped that, by stressing the i n s t i t u t i o n a l or external rather than the personal or i n t e r n a l preconditions for achievement i n a r t , we have provided a paradigm for i n v e s t i g a t i o n of other areas of art h i s t o r y . By examining i n d e t a i l a number of major f a c t o r s that affected women a r t i s t s i n 16th century Renaissance ( I t a l y ) ; 17th and 18th century Reformation (Northern Europe); 18th ce n t u r y Age of Enlightenment (France); and, the 19th century era in France, England and America, we can gain a f u l l e r understanding of the ro l e of the woman a r t i s t i n d i f f e r e n t times and places i n h i s t o r y . The production and reception of art by women has been subject to a number of factors out of which fc.ur. appear to be most i n f l u e n t i a l according to recent research in feminist a rt h i s t o r y (Petersen and Wilson, 1976; Harris and Nochlin, 1976; Fine, 1978; and Greer, 1979). They can be summarized as follows and investigated in each period under consideration: 1. H i s t o r i c a l and Art H i s t o r i c a l conditions (her r e l a t i o n to major h i s t o r i c a l movements). 2. Social/Economic conditions for women (her s o c i a l r o l e ) . 3. Educational conditions (her t r a i n i n g i n a r t ) . 4. H i s t o r i c a l and c r i t i c a l attitudes (reception of her a r t ) . The Role of Women A r t i s t s : Sixteenth to Nineteenth Centuries The Renaissance. In the Middle Ages, women were regarded p r i m a r i l y as bearers and rearers of c h i l d r e n and keepers of the domestic hearth. "Considered subordinate and i n f e r i o r to men, both custom and prejudice kept them from considering careers outside the home" (Harris, 1976, p. 13). The domestic duties i n p r e - c a p i t a l i s t s o c i e t i e s , which included the making of clothes and food production, were extremely varied and arduous and there was l i t t l e time or i n c l i n a t i o n to become l i t e r a t e or educated i n the a r t s . Unless women were born of a r i s t o c r a c y or unless they were nuns i t was impossible to become even h a l f - l i t e r a t e or prac- t i c e d i n the medieval arts of embroidery or manuscript i l l u m i n a t i o n . Even then, women were excluded from professional status i n the few gu i l d s to which a r t i s t s belonged (Gies and Gies, 1978). With the b i r t h of the Renaissance, ,the role of women changed. There emerged a Humanist philosophy and a b e l i e f i n the ancient ideals of g l o r i o u s Greece and Rome. A new in t e r e s t in the i n d i v i d u a l developed and i t was thought that education could be a conduit to enlightenment and v i r t u e which had been l o s t during the darkness of the middle ages. By the 16th century there was near consensus as to the v i r t u e of educating women of the upper c l a s s e s — t h e y would be more i n t e r e s t i n g companions to men, better mothers for their c h i l d r e n and more able to maintain conversation i n the court c i r c l e s of the time. Baldessare Ciastiglione, i n h i s i n f l u e n t i a l book E l Cortegiano, suggested that almost a l l "the a t t r i b u t e s and accomplishments necessary to the male co u r t i e r were also appropriate for the female, including a high l e v e l of educational attainment and the a b i l i t y to paint, play musical i n s t r u - ments and sing, write poetry and make witty and stimulating conversa- t i o n " (Nochlin and Harris, 1976, p. 13). From the courts of the northern I t a l i a n Renaissance, emerged a new type of woman with a l e s s submissive and confined r o l e . Taught by the Humanist scholars, she 58 became c e n t r a l to the l i t e r a r y and ph i l o s o p h i c a l salons. She began to develop a d i s t i n c t recognizable personality (Fine, 1978). This new view of femininity was, however, not without i t s r e s t r i c t i o n s . The i d e a l Renaissance woman was expected to f i t the pla t o n i c concept of beauty— for ugliness was considered a r e f l e c t i o n of e v i l . The id e a l woman was a slim young beauty on the brink of maturity. In addition to her youth and beauty, she was expected to show in a l l her conduct, modesty and pu r i t y (Nochlin and Ha r r i s , 1978). In the Renaissance, the role of the a r t i s t took on a new profes- s i o n a l status and i t became possible for the exceptional woman a r t i s t to enter i t s ranks. "The appearance of a talented woman i n the i r midst was always welcomed as evidence of the superabundant c r e a t i v e genius to be found i n the c i t y where t h i s phenomenal woman l i v e d " (Nochlin and Harris, 1976, p. 24). Although l i t was thought that women were not r e a l l y destined by God to become a r t i s t s or anything that required genius, i t was accepted that the new creative s p i r i t could o c c a s i o n a l l y i n f e c t a woman as i t had in an t i q u i t y . The influence of C a s t i g l i o n e 1 s t r e a t i s e on the new ro l e of women can be seen i n the journals and s e l f - p o r t r a i t s of women a r t i s t s . S ofinisba Anguissola and Lav i n i a Fontana often portrayed themselves as a t t r a c t i v e but modest young l a d i e s , educated i n Lat i n and the general arts 1 and adept i n t h e i r a b i l i t y to play the v i r g i n a l s . Biographers, i n t h e i r b r i e f documenta- t i o n of women a r t i s t s , often compared them to Timarete, Irene and Iaro, three women painters of a n t i q u i t y (Nochlin and Harris, 1976). It was not, however, without overcoming a number of serious educational l i m i t a t i o n s , that women a r t i s t s of the Renaissance managed 59 to reach a l e v e l of achievement and success. Unlike her male c o l - leagues, she was discouraged from leaving home and t r a i n i n g i n the worshop of master a r t i s t s . The only t r a i n i n g a v a i l a b l e to her was through family and she had to be fortunate enough to have an a r t i s t father. The dependency and obedience demanded by family t r a i n i n g often served to r e s t r i c t her freedom and creative s p i r i t . Often serving as helper or model i n her father's studio she had l i t t l e time for her own painting (Greer, 1979). The greatest l i m i t a t i o n of her t r a i n i n g , however, arose from the taboo against women attending l i f e drawing c l a s s e s . It was believed that t h e i r presence could only r u i n their reputations and corrupt t h e i r v i r t u e . This condition was p a r t i c u l a r l y d e b i l i t a t i n g during a time when the most esteemed genres of a r t — h i s t o r y and r e l i g i o u s p a i n t i n g — depended to a large extent on the a b i l i t y to depict the nude male convincingly. As t h i s discriminatory r u l i n g remained unchanged for four centuries, i t becomes understandable why so many women a r t i s t s had no al t e r n a t i v e but to concentrate their energy on the le s s esteemed genres of p o r t r a i t and s t i l l l i f e painting i n the 16th through 18th c e n t u r i e s . The r e s t r i c t i n g s o c i a l expectations placed on women a r t i s t s were also obstacles to self-confidence and freedom that a cr e a t i v e l i f e demands. A l l of the celebrated and well-received women a r t i s t s of t h i s time were unable to r e l y on the i r talent alone. For the most part, the woman a r t i s t was only noticed and accepted i f she was young, a t t r a c t i v e , modest and demure—virtues admired more than her ta l e n t (Fine, 1978, p. 6). A few women a r t i s t s such as Gent i l e s c h i and Lama, who strayed from these codes of conduct, were severely c r i t i c i s e d for the i r independent and a s s e r t i v e behavior and, as a r e s u l t , l o s t favor with patrons, a r t i s t s and h i s t o r i a n s . F i n a l l y , h i s t o r i c a l / c r i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s a f f e c t e d not o n l y the production of art by women, but i t s reception by patrons and c r i t i c s . One consistent response on the part of c r i t i c s , which undoubtedly made women a r t i s t s f e e l l i k e strange c u r i o s i t i e s , was the constantly expres- sed amazement that a woman could paint on a competent l e v e l . Germaine Greer (1979), i n the Obstacle Race, quotes many examples of a double standard used by male c r i t i c s and biographers i n the i r documentation of women a r t i s t s . The work i s good for a woman but w i l l never a t t a i n the q u a l i t y of art by men—sums up the content of much of t h i s patronizing c r i t i c i s m . The h i s t o r i a n , Passeri (1614), attempts to remind women of the i r proper subservient r o l e : It i s true that the Lord did not endow them (women a r t i s t s ) properly with the f a c u l t y of judgement, and he d i d t h i s i n order to keep them restrained within the boundaries of obedi- ence to men, to e s t a b l i s h men as supreme and superior, so that with t h i s lack women would be more d o c i l e and amenable to suggestion. (Nochlin and Harris, .1976, p. 32) Some h i s t o r i a n s such as Vaasari have, of course, written l e s s biased accounts of women a r t i s t s and have compared women a r t i s t s l i k e Fontana and de Rossi to the great women a r t i s t s of a n t i q u i t y . Many others, however, such as T i t i , Mazzolari and Passeri have paid more attention to aspects of a woman a r t i s t ' s appearance, personality and l a d y l i k e manners than on a discussion of her work. As a r e s u l t , most h i s t o r i c a l accounts of women a r t i s t s are of l i m i t e d value (Nochlin and Harris, 1976) . The most negative reactions to women's art can be found i n cases where women l e f t the l e s s prestigious genres of s t i l l l i f e and por- t r a i t u r e and ventured into h i s t o r y and r e l i g i o u s painting. E s p e c i a l l y 61 in the cases of Lama, Fontana and G e n t i l e s c h i , who competed for major public commissions, we can f i n d documentation which i s a d i r e c t condem- nation of her tal e n t and her femininity. Lama, for example, was c r u e l l y attacked for her "ugly appearance" as well as her lack of t a l e n t — e v e n though her work was highly acclaimed by the church. G e n t i l e s c h i , who painted powerful h i s t o r i c a l paintings of heroic women, was damned for her lack of modesty and so-called scandalous private l i f e . Despite prejudice, second-rate t r a i n i n g , r i g i d s o c i a l expectations and lack of safe r e l i a b l e contraception, a few women a r t i s t s overcame these problems in the Renaissance—"proving that none was insurmountable once the idea had been s u c c e s s f u l l y planted i n people's minds that c r e a t i v e genius might, on rare occasions, be found i n a woman" (Nochlin and H a r r i s , 1976, p. 28). There were several highly acclaimed women a r t i s t s i n the Renais- sance who set precedents and paved the way for the growing number of women a r t i s t s i n the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. While Sofinisba Anguissola opened the profession to women by becoming a self-supporting i n t e r n a t i o n a l c e l e b r i t y , Fontana provided the f i r s t model of women in a p u b l i c r o l e competing f o r l a r g e church commissions. Lama and Gen t i l e s c h i are important for the i r f u l l - s c a l e dramatic, h i s t o r i c a l and r e l i g i o u s works and t h e i r competent depictions of the nude f i g u r e . They provide a model for the few daring women who, in l a t e r years, broke away from the "minor genres" to explore sculpture and h i s t o r y p a i n t i n g . The Reformation. With the advent of the Protestant Reformation i n the 17th century and the emergence of the bougeoisie i n Northern Europe, the role for women became re-defined once more. The new i d e a l lady of the Reformation was the domestic and chaste wife of a well-to-do burgher (Fine, 1978). Whereas the a r i s t o c r a t i c Renaissance woman was praised for her physical beauty and s o c i a l graces, the middle c l a s s woman of the Reformation was praised for her inner beauty, goodness and domesticity. And, while the salons and courts were the seat of l i t e r a r y and a r t i s t i c a c t i v i t y for women in the Renaissance, the home and family became the i n s p i r a t i o n for a r t i s t i c a c t i v i t y i n the Reformation. Popular s t i l l l i f e paintings of the time celebrate the home and themes of d a i l y existence. While the Humanist idea, that women also need education, spread to the middle classes i n Northern Europe and was made possible i n the increasing number of schools for g i r l s , t h i s education was usually l i m i t e d to matters of household management and the basics i n mathematics and reading—enough to make young l a d i e s t h r i f t y , obedient wives and business women (Fine, 1978). While most women a r t i s t s continued to receive their art tr a i n i n g i n their father's or husband's studios, two important exceptions emerged and foreshadowed a l a t e r trend. Rachel Ruysch, for example, was trained by the flower painter, Willem van Ael s t , and Judith Leyster with the renowned Frans Hals. The r e s t r i c - t i o n s , however, which prevented women from attending l i f e drawing classes and becoming adept i n drawing the nude male, remained unchanged. Women a r t i s t s had l i t t l e choice but to devote th e i r t a l e n t s to s t i l l l i f e and genre painting. While the domestic role for women did not allow for the s o c i a l and a r t i s t i c contacts provided by the courts of the Renaissance, being a competent woman s t i l l l i f e a r t i s t did not require such a rigorous s o c i a l l i f e . Because her patrons became the general populace rather than the ar i s t o c r a c y or royalty, the energy devoted to appearance, s o c i a l s k i l l s and l a d y l i k e manners was freed for domestic duties and art making. Although family duties were time-consuming, a number of women s t i l l l i f e p a i n t e r s , l i k e Rachael Ruysch, managed to s e l l her work e a s i l y , support her family and earn the freedom to paint (Tufts, 1978) . Although genre and s t i l l l i f e were considered minor art forms, h i s t o r i c a l and c r i t i c a l a ttitudes were not as negative i f women confined themselves to these f i e l d s . However, numerous cases of mis a t t r i b u t i o n have been discovered. S t i l l l i f e and genre paintings by women a r t i s t s were oc c a s i o n a l l y assigned to the oeuvre of a teacher or male colleague. For example, several of Judith Leyster's genre paintings, including the famous "The J o l l y Topper," were for centuries a t t r i b u t e d to her teacher, Frans Hals. It wasn't u n t i l the 20th century that a number of Hals' paintings were cleaned and a small J.L. and a * were found at the bottom r i g h t corner of the works. As misattributions are being discovered, the oeuvres of many 17th century women a r t i s t s are being f i l l e d out. Despite the fact that a large number of women painters l i k e Peeters, Moillon, Coster, van Oosterwyck, Vallayer and Merian were celebrated a r t i s t s i n the 17th century and contributed g r e a t l y to the development of s t i l l l i f e and genre painting, only Rachel Ruysch and Judith Leyster have found t h e i r way into popular art h i s t o r i e s . It seems that many of these a r t i s t s could now be included and could i l l u s t r a t e Dutch and Flemish s t i l l l i f e along with Jan Davidz or de Heem. While the role of the woman a r t i s t i n the 17th century remained r e s t r i c t e d by e d u c a t i o n a l o p p o r t u n i t i e s and f a m i l y p r e s s u r e s , her v i s i b i l i t y i n genre and s t i l l l i f e become notable. "In a l l those s p e c i a l t i e s where academic t r a i n i n g mattered l e s s , women a r t i s t s were 64 highly successful" (Harris, 1976, p. 43). The numbers of women a r t i s t s i n Northern Europe are also an i n d i c a t i o n of the growth of in t e r e s t i n an a r t i s t i c career among European women in the 17th century. In France alone, some 28 women a r t i s t s are recorded as active a r t i s t s , a substan- t i a l jump from the three recorded for the previous century (Harris, 1976). Their numbers were to grow even more r a p i d l y i n the next century when France became the dominant country i n the h i s t o r y of women a r t i s t s . 18th Century France. The Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason in France was characterized by a spread of wealth and e d u c a t i o n — progress, change and the p e r f e c t i b i l i t y of humanity were the new i d e a l s . "France tested democracy, empire, a re s t o r a t i o n of the monarchy and then a new revolution as ordinary men and women demanded and fought for personal freedoms that had formerly been the p r i v i l e g e of the few" (Fine, 1978, p. 39). As new p o l i t i c a l and economic theories and movements for reform developed i n the wake of the revolution, the powerful a r i s t o c r a c y of the ancien regime was experiencing i t s l a s t moment of glory i n the fashion- able salons of the time. As the French Revolution progressed the male population was granted i n d i v i d u a l c i v i l r i g h t s but the l o t of women was unimproved and, in some ways, even worsened. In a c t u a l i t y , there were two opposing forces at work i n the ro l e of women in the 18th century. On one hand, the women of ar i s t o c r a c y held a ce n t r a l role and were granted high status as hostesses i n the ea r l y 18th century salons. According to Fine (1978), Goncourts saw that: Woman was the d i r e c t i n g reason and the commanding voice of the 18th century.... She held the revolutions of a l l i a n c e s and p o l i t i c a l systems, peace and war, the l i t e r a t u r e , the arts and fashions of the 18th century, as well as i t s d e s t i n i e s , i n the folds of her gown. (p. 40) Some salon hostesses such as Elizabeth Vigee-Lebrun, a p o r t r a i t painter, and Madame de Stael, an outstanding l i t e r a r y figure of the period, were cre a t i v e in the i r own ri g h t and demanded great respect from their contemporaries. A hostess was judged successful i f she had s o c i a l s k i l l , charm and t a l e n t . Women reigned i n ea r l y 18th century salon society but the 1789 Revolution and the romanticism of the popular Rousseauen philosophy dethroned them. Upper cl a s s women in the i r zealous pursuit of knowledge were seen by some male contemporaries, such as the i n f l u e n t i a l Goncourt b r o t h e r s and the f o l l o w e r s of Rousseau, as o v e r - i n t e l l e c t u a l i z e d monstrosities who would be happier i f returned to the "natural s t a t e " — as subordinates of men and contented wives and mothers. Although feminism was discussed and fought for by major thinkers such as Condorect and Wollestonecraft during the Revolution, the gains of l i b e r t y , e q u a l i t y and f r a t e r n i t y were seen to benefit only the male population i n the end. Although various women's s o c i e t i e s helped to overthrow the Gerondists for the sake of progressive s o c i a l reform, the Jacobins, despite their p o l i t i c a l radicalism, became h o s t i l e to the women's movement. They declared women's s o c i e t i e s i l l e g a l and i n s t i - gated reforms that applied only to men. Thrown back into the powerless role of housewife and subordinate, the ro l e of women took another step backwards. Rousseauen propaganda a c t u a l l y took hold i n the 19th century V i c t o r i a n era only to be questioned again i n the 20th century. Against t h i s h i s t o r i c a l background, the idea persisted that a well educated young lady should at l e a s t know how to draw and paint. A 66 number of serious professional women a r t i s t s emerged from the salon society of pre-revolutionary France. A r t i s t s l i k e Rosalba C a r r e r i a and Vigee-Lebrun worked pr i m a r i l y i n pastel and developed th e i r technique to a spectacular l e v e l i n their p o r t r a i t s of family, r o y a l t y and a r t i s t o - c r a t i c patrons. Rosalia C a r r e r i a , Angelica Kauffman and Vigee-Lebrun, a l l i n t e r n a t i o n a l c e l e b r i t i e s , produced huge bodies of work. They were sought by royalty and patrons of many countries and a few of these women a r t i s t s l e f t home to work i n the courts of Madrid, Dusseldorf, Vienna and St. Petersburg. Their work sold for high p r i c e s and some of these a r t i s t s became extremely wealthy (Harris, 1976, p. 42). Because women a r t i s t s were r e l a t i v e l y rare u n t i l the 19th century, t h e i r s c a r c i t y gave them c u r i o s i t y value. Unless they were young, a t t r a c t i v e , popular i n court and a r i s t o c r a t i c c i r c l e s , good at s o c i a l r e l a t i o n s and unless they f i t t e d the stereotype of the gracious lady, they r a r e l y received the recognition or adulation given t h e i r more aggressive and sometimes e c c e n t r i c , male colleagues. As the French Revolution progressed and the salon society crumbled, many women were assigned a more subservient r o l e . Women a r t i s t s were hedged i n by new s o c i a l r e s t r i c t i o n s that attempted to keep her in her proper place. Major ambitions were discouraged and women a r t i s t s were praised for minor accomplishments. The sentimental genre scene with i t s heart- warming or tr a g i c scenes of domestic l i f e became a s p e c i a l t y for women a r t i s t s who wished to e s t a b l i s h a clearer i d e n t i t y i n th e i r double r o l e as housewife and a r t i s t . A r t i s t s ' academies, the main centers of a r t i s t i c t r a i n i n g in the 18th century, also held contradictory a t t i t u d e s to women members. 67 On one hand a few women were elected members by most of these i n s t i t u t i o n s . On the other hand, e l e c t i o n did not mean admis- sion to a l l the p r i v i l e g e s enjoyed by male members. Some would not allow women to attend meetings, others d i d . None allowed them to attend drawing classes or to teach, to compete for pr i z e s or hold o f f i c e . Their e l e c t i o n was e s s e n t i a l l y honor- i f i c , l i k e the aware of an honorary degree. (Harris, 1976, p. 36) This arrangement was accepted with only l i m i t e d protest u n t i l L a b i l l e - G u i a r d , i n 1791, succeeded i n opening the Paris Academy to more women even though they remained only honorary members. Despite these p e r s i s t e n t academic r e s t r i c t i o n s , L a b i l l e - G u i a r d opened up the valuable forum of the Salon, so that women could e x h i b i t t h e i r work alongside t h e i r contemporaries. Increasing numbers of women, not a l l bent on becoming professionals, exhibited i n Salons of the Academy. This trend grew i n the ea r l y 19th century and from the years 1801-1835, the percentage of women exhibiting i n the Salon grew from 14.6% to 22.2% of the t o t a l number of a r t i s t s showing (Fine, 1978, p. 43) . As painting and drawing continued to be part of an upper c l a s s education and as the number of women a r t i s t s increased, the stereotype of the lady amateur became so prevalent that the serious woman a r t i s t was now in constant danger of being dismissed as a dabbling d i l e t t a n t e . This stereotype became a new obstacle faced by women a r t i s t s i n the 19th century. Undaunted, the numbers of women a r t i s t s grew and a few unique i n d i v i d u a l s emerged i n the next century. 19th Century - England, France, America. An in v e s t i g a t i o n into the r o l e and status of women a r t i s t s i n early 19th century England, France and America shows that, i n many respects, a step backward had been taken. While c r e a t i v e women achieved some respect and independence i n the Salons of France, i n f r o n t i e r America and in the l i t e r a r y c i r c l e s of 68 England for short periods i n the 18th century, " i t was back to the hearth and home and to the c u l t of domesticity i n the beginning years of the 19th century" (Fine, 1978, p. 90). The Rousseauen ide a l of the 19th century woman was c a r r i e d to England and from England the V i c t o r i a n i d e a l was exported to America. The 19th century view of the lady, a r t i s t was one of a f r a g i l e , vulnerable c r e a t u r e — s a f e only i n the protected environment of the home and family. Women's demands for professional equality were seen as threats to the status quo, to the sa n c t i t y of the family and to woman's "Godgiven" destiny of wife and mother. Seen i n t h i s l i g h t , the constant s o l i c i t u d e for women's weak- ness, t h e i r sexual p u r i t y , t h e i r s o c i a l v u l n e r a b i l i t y can be understood as a l i g h t l y v e i l e d threat, a way of keeping them i n the i r place by protecting them from achievement and indepen- dence. (Nochlin and Ha r r i s , 1976, p. 57) By the middle of the 19th century, however, with the I n d u s t r i a l Revolution well underway, a f u l l - f l e d g e d feminist movement took hold i n America. This pioneer western feminist movement, "having comparatively l i t t l e h i s t o r y or t r a d i t i o n was spurred on by the a b o l i t i o n i s t struggle and the smoldering ideas of the American revolution i t s e l f " (Firestone, 1970, p. 17). Although suffrage was only a small aspect of what the women's r i g h t s movement was about, v i o l e n t reaction and constant defeats on t h i s one issue eventually broke the back of the movement. Women's energies were d i f f u s e d into any other r a d i c a l cause than t h e i r own. The r a d i c a l feminism of Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony affected only l i m i t e d changes—a few l e g a l reforms had been won, women entered the labor force in a service capacity and women began to be educated i n large numbers. For women a r t i s t s , despite major p e t i t i o n s and formal protests sponsored by d i s s a t i s f i e d a c t i v i s t s i n the 1850's, descrimina- tory rules for admission to, Academies i n England, France and America 69 only began to change i n the l a t e 1800's. But r a d i c a l feminism was only dormant—the second wave in the ea r l y twentieth century and the t h i r d wave in the 1970's provided the next big boost to women's freedom and ri g h t to p a r t i c i p a t e equally i n a l l areas of art and society. For women a r t i s t s of the 19th century, the r e s u l t of f r u s t r a t i o n and despair caused by second rate 1 t r a i n i n g and discriminatory a t t i t u d e s "was often achievement at a l e v e l of competent mediocrity" by those i n d i v i d u a l s tenacious enough to pursue a r t i s t i c careers (Nochlin and Harris, 1976, p. 58). Serious, f u l l y q u a l i f i e d women a r t i s t s had to accept t r a i n i n g i n second-rate a rt schools or private studios. In France women were completely excluded from the Ecole des Beaux Arts u n t i l after 1878. Marie B a s h k i r s t e f f , i n her j o u r n a l , expressed horror and outrage about her lack of opportunity as a woman. "... we went to the Ecole des Beaux A r t s . It i s enough to make one c r y with rage. Why can not I go and study here? Where can I get i n s t r u c t i o n as complete as there?" (Nochlin, 1976, p. 56). Even when Pennsylvania Academy, the Royal Academy and the Ecole des Beaux-Arts eventually opened t h e i r doors to women a r t i s t s they were only allowed, to work from casts or the draped l i v i n g model. It wasn't u n t i l the twentieth century that women could draw the nude model and even then separate classes for women were maintained. By that time the nude figure was not a prime subject of major painting. Much of the work done by women a r t i s t s such as Osborne, and Spencer, f a l l into the t r a d i t i o n of the narrative genre painting made popular by Hogarth i n the 18th century. The more intimate works of the V i c t o r i a n period such as "Nameless and Friendless" (1857) by Emily Osborne, o f f e r insight into the actual experience of women at the time 70 (Nochlin and Har r i s , 1976). Two notable exceptions to t h i s trend of small scale genre painters were Rosa Bonheur and Lady Butler. Both a r t i s t s are important for the i r huge dramatic narrative and h i s t o r i c a l paintings. An understanding of the fortunate but unusual circumstances of t h e i r l i v e s in supportive and li b e r a t e d segments of 19th century society enables us to understand how they broke convention and produced major work. While Bonheur was supported and encouraged by her father and members of the Saint Simonians (who supported the f i g h t for women's r i g h t s ) , Lady Butler was encouraged by members of her upper c l a s s family (who also supported the equality of men and women). The fact that both women were permitted to study aspects of l i f e not normally considered proper for "lady a r t i s t s " freed them to explore other sources of cr e a t i v e energy and new genres. While Bonheur, i n her "man-like" a t t i r e , studied animal anatomy i n slaughter houses, Butler staged English b a t t l e scenes with casts of hundreds of s o l d i e r s and horses, ' i n Bonheur's painting "Horse F a i r " (1853), and Butler's "Scotland for Ever" (1881), we can f e e l in the colo r s and dramatic forms a boundless self-assurance, energy and sense of s e l f - d i r e c t i o n r a r e l y seen i n other 19th century work by women. C r i t i c s and h i s t o r i a n s , however, employed s e v e r a l t a c t i c s t o dis c o u r a g e women a r t i s t s from attempting such demanding forms o f monumental painting or sculpture. "Separate but unequal was the l e i t m o t i f often repeated i n discussions of the woman a r t i s t ' s accom- plishments" (Nochlin, 1976, p. 55). The 19th century c r i t i c , Legrange (1960), advises, for example: Let men busy themselves with a l l that has to do with great a r t . Let women occupy themselves with those types of art which they have always preferred such as pastels, p o r t r a i t s and minia- tures. Or the painting of flowers.... To women, above a l l , 71 f a l l s the pract i c e of the graphic a r t s , those painstaking a r t s which correspond so well to the ro l e of abnegation and devotion which the honest woman happily f i l l s here on earth, and which i s her r e l i g i o n . (Nochlin, 1976, p. 56) Another h y p o c r i t i c a l r a t i o n a l i z a t i o n for i n j u s t i c e to women a r t i s t s can be found in a type of 19th century c r i t i c i s m that r e f e r s to women's s u s c e p t i b i l i t y to influence. George Moore, quoted i n Greer (1979) , speaks of women a r t i s t s who "astonish us as much by th e i r want of o r i g i n a l i t y as they do by th e i r extraordinary power of a s s i m i l a t i o n " (p. 212). Although the question of influence has remained an unexamined aspect of h i s t o r i c a l study, i t has been r e g u l a r l y assumed that women are influenced by male a r t i s t s and never the other way around. In Marg u e r i t e Gerard's c a s e , f o r example, i t has been t r a d i t i o n a l l y presumed that she collaborated with and received clandestine aid from her mentor, Jean Honore Fragonard. Nochlin (1976) has found, however, that Gerard's work, when examined under X-ray and Infra Red Vidicon, reveals no evidence of Fragonard's freer brush stroke. I r o n i c a l l y , the "Stolen Kiss," once attributed to Fragonard, i s now being considered as part Gerard's oeuvre. The c r i t i c a l h i s t o r i c a l a t t i t u d e s of the 19th century can, in many ways, be seen as a reaction to the growing v i s i - b i l i t y and number of women a r t i s t s and an attempt to keep them i n t h e i r place by confining them to the so-called minor c r a f t s and idioms of a r t . While many of the forms of overt and i m p l i c i t d i s c r i m i n a t i o n served to keep some women's achievements to a l e v e l of mediocrity, a few notable exceptions emerge i n the l a t e 19th century. Mary Cassatt and Berthe .ivrorisot, among the most daring and innovative painters of the day, o f f e r the welcome example of a r t i s t s who by-passed mediocrity and s u p e r f i c i a l popularity (Nochlin and Ha r r i s , 1976). By jo i n i n g the independent pioneers of Impressionism and r e j e c t i n g the t r a d i t i o n a l 72 l i m i t a t i o n s of the Academy, Cassatt escaped much of the d i s c r i m i n a t i o n of the s t i l l p a t r i a r c h a l art system and moved on to create her own s t y l e within the Impressionist movement. The Emergence of Women A r t i s t s i n the Twentieth Century The c r e a t i v e p o t e n t i a l of women a r t i s t s i n the twentieth century has been most c l e a r l y expressed during times when women's r i g h t s , status and i d e n t i t y have been c r i t i c a l . The sexually e g a l i t a r i a n r a d i c a l movements in the l a t e 19th and early 20th century i n Russia, the New Deal programs i n America i n the 1930's -and the s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l move- ments i n America in the 1960's and 1970's did much to elevate the ro l e of women a r t i s t s . An i n v e s t i g a t i o n of the unusually important r o l e played by women i n the i n t e l l i g e n t s i a and related r a d i c a l p o l i t i c a l movements in Russia around the turn of the century shows that women were generally accepted as complete equals by male colleagues or co-conspirators (Harris and Nochlin, 1976). Motivated in their search for knowledge and powered by a desire to serve the people, Russian women attended Russian univer- s i t i e s and went abroad to study. "The Kuristka, or woman student, was a recognizable revolutionary type, i n f a c t she was the very p e r s o n i f i c a - t i o n of r a d i c a l activism" (Nochlin, 1976, p. 62). She was painted many times by pre-r evolutionary a r t i s t s and she aroused a good deal of controversy. She and her professional s i s t e r s were considered the backbone of the successful revolutionary propaganda which dealt with the conditions of the peasants and the need for an e g a l i t a r i a n p o l i t i c a l base (Hale, 1933, p. 36). Against t h i s background we can understand the vigo r , independence and power of women a r t i s t s l i k e Goncharova, Exter, Popova and others at t h i s time. Not only d i d they seem to be on a l e v e l of complete e q u a l i t y with th e i r avant-garde male colleagues but they were innovators of vanguard movements. While Goncharova was one of the f i r s t to introduce the mechanical into painting, Popova and Exter had moved on to pure a b s t r a c t i o n o f the most " a r c h i t e c t u r a l and n o n - r e f e r e n t i a l s o r t " (Nochlin, 1979, p. 63). The Constructionist movement, which began i n Russia, spread i n the 1920's and 1930's to Europe and America and overlapped the Cubist and P r e c i s i o n i s t movements. A number of women made important contributions to these movements. Sonia Delaunay, Russian born although working i n P a r i s , formulated the theory of color "orphism" or orchestration i n c o l l a b o r a t i o n with her husband, Robert Delaunay. Although Sonia Delaunay deserves and has received considerable recognition as one of the a r t i s t s who freed Cubism from d u l l color and subject matter, a few c r i t i c s downplayed her achievement because of her involvement i n the decorative a r t s . Marie Laurencin, the only woman associated with the Cubists, has often been considered a muse to male a r t i s t s of the movement, although a r t h i s t o r i a n s such as Rene Sandell (1980) suggest she contributed a unique v i s i o n as an a r t i s t of t h i s movement. Marlow Moss, one of the founding members of the Abstract-Creation group, worked in, a neo-plastic s t y l e often mistaken for that of Mondrian. However, Nochlin and Harris (1976) suggested that "unlike Mondrian, she sought a so l u t i o n to the problem of t r a n s l a t i n g p h y s i c a l energies into abstract equivalents by i n t u i t i v e rather than mathematical means" (p. 314). Although these important women a r t i s t s helped' to forge the path i n t o abstraction, an easy assumption has often been made that the men of the movement were always the i n i t i a t o r s and the women merely the imi t a t o r s . A number of these assumptions are now being questioned as art h i s t o r i a n s study more c a r e f u l l y the works and the documents of women a r t i s t s . 1 In the E x p r e s s i o n i s t movement, c e n t e r e d i n Germany, Pa u l a Modersohn-Becker and Kathe Kollwitz also made important c o n t r i b u t i o n s . Modersohn-Becker was the f i r s t German painter to integrate Post Impres- s i o n i s t color with a personal expressive s t y l e . K o l l w i t z , also a s s o c i - ated with^the German Expressionist movement in her use of expressive l i n e and the human form as subject, i s considered as one of the major graphic a r t i s t s of the ea r l y 20th century. Her a r t , one of urgency and s o c i a l protest, i s p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant i n our time. In the S u r r e a l i s t movement, a more v i s i b l e and cohesive group of women a r t i s t s emerged i n pre-World War II Europe. Within the S u r r e a l i s t movement a number of women a r t i s t s joined others i n the i r explorations of the world of dreams and unconsciousness. The S u r r e a l i s t s , however, held two c o n f l i c t i n g and equally confining views of women as Femme Enfant (naive woman-child) or Femme Fatale (the sorceress). In an attempt to transcend these i d e o l o g i c a l confines, a r t i s t s l i k e Remedios Varo, Leonor F i n i , Leonora Carrington and Dorothea Tanning introduced archetypal symbols into their work to explore a wider range of models for women and a broader view of feminine p r i n c i p l e s i n l i f e . In the case of the remarkable burgeoning of women a r t i s t s i n America during the 1930's, "the issue i s not so much that of r a d i c a l s t y l i s t i c innovation, as of the sheer numbers of women involved and the range and v a r i e t y of the i r p i c t o r i a l expression" (Harris and Nochlin, 1976, p. 63). The f i e r c e l y e g a l i t a r i a n s p i r i t of the Roosevelt years found i t s focus i n New Deal Art programs which united a r t i s t s of both sexes. The catastrophe of the Great Depression caused art to be placed under the j u r i s d i c t i o n of the government for nearly a decade. This gave women a r t i s t s two previously denied r i g h t s : the r i g h t to p a r t i c i p a t e i n major ex h i b i t s with equal access to funding and the r i g h t to be judged on the same basis as men. Louise Nevelson, A l i c e Neel, Lee Krasner and Isabel Bishop were among the 41% of women a r t i s t s who received aid during t h i s period. The New Deal's s o c i a l consciousness f i l t e r e d down from government into the e x h i b i t i o n p r a c t i c e s of New York G a l l e r i e s . During the t h i r t i e s and e a r l y f o r t i e s women comprised between 25% and 30% of the exhibitors i n the large a r t i s t - j u r i e d group shows {-Tine, 1978, p. 145). Women l i k e Audry McMahon and Ju l i a n a Force were also prominent among the professional administrators of the federal a r t programs and they helped to formulate more f a i r government granting procedures. Both women and men could compete equally for large p u b l i c b u i l d i n g mural commissions and other forms of non - r e l i e f patronage. Both men and women could make a l i v i n g from th e i r work. While Isabel Bishop and A l i c e Neel were exploring various forms of So c i a l Realism i n their f i g u r a t i v e works, Lee Krasner was moving from Cubism into abstraction i n her huge Abstract Expressionist works. Louise Nevelson, also moving i n the New York m i l i e u of immigrants, expatriots from Europe and W.P.A. a r t i s t s had begun her huge wood sculptures i n the C o n s t r u c t i v i s t manner. While the e g a l i t a r i a n s p i r i t of t h i s decade helped to eliminate overt sexual bias, a deeper grasp of a feminist consciousness does not 76 seem to have taken hold i n s o c i a l consciousness of t h i s time. The myth of emancipation operated i n the 1930's (and i n every decade u n t i l the 1970's) to defuse the f r u s t r a t i o n s of the modern woman. Despite the fact that women s t i l l had l i t t l e r e a l power, the "gender-blind" con- si d e r a t i o n s and immediate gains for women a r t i s t s coupled with an over-riding n a t i o n a l i s t i c zeal kept women a r t i s t s from organizing around and promoting a more l a s t i n g e q u a l i t y . For most a r t i s t s t h e i r d i r e c t i o n was motivated more by an " i n t e r e s t i n d i s t i n c t l y American forms of expression and a desire to view American art and l i f e i n a broader human and h i s t o r i c a l context" (Marling, 1976, pp. 10-11). Even though several groups such as the National Association of Women and the New York Society of Woman A r t i s t s were formed to con- s o l i d a t e the ideals of equality for women in the 1920's-1930's a r t world, they were l a b e l l e d and dismissed as the l e f t wing of the feminine a r t i s t i c movement. Although these movements planted the seeds for a new trend of thought i n the minds of the progressive and p o l i t i c i z e d a r t i s t s i t was not u n t i l the 1970's that a major women's ar t movement took hold (Firestone, 1970) . The upheaval of World War II caused a general turning away from s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l causes. Women were encouraged to quit t h e i r jobs in the labor force and return to the role of the middle c l a s s housewife. The myth of the "Feminine Mystique" which took hold i n the 1950's was the product of a conservative backlash. In the ar t world the Abstract Expressionist movement r e f l e c t e d the general turning inward to i n d i v i d u - a l personal expression and away from public or p o l i t i c a l solutions to world problems. Within t h i s highly i n d i v i d u a l i z e d and e x i s t e n t i a l a r t community, women a r t i s t s such as Lee Krasner and Elaine de Kooning took second place to their a r t i s t husbands and colleagues. Lee Krasner (b. 1908) suggested that i t was impossible to tackle single-handedly the se x i s t aspects of the art world, continue her painting and stay i n the rol e as Mrs. Pollock (Fine, 1978, p. 209). Krasner remained i n Pollock's shadow for years and only recently has the extent of her talen t been r e a l i z e d . Even Louise Nevelson (b. 1899), whose powerful s c u l p t u r a l assem- blages were supported and bought during the New Deal era, withdrew for almost ten years from the g a l l e r y scene from 1946 to 1955 because of blatant sexism and because she rejected the dominant mode of Abstract Expressionism. Georgia O'Keeffe (b. 1887) led an equally independent and productive l i f e but, had i t not been for her determination and l i f e - l o n g support from her husband A l f r e d S t e i g l i t z , the photographer and the promoter of American and European Art in the 1920's, 30' s and 40's, her work may never have found such exposure nor received such c o n s i s t e n t l y favourable reviews. For almost t h i r t y years the i n f l u - e n t i a l S t e i g l i t z was her chief advocate, and organized yearly e x h i b i t s of her work. O'Keeffe was l a b e l l e d a "new woman." Not only i s she recognized as one of the pioneers of American abstract a r t but she has also served as a model for women in the 1970's who wished to continue her s p i r i t of independence and achieve recognition through . a more e g a l i t a r i a n system. Except for a number of women a r t i s t s i n pre-revolutionary Russia and i n America during the 1930's, women remained on the periphery of most art movements u n t i l past mid-century. While the numbers of women a r t i s t s grew r a p i d l y during the f i r s t h a l f of the century, only a few women a r t i s t s l i k e Mary Cassatt and Georgia O'Keeffe found th e i r place 78 in the c u l t u r a l mainstream. A number of women a r t i s t s were associated with, and made s i g n i f i c a n t contributions to, the major art movements— Impressionism, Cubism, German Expressionism, Dada and Surrealism—but they often had to compete as men and on male terms while s t i l l being pressured to prove themselves i n their old female rol e s which were at odds with th e i r self-appointed ambitions. Within t h i s context i t was d i f f i c u l t for women a r t i s t s to come to a f u l l understanding of th e i r own l i f e experience and to fi n d an authentic form language with which to express t h i s experience. Shulamith Firestone (1970) describes how auth e n t i c i t y was d i f f i c u l t for women a r t i s t s no matter what t h e i r t a l e n t : "The t o o l for representing, for o b j e c t i f y i n g one's experience in order to deal with i t , c u l t u r e , i s so saturated with male bias that women almost never have a chance to see themselves c u l t u r a l l y through the i r own eyes. So that, f i n a l l y , signals from t h e i r d i r e c t experience that c o n f l i c t with the pr e v a i l i n g (male) culture are denied or repres- sed" (pp. 177-78). Fortunately, however, some of the outstanding women a r t i s t s of the 1930's, 40's and 50's endured and confronted t h i s c o n f l i c t i n the i r own, often p r i v a t e , world. These e a r l y survivors remained in d i r e c t contact with th e i r experience even though th e i r unique v i s i o n and expression was sometimes obscured by a s t y l e of art movement they had l i t t l e part i n or i g i n a t i n g or a f f e c t i n g . Their struggle for s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n and s e l f - i d e n t i t y remains v i s i b l e in the i r a rt and the i r successes and defeats have had much to teach the l a t e s t movement of p o l i t i c i z e d women a r t i s t s of the 1970's and 1980's. Fortunately, a number of women a r t i s t s such as Helen Frankenthaler and Joan M i t c h e l l from the Abstract Expressionist period managed to endure discriminatory exhbition p r a c t i c e s of the 1950's. As Munro (1979) suggested, "by ex p l o i t i n g a l l other avenues that l a y open to them—their t a l e n t , t h e i r beauty, t h e i r f a m i l i e s ' money, insofar as i t was forthcoming, they were able to do the work they were capable of" (p. 53). As a group, however, they were i s o l a t e d from each other i n cutthroat competition and they refused to bond together as s i s t e r s for fear of losing hard won recognition. Often excluded from male bonding placed such as "The Cedars" in New York, they struggled alone. Their a r t , however, was on the whole l e s s "doom-haunted" and concerned with the single "trade-mark" image than that of Pollock, Rothko and Newmann. Their l i v e s and art took on a changing organic (esthetic) shape as they adapted and invented novel s t y l i s t i c devices for probing the raw material of memory. Krasner, Frankenthaler and M i t c h e l l moved, each i n thei r own ways, beyond the conventions of the time to create works that express a f e l t connection between mind, body and nature. In the 1960's, another group of women a r t i s t s emerged who worked th e i r own ground amidst the confusion of Pop, Op, Minimal and Conceptual isms. This group of a r t i s t s came into t h e i r own in a decade of economic boom, s o c i a l unheavals and the War i n Vietnam. In the art world of the 60's, characterized by the evaporation of s i g n i f i c a n t subject and demythologizing i n a r t , these women emerged slowly and si n g l y to assert a " s e n s i b i l i t y beyond banality" (Munro, 1979, p. 83). While using elements of Pop Art, Nikki de Saint Phalle went beyond the often s l i c k stereotyped images of women of other Pop a r t i s t s to explore the ^mage of women in her huge "Nanas." Her i r o n i c , m u l t i f u n c t i o n a l super-women can be seen to symbolize the c o n f l i c t i n g 80 demands of women in the 1960's. Escobar Marisol extended t h i s explora- t i o n of i d e n t i t y by trying on roles in huge sc u l p t u r a l tableaux, which reveal aspects of her own consciousness. She uses p l a s t e r , wood and found objects i n juxtaposition to r e f l e c t the s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l a t t i t u d e s of a p a t r i a r c h a l society. Working with new materials, another group of women a r t i s t s i n the 1960's created sculpture to tap new sources of subjective memory and f e e l i n g . Louise Bourgeosis, Lee Bontecou and Eva Hesse began to make abstract works i n environments that were concerned with process and explored the human body as subject. Bourgeosis' marble, latex and p l a s t e r s c u l p t u r e s c r e a t e environments which e x p l o r e c o n f l i c t i n g f e e l i n g s of nos t a l g i a , eroticism and sexuality and which reveal an intimate bond between image, materials and the a r t i s t . In Bontecou's s t e e l and canvas pieces, with th e i r dark c e n t r a l c a v i t i e s forced into high r e l i e f , there i s another sense of what Lippard (1976) c a l l s body i d e n t i f i c a t i o n . F i n a l l y , the young German-born a r t i s t , Eva Hesse, used f i b e r g l a s s , latex and other rubbery substances to e x t e r i o r i z e her own pa i n f u l but f r u i t f u l confrontations with he r s e l f i n sensuous geometric sculpture. She began turning out works of a strange appearing prophetic character that synthesized the ordered structure of Minimal Art with the emotional, i n t e n s i t y of Expressionism. By r e j e c t i n g the reductive p u r i s t stand that came out of the 1960's, Hesse can be seen to have opened the door for more recent women a r t i s t s l i k e Harmony Hammond, who continue to work on the d i f f i c u l t edge between content, the p i c t o r a l impetus and abstract form (Lippard, 1982, p. 112). Bourgeosis, Bontecou and Hesse helped l a y the ground for a new freedom from formalism r e s u l t i n g i n many of the far reaching experiments 81 of the 1970's. However, l i k e t h e i r predecessors, a consciousness of the i r p o s i t i o n of women, insofar as i t informed their work, was i n - d i v i d u a l i s t i c , without p o l i t i c a l understandings of that p o s i t i o n . It was not u n t i l the Women's Art Movement spread i t s gains into a l l areas of the art world that women could opt for a l i f e as an a r t i s t without the ali e n a t i n g experiences many of these women endured (Munro, 1979). The feminist movement moved quickly into the many realms of society and women's art movement was born. By 1971 women a r t i s t s a l l over North America were coming out of the i s o l a t i o n that had made them separate and se l f - d e s p a i r i n g . On an int e r n a t i o n a l l e v e l , women a r t i s t s , art h i s t o r - ians and c r i t i c s were getting together and t a l k i n g to each other. Members of the movement became p o l i t i c i z e d through feminist writings such as de Beauvoir's The Second Sex and more recent feminist t r e a t i s e s such as Firestone's The D i a l e c t i c s of Sex or Greer's The Female Eunuch. The movement began to operate on a l l fronts to address and seek a l t e r - natives to the disc r i m i n a t i o n and biases which were woven into the entire f a b r i c of the male-dominated art world. "1970 was the tremendous watershed," says Lippard. "Before then there was no community of women in the a r t s " (1976, p. 61). The Women's Art Movement that followed worked benefits for women a r t i s t s on the personal, educational and p o l i t i c a l fronts and affected changes i n exhbition practices as well as the d i r e c t i o n of art c r i t i c i s m . The f i r s t phase of the movement was a period of consciousness- r a i s i n g through which women learned that sex i s an issue i n art j u s t as in other f i e l d s . The sense of community and support offered through consciousness-raising groups provided a forum for s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n and bonding that male a r t i s t s had given one another. By bringing t h e i r own 82 concerns into consciousness/ women a r t i s t s could re a f f i r m and sharpen t h e i r d i r e c t i o n s and make contacts to further career plans. On the educational front, artist-educators l i k e Judy Chicago began questioning whether art school and college art programs were meeting the needs of female students. In her book, Through the Flower, she made these observations: ' They s i t i n classes taught p r i m a r i l y by men, look at s l i d e s of work done almost e x c l u s i v e l y by male a r t i s t s and are asked to work on projects that have l i t t l e to do with t h e i r l i v e s and concerns. If they make images that are relevant to the fact s of t h e i r femaleness, they are put down, ignored, laughed at or rejecte d . Is i t any wonder that few young women succeed i n becoming serious a r t i s t s ? Often women pay large amounts of money for an e n t i r e l y inadequate education. Why? Pri m a r i l y because they do not r e a l i z e t h e r e can be a l t e r n a t i v e s . (Chicago, 1977, p. 91.) A s t a t i s t i c a l i n v e s t i g a t i o n of art education for women bears out many of Judy Chicago's claims. F i r s t l y , women form the majority of the art school student body. One survey found that, i n 1972, women composed 72% of the enti r e a rt school population i n the U.S.A. (Fine, 1978, p. 145). As Chicago (1977) suggests, however, many female students are not happy with the male dominated art educational system.' In a 1980 Survey of Contempoary Canadian Women A r t i s t s , by Sasha Mclnnis-Hayman, close to 73% of the 300 a r t i s t s surveyed mentioned that discriminatory a t t i t u d e s on the part of male professors s e r i o u s l y damaged the i r education. " I t ' s too bad you're female, but you can paint as a hobby when you're mar- r i e d , " was an approach used by many male professors, according to the respondents (Mclnnis-Hayman, 1980). In addition to t h i s d i s c r i m i n a t i o n , 92% of the sample reported having had fewer than 10% female i n s t r u c t o r s during t h e i r t r a i n i n g i n post-secondary art c o l l e g e s . Many a r t i s t s suggested that lack of female teachers and a r t i s t s i n art hi s t o r y deprived them of important r o l e models. In another study by Whitesel 83 (1975), t h i s lack of women ro l e models was shown to have contributed to low self-esteem and career a s p i r a t i o n among women art students. In an e f f o r t to provide a more relevant, challenging and supportive educational environment, pioneering e f f o r t s have been made to provide a l t e r n a t i v e art programs. Beginning with the Fresno Women's Art Program (1970), Cal Arts Feminist Art Program and Womanhouse, led and direc t e d by Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro, a model program was designed and ca r r i e d out. These r a d i c a l departures from t r a d i t i o n a l a r t programs allowed female students to investigate and discuss the work of other women a r t i s t s who had been l e f t out of t r a d i t i o n a l a r t h i s t o r y . They provided a forum for consciousness-raising concerning the b a r r i e r s that had prevented women from producing the q u a l i t y and quantity of ar t men had. Alternate e x h i b i t i o n and c r i t i c a l procedures were discussed and planned. F i n a l l y , a more supportive studio environment was developed to enable students to explore the forms and expressive concepts that evolved from their own f e l t l i v e s . The success of these programs inspired a whole network of feminist art education programs and courses i n the United States. The Women's Interart Center (N.Y.), the New York Feminist Art I n s t i t u t e , c o l l e c t i v e projects such as the Dinner Party and dozens of Women's Studies in the Arts programs developed to meet the needs of the serious female a r t i s t . While the problems o f i s o l a t i o n and d i s c r i m i n a t i o n c o u l d be addressed within the separate educational or community programs, these more equitable co-operative p r a c t i c e s had to be applied to the larger world of granting agencies, g a l l e r i e s , museums and art c r i t i c i s m . Without t h i s , women a r t i s t s would remain locked i n a female ghetto. Discriminatory p r a c t i c e s required documentation and c a r e f u l analysis so 84 that women a r t i s t s would know what they were up against and what needed to be done. Concerning e x h i b i t i o n , funding and c r i t i c a l p r a c t i c e s i n the United States, i t was through p o l i t i c a l action that the r a d i c a l arm of the Art Workers C o a l i t i o n , Women A r t i s t s i n Revolution (WAR) and the Ad Hoc Committee, sought funds and members to protest the low representation of women in the Whitney Museum's Annuals. The success of these protests which increased the works of women in these e x h i b i t s from 5% i n 1969 to 23% in 1973 provided the impetus for others to review funding and c r i t i c a l p r a c t i c e s . These surveys summarized by Munro (1979) show that the gap between the aspirations of women a r t i s t s and their l e g i t i m a t i o n has been shockingly large: In the spring of 1972, Tamarind Lithography Workshop published a 132-page booklet, Sex Differences i n Art E x h i b i t i o n Reviews. The conclusions s t a r t l e d even the reviewers concerned: 96.5 per cent male shows reviewed i n Newsweek, to 3.5 per cent by women. 92.0 per cent male shows i n Art i n America, to 8.0 per cent by women. 78.6 per cent male shows i n Art News to 21.4 per cent women, and so on. In 1976, Vandegriff Research published a pamphlet, Funding a Future for Women i n the Humanities. Again the figures were astounding: 3.5 per cent, of a l l grants i n 1975 by foundations i n the v i s u a l - a r t s , dance, theater, museum and h i s t o r i c a l f i e l d s went to women, both i n d i v i d u a l s and as project d i r e c t o r s . 85 This has occurred despite the fact that approximately a t h i r d of people i n the professional work force in the a r t s are women. 24.6 per cent of Rockefeller grants i n the a r t s , i n 1974, went to women. 18.4 per cent of Ford grants, went to women a r t i s t s . 13.1 per cent of National Endowment for the Arts grants, i n 1975, went to women. The conclusion was not only that the male dominated free-enter- prise system worked against women, but that since the WPA ended i n 1943, government i t s e l f had f a i l e d to div i d e funds equitably between male and female a r t i s t s . While c u r r e n t s t a t i s t i c s i n d i c a t e the d i f f i c u l t i e s f o r women a r t i s t s i n receiving funding and f a i r documentation, we can also see how current e x h i b i t i o n practices r e f l e c t an ine q u a l i t y i n Canada's g a l l e r i e s and museums. Avis Rosenberg (1980) reports: In 16 commercial g a l l e r i e s acros Canada in 1977, 94 of the 563 a r t i s t s represented were women (16.7%). In 50 museums and g a l l e r i e s across Canada during the 1970's, out of 1377 solo shows, 313 or 22.7% were one-woman shows. A c q u i s i t i o n purchasing for permanent c o l l e c t i o n s , i n major g a l - l e r i e s such as the Art Gal l e r y of Ontario reveals even l e s s equitable treatment of women a r t i s t s according to Rosenberg (1980). The Permanent C o l l e c t i o n of the Art G a l l e r y of Ontario 1960 - 183 (5.5%) works by women artists/3346 t o t a l # works 1970 - 326 (7.4%) works by women artists/4382 t o t a l # works 1976 - 434 (7.2%) works by women artists/6007 t o t a l # works. 86 In response to the ine q u i t i e s i n funding and ex h i b i t i o n p r a c t i c e s and i n response to the need for an alternate support community/ a new network of organizations was formed. Women a r t i s t s r e a l i z e d that the art world was unwilling to provide them with f a i r treatment and that they would have to c o l l e c t i v e l y f i g h t for i t . Women a r t i s t s , c r i t i c s and h i s t o r i a n s knew they could no longer remain i s o l a t e d i n th e i r mutual discontent and that c o l l e c t i v e action was th e i r only d i r e c t i o n i n the face of century-old prejudice and sexism. They knew from watching t h e i r male colleagues that a supportive environment was the key to s u r v i v a l in the often d i f f i c u l t world of the a r t i s t . A major women's art movement grew out of the actions of the following organizations. They are summarized by Renee Sandell (1979) i n her a r t i c l e The Women's Art \ Movement as an Educational Force: 1. Organization and cooperatives for women a r t i s t s such as Women A r t i s t s i n Revolution (W.A.R.)/ Los Angeles Council of Women A r t i s t s (L.A.C.W.A.), Red Stockings, Women Art Students and A r t i s t s f o r Black A r t i s t s ' L i b e r a t i o n (W.A.S.A.B.A.L.), Women's Ad Hoc Committee (which protested the Whitney annual), West-East Bag (W.E.B.), A r t i s t s i n Residence (A.I.R.), WHere We At, Women i n the A r t s (W.I.A.), Women's Interart Center, Washington Women's Art Center (W.W.A.C.). 2. Women's caucuses i n e x i s t i n g e s t a b l i s h e d p r o f e s s i o n a l organizations such as , the Women's Caucus for Art (which emerged from the College Art Association) and the National Art Education Association Women's Caucus, with s p e c i a l programs and publ i c a t i o n s . 3. Exhibitions of women's ar t such as: "X to the 12th Power"; "Unmanly Art"; "13 Women A r t i s t s " ; "Women A r t i s t s Here and Now"; "26 Contemporary Women A r t i s t s " ; "Ten A r t i s t s (Who Al s o Happen to be Women)"; "Women Choose Women"; "Womanhouse"; "Old Mistresses: Women A r t i s t s of the Past"; "The Dinner Party"; "Women A r t i s t s : 1550-1950" (p. 6). Another area that required attention i f women were going to receive f a i r documentation and representation has been the f i e l d of art c r i t i c - ism. Work was required on two fr o n t s . C r i t i c a l p r actices which had 87 been i n the past so p a t e r n a l i s t i c and unfair to women, had to be re-examined. Patterns of stereotyping needed to be understood and brought to attent i o n . F i n a l l y , new c r i t e r i a needed to be developed which would be capable of revealing the content and meaning of a r t by women in a context that did not re j e c t i t s sources. Working of the f i r s t front, Cindy Nemser (1972.) i n Stereotypes and Women A r t i s t has illuminated two patterns of c r i t i c i s m which have propagated stereotypes of women a r t i s t s . She bu i l d s a composite picture of the various a t t r i b u t e s art c r i t i c s have assigned to women a r t i s t s and she compares them to those assigned to male a r t i s t s . F i r s t l y , she discovers a pattern of comments which r e l a t e to women's "feminine s e n s i b i l i t y , " i . e . , her passive and f r a g i l e or domestic nature. Bye's (1910) comment "man's sphere i s that of creation ... woman's that of preservation and nourishment" i s t y p i c a l of t h i s f i r s t stereotype. Other b i o l o g i c a l l y engendered stereotypes, which have been c r i t i c a l l y associated through t h i s century with women a r t i s t s have created a composite of a personage who i s "non-creative, i m i t a t i v e , c a p t i v a t i n g , passive, emotional, n a r c i s s i s t i c , narrow minded, s e l f i s h , i n t u i t i v e and elemental" (Nemser, 1971, p. 161). In more recent years a type of " p h a l l i c c r i t i c i s m " has developed, according to Nemser. Here the term feminine takes on bodily a t t r i b u t e s . A woman's art i s l i k e her body, i n the eyes of the c r i t i c . The art c r i t i c , Harold Rosenberg, according to art educator Linda Bastian (1975), wrote in Vogue (May 1967) that "women poets and heroes are locked i n a kind of p a s s i v i t y . They do not exactly grasp what they are or who they are" (p. 14) . Another approach used by R. Keziere i n Vanguard i n response to Georgianna Chappell's l i g h t i n s t a l l a t i o n (1981) 88 was to l a b e l her work "decorative." The implication that i t was a s u p e r f i c i a l piece and didn't penetrate below the surface,seemed e n t i r e l y out of place i n response to t h i s powerful work. Dozens of other examples of p h a l l i c c r i t i c i s m are documented by Nemser (1972). Nemser and others enabled women a r t i s t s to detect stereotypes and o b j e c t i f y rather than i n t e r n a l i z e prejudice. By the mid-70's women, generally speaking, were no longer as w i l l i n g to accept what appeared to be overt c r i t i c a l attempts to keep her in her place. The women's a r t movement was in f u l l force and, through consciousness r a i s i n g , media and informal dialogue, women had become more practiced i n the art of s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n . A new woman had become v i s i b l e — s h e knew her s e l f apart from the stereotyped roles and as a r e s u l t , " p h a l l i c c r i t i c i s m " r a r e l y went unchallenged. A new type of c r i t i c i s m was needed, however, which could evaluate the aesthetic e f f e c t and communicative ef f e c t i v e n e s s of a r t made by women. A verbal dialogue was i n i t i a t e d by art c r i t i c s and h i s t o r i a n s , sympathetic to, and c l o s e l y i d e n t i f i e d with, the feminist movement. Linda Nochlin, Cindy Nemser, Arlene Raven, Eli z a b e t h Baker, G l o r i a Orenstein, Pat Sloan, Lawrence Alloway, Judy Chicago and Lucy Lippard became involved i n esta b l i s h i n g new c r i t e r i a and a new context for the discussion of art by women. They either sponsored or contributed to publications of various sorts to disseminate information to and about women i n the arts such as Women and Art; The Feminist Art Journal; Woman-space; Women A r t i s t s Newsletter; Heresies; C h r y s a l i s ; Women's Caucus for Art Newsletter; The Report of the National Art Education Ass o c i a t i o n Women's Caucus; V i s u a l Dialogue; Womanart. Several recurring c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s of t h i s new s t y l e of feminist a r t c r i t i c i s m became apparent. They are summarized as follows: 1. A more permissive l y r i c i s m ; an acceptance of personal or autobio- graphical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of content; a response to art as a human experience within the context of other experience; a reaching out to a broader audience; a discussion of o r i g i n a l i t y i n terms of values and ideologies (not j u s t s t y l i s t i c innovation), and a reaction to the anti-content formalist t r a d i t i o n of art c r i t i c i s m (Lippard, 1976; Sondheim, 1977). 2. A reluctance to compare women's work to a h i s t o r y of men's work which has, in the past, rejected i t s sources. A d e n i a l of h i s t o r - i c a l determinism, and a preference for a dialogue in the present; an in t e r e s t i n responding to women's work within the context of her experience and the embryonic h i s t o r y of other women's a r t ; an int e r e s t in reaching a broad audience which, of course, i s h a l f women; a desire to understand the elements and conditions which underlie the experience of each sex and a willingness to examine how and why t h i s may be v i s i b l e i n t h e i r a r t i s t i c forms (Lippard, 1976; Nemser, 1976). 3. A resistance to h i e r a r c h i e s — a r t / c r a f t hierarchy, c r i t i c / a r t i s t h i e r a r c h y , male/female h i e r a r c h y , o b j e c t / c o n t e n t h i e r a r c h y ; a greater in t e r e s t in a h o l i s t i c view; a cooperative r o l e in helping women r e a l i z e themselves i n r e l a t i o n to the i r h i s t o r y and in terms of new standards for women's art (Alloway, 1979; Nochlin, 1980). Working alongside the a r t i s t , the art c r i t i c has contributed a valuable verbal dialogue. Women's art has not been transformed i n a vacuum; the audience for women's a r t i s large and the new feminist 90 c r i t i c i s m has forged another l i n e of communication through which a r t i s t s and their audiences can begin to discuss ideas germane to the movement. Within t h i s context several major questions have surfaced which have sharpened the general awareness of women and the i r a r t . A major issue has been the question of a female s e n s i b i l i t y . Is there an i d e n t i f i a b l e women's art and to what dif f e r e n c e s does a female s e n s i b i l i t y refer i n contemporary art? Although a female s e n s i b i l i t y has, in the past, been a closed and negatively p r e s c r i p t i v e formula, contempoary c r i t i c s l i k e Lucy Lippard, and a r t i s t s such as Miriam Shapiro and Judy Chicago wished to provide a p o s i t i v e d e f i n i t i o n for the term. Women's a r t i s d i f f e r - ent, they claim, that does not mean i t i s i n f e r i o r . In an e f f o r t to i d e n t i f y the forms associated with a contemporary female s e n s i b i l i t y , Lucy Lippard (1976) suggests the following c h a r a c t e r i s t i c s : A c e n t r a l focus (often "empty," often c i r c u l a r or oval) para- b o l i c bag-like forms, obsessive l i n e and d e t a i l , v e i l e d s t r a t a , t a c t i l e or sensuous surface and forms, a s s o c i a t i v e fragmenta- t i o n and autobiographical emphasis. (p. 144) Shapiro and Chicago (1977) go a step further i n i d e n t i f y i n g the ce n t r a l feature in women's a r t . They suggest the core image, the concave form or metaphor for a woman's body i s the c e n t r a l form and can be found i n O'Keeffe, Hepworth, Bontecou and in almost a l l woman's a r t . Linda Nochlin (1976) and others have challenged t h i s strenuously imposed i d e o l o g i c a l program of " b i o l o g i c a l determinism" and suggest " h i s t o r i c a l and l o c a l factors play a greater r o l e in determining s t y l e than does the sex of the a r t i s t " (p. 65). Lawrence Alloway (1979) finds no imagistic t e c h n i c a l or s t y l i s t i c f actors to define most women's a r t . He claims "the innovative factor i s p r e c i s e l y the a t t r i b u t e of n o n - s t y l i s t i c homogeneity" (p. 73). He says that the patterns of c r o s s - s t y l i s t i c contacts i s unusual and refreshing 91 in the hi s t o r y of active a r t i s t s . Nevertheless, he claims that women are u n i f i e d in a new avant garde "because i t s members are united by a desire to change the ex i s t i n g s o c i a l forms of the art world ... they are compatible for s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l purposes and these take p r i o r i t y " .(pp. 73, 74) . In t h i s author's study of twentieth century women a r t i s t s , the truth l i e s somewhere within a l l of these views. A pattern of l o o s e l y r e l a t e d themes and concerns seem to have been evolving i n ar t by women since the turn of the century. P a r a l l e l i n g the changing h i s t o r i c a l , educational and s o c i a l circumstances, women a r t i s t s seem to have been i n v o l v e d i n a c o n t i n u o u s l y e v o l v i n g search f o r s e l f - i d e n t i t y and s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n within a culture over which i n the past they have had l i t t l e c o n t r o l . Perhaps only at progressive moments in h i s t o r y , and c e r t a i n l y i n the l a s t ten years has t h i s long soul-search for f u l f i l l - ment f i n a l l y emerged from a continuous maze of f a l s e solutions to f i n d i t s e l f within the p o s s i b i l i t y of attainment. The forms of a r t and the a r t i s t ' s emerging from t h i s long journey have kinship perhaps because of an i n s t i n c t i v e and eventually conscious and p o l i t i c i z e d urge from within to e s t a b l i s h t h e i r presence on the continuum and to achieve a "one world view" (Munro, 1979). These themes are explored in depth i n the follow- ing chapters. While Chapter V traces the emergence of a new self-image i n the works of a r t i s t s l i k e Mary Cassatt, Kathe Ko l l w i t z and Marisol, Chapter VI traces the development of a new e c o l o g i c a l v i s i o n of nature i n the environmental sculptures of Jackie Windsor, Nancy Holt and Mary Miss. Whether or not feminity r e s u l t s i n unconscious symbolism or choice of media, i t i s apparent that many women a r t i s t s today are consciously deciding to work with components of a female form language to achieve works r i c h i n personal content that can be read by a larger and larger audience. A pattern of loose l y related themes and concerns seems to have been evolving i n art by women in the 1970's and 1980's. One trend that i s c l e a r l y evident i n art by women today i s work that i s autobiographical. Women a r t i s t s l i k e Laurie Anderson, Adrien Piper and Eleanor Antin are documenting i n t e r i o r and exterior l i v e s i n performance pieces. Their work emerges out of a way of looking at the world that i s personal, e c l e c t i c , h i s t o r i c a l and anti-reductive and that focuses on the process of art for i t s own sake. These a r t i s t s , by making private h i s t o r i e s p u b l i c , give a new voice to a feminist con- sciousness. Other a r t i s t s l i k e Joyce Weiland, S y l v i a Mangold, Gathie Falk, E l l e n Lanyon and Judy Chicago use aspects of fantasy and realism to turn symbols of women's everyday domestic concerns into a r t . In environments l i k e Womanhouse, Judy Chicago and other a r t i s t s turn household images, the symbols of women's oppression, into a forum for self-awareness and p o l i t i c a l consciousness. In addition to household imagery, a r t i s t s l i k e Mary Frank, Lynda Benglis, Hanna Wilke and Carolea Scheeman use "body works" and "sexual imagery" to explore aspects of women's sexual i d e n t i t y and to assert femaleness as a po s i t i v e force. Other a r t i s t s l i k e Miriam Schapiro, Shiela Hicks and Joyce Kozloff explore new p o s s i b i l i t i e s for using c r a f t material to form conceptual statements. By extending the t r a d i t i o n s of decorative a r t that goes from archaic Greece and Islam to the blankets of Navajo women and the 93 q u i l t s of American pioneers, these a r t i s t s transpose the so - c a l l e d applied arts into major works of a r t . Out of t h i s need to discover women's h i s t o r y has developed a need to work on huge c o l l a b o r a t i v e works that allow for a sense of sharing. A r t i s t s l i k e Joyce Weiland, Miriam Shapiro and Judy Chicago have challenged the stereotype of the a r t i s t as non-conformist, a n t i - s o c i a l and highly i n d i v i d u a l i s t i c by exploring a more communal-socialist format for art making. A quest for archetypal images and women's h i s t o r y has been evident in the works of other contemporary a r t i s t s l i k e Judy Chicago, Rosemary Mayer, Harmony Hammond, Faith Ringold and Bette Saar. Judy Chicago redefines h i s t o r y through her symbolic "Dinner Party," celebrating women a r t i s t s from p r e h i s t o r i c to modern times, while Rosemary Mayer incor- porates elements of goddess l o r e into her huge f a b r i c and metal sculp- tures. Out of t h i s c a l l to refeminize society has come a group of a r t i s t s who make architecture-sculpture in the environment which seeks to a t t a i n a harmony with mother earth and with the rhythms of-1 seasonal cosmology. Using organic materials such as ground rock, earth, rope and saplings, a r t i s t s l i k e Jackie Winsor, Mary Miss, Nancy Holt and A l i c e Aycock integrate t h e i r works into the natural s i t e and incorporate the use of r e a l space and r e a l time (Morris, 1978). . Instead of "the conquest of nature these a r t i s t s concentrate on the connective aspects of the web," and assert a view of nature as a u n i f i e d whole (Lippard, 1979, p. 88). Building on ancient memories of the earth as mother, these a r t i s t s trace the p r e h i s t o r i c roots of architecture and sculpture to the earth i t s e l f . 94 Returning now from the h i s t o r i c a l journey through the twentieth century and having arrived at an understanding of the o r i g i n s of the women's a r t movement of the 1970's, we can conclude with a general d e s c r i p t i o n of the ro l e of the woman a r t i s t i n the 1980's. Many women a r t i s t s have c l e a r l y emerged from the private world of the s e l f and through c o l l e c t i v e action have made the link-up i n the i r work and th e i r organizations between t h e i r personal d i s s a t i s f a c t i o n s , t h e i r inner fantasy of change and the larger human world. Judy Chicago (1977) defines her own personal experience in t h i s process: "I found my way back to my l i f e as an a r t i s t through my i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with other women, and together with them was able to see the r e a l i z a t i o n of a female art community that could house the hopes, the values and the aspi r a t i o n s of a l l of us" (p. 204). No longer s a t i s f i e d with the t r a d i t i o n a l images and d e f i n i t i o n s of women created by men, women a r t i s t s have begun to define t h e i r own image. Having put aside the s o c i a l conditioning that demands modesty, niceness, and subservience, women a r t i s t s have begun to measure t h e i r l i v e s i n terms of producing good works and a f f e c t i n g c u l t u r e . Having established a support community and a stronger i d e n t i t y , women have ventured beyond the movements and s t y l e s defined by male colleagues. They have ventured into, and far beyond, the t r a d i t i o n a l p o r t r a i t , s t i l l l i f e genres once assigned to them. They have moved into experimental works i n sculpture, performance, and multi-media works that reveal new concepts of a r t , culture and nature. Unwilling to s e t t l e for the a r t - c r a f t hierarchy established by an e l i t i s t a r t h i s t o r y , women a r t i s t s are also exploring media such as f a b r i c , weaving, needlework, and s t i t c h e r y i n large-scale works to make conceptual statements that go beyond the l i m i t a t i o n s of modernism. D i s s a t i s f i e d with the aloof romantic stereotype of the a r t i s t as i n d i v i d u a l i s t and i s o l a t i o n i s t , women a r t i s t s are pursuing p u b l i c , c o l l a b o r a t i v e , p o l i t i c a l , i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y and e c o l o g i c a l works which are s o c i a l l y and c u l t u r a l l y relevant to our society. Contemporary women a r t i s t s can be seen as s t r i v i n g for a synthesis of the d u a l i t i e s of past/present, nature/culture, male/female, f e e l i n g / - l o g i c , and science/art that have been produced by a sing l e v i s i o n , p a t r i a r c h a l and technological view of c u l t u r e . They can be seen moving beyond the polarized world view to a d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p with a r t , nature, culture and humankind. As Munro (1979) has seen, women a r t i s t s are "returning to that e a r l i e r g e s t a l t in which natural science and art were so c l o s e l y enmeshed to be aspects of the same imaginative process, and where past, present and future are f e l t as "one unbroken thread of consciousness" (pp. 54, 57, 58). The new woman a r t i s t has, unlike a r t i s t s of the 1950's and 1960's, not had to break with her past and f r u i t l e s s l y s t r i v e for endless new s t y l e s . An evolutionary growth i s now possible which encompasses a " c r o s s - s t y l i s t i c homogeneity" (Alloway, 1979). Within t h i s more h o l i s t i c approach to a r t , Chicago envisions that "perhaps we can also reach across that great g u l f between masculine and feminine and gently, tenderly and fi r m l y heal i t " (1977, p. 206). In conclusion, t h i s chronological study of women a r t i s t s from the Renaissance to the present period has provided an overview of the emergence of women a r t i s t s within the h i s t o r i c a l , s o c i a l and p o l i t i c a l context of the time. By focusing on the changing h i s t o r i c a l conditions which affected her achievements i t has been possible to understand more 96 about the woman a r t i s t ' s r o l e i n ar t h i s t o r y . Within the context of the women's art movement and the changes i n society i n the 1970's, i t has been possible to understand the recent flowering of women a r t i s t s i n the l a s t decade. Chapters V and VI w i l l explore i n depth the form and meanings of the major works by contemporary women a r t i s t s . By focusing on two basic themes—self and nature, or what the philosopher Ernst Cassirer (1944) c a l l s the two aspects of our "double r e a l i t y " — t h e s e chapters w i l l explore works by contemporary women a r t i s t s that give us new in t e r p r e t a - tions of nature and human l i f e . i 97 CHAPTER V EXPLORATION OF IDENTITY IN CONTEMPORARY ART BY WOMEN Images of Women by Women — Discovery and Reaffirmation In art h i s t o r y scholarship and teaching the theme of "images of women" has been explored from the viewpoint of male a r t i s t s often excluding images of women created by women. Recent research by art hi s t o r i a n s John Berger (1977), . Elizabeth Janeway (1974) and E s t e l l a Lauter (1978) suggests that many of these images by well known a r t i s t s such as Rubens, Ingres, Manet, Picasso, Roualt, D a l i , de Kooning, Rosenquist and Wesselman, project stereotypes of women which re i n f o r c e the r e a l i t y of female oppression and serve to hide the nature of feminine i d e n t i t y . John Berger (1972), i n Ways of Seeing, examines the t r a d i t i o n of the nude i n art and describes how i t i s always conventionalized accord- ing to a t y p i c a l manner of perceiving women i n the Western Culture. From a marxist point of view he shows how the women portrayed by Rubens, Ingres and T i t i a n can be seen as " s t a t i c images of sexual nakedness. This nakedness i s not however, an expression of her own fe e l i n g s ; i t i s a sign of he submission to the owners f e e l i n g s or demands" (p. 52) . The women are not naked and shown as themselves but as passive nudes disguised and on dis p l a y for the enjoyment of the spectator. According to Berger, even when the id e a l image of the nude was broken i n the ea r l y twentieth century, a new stereotype replaced i t . He claims that "there was l i t t l e to replace i t except the 'realism' of the prostitute—who became the qui n t e s s e n t i a l woman of e a r l y avant-garde 98 twentieth century painting (Tolouse-Lautrec, Picasso, Roualt, German Expressionism, e t c . ) " (p. 63). P i c a s s o ' s "Les Dem o i s e l l e s d'Avignon" (1907), f o r example, a painting considered by many to be "the white whale of modern a r t , " could be seen as such a statement about lower cl a s s women i n a turn of the century Barcelona whore house (Russel, 1974). Closely r e l a t e d to Rubens' "Judgement of Paris, " i n which the a r t i s t was " c a l l e d upon" to decide whether Venus, Juno or Minerva was the best looking, Picasso made the image "new" by taking the women and "the future by the throat" and abstracting the qu i n t e s s e n t i a l woman through cubism (Russel, 1974, p. 3) . "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon" (1907) marked two s h i f t s as far as v i s u a l conventions were concerned. While on one hand, i t marked the beginning of Cubism and a new way of perceiving p i c t o r i a l space, on the other hand i t marked the end of Picasso's f i g u r a t i v e subjects rendered in harmonious and un i f i e d s t y l e . What had begun as a s e n s i t i v e portray- a l of tenderness and strength in h i s e a r l i e r portrayal of women ended up in what art h i s t o r i a n Leo Steinberg has c a l l e d "a t i d a l wave of female aggression" (Russel, 1974, p. 6). While t h i s work has been seen as a landmark i n the h i s t o r y of modern a r t , some feminist art c r i t i c s such as Cindy Nemser (1976) question the t r a d i t i o n i n 20th century art of the profoundly disturbing and d i s t o r t e d images of women. In reference to some of the painting by Picasso, de Kooning, Warhol, Rosenquist and Wess.elman, she wonders i f these a r t i s t s somehow in f e r women as respon- s i b l e for society's corruption. E l i z a b e t h Janeway (1974)', i n Images of Women, analyses the desi r e s and fantasies that many a r t i s t i c and l i t e r a r y men have projected onto 99 the image of women. Stereotypes of the " v i r g i n goddess, the a l l - g i v i n g mother, the malign witch and the golden-hearted whore," have functioned "as a mask, as a screen, as armor—most of a l l , as a ba r r i e r between the inner s e l f and the world" (p. 9). 1 Berger and Janeway analyze the communicative power of stereotyped images in the way they define and cont r o l human behavior. Berger claims that passive i d e a l i z e d images of women projected i n t r a d i t i o n a l a r t cause women, l i k e men, to survey t h e i r own feminity and to experience the s e l f as an object. Janeway (1974) describes how t r a d i t i o n a l images of women, which pass for the true s e l f in p u b l i c , f i x the s e l f in s o c i a l r e a l i t y because they can be recognized by others. She sees that, ... s e l f and image are not the same, but they cannot l i v e apart from each other. Each acts c o n t i n u a l l y on the other i n a constant tension; for while the private s e l f i s the only source of authentic experience, t h i s experience can only be stated and understood through the public image; and we are dependent on being understood to value for ourselves the experience we have known. (p. 11) A r t i s t i c images of women are a communicative t o o l which inform the public who women are and how they i n t e r a c t i n society. Like other forms of art these images are expressions of c e r t a i n people's ideas of r e a l i t y and of the nature of s o c i a l r o l e s . Images of women, which portray her has an object of others' f a n t a s i e s , not recognized for he r s e l f , stimulate the use of women as objects i n soci e t y . According to Janeway, women have withdrawn for too long into the private world of the s e l f , have l e f t the f a l s i f i e d images of art and media i n command and c o n t r o l . The r e s u l t i s a disastrous spate of f a l s e images, of cheats , which are cheats for men too, which f a i l even i n the s o c i a l world, so that public r e a l i t y i t s e l f i s coming unstuck. Because women have l e t the f a l s e images stand as our repre- sentatives, we have f a l s i f i e d ourselves, diminished ourselves, chosen to div i d e ourselves and e x i s t i n a hopeless, endless 100 s t a s i s , unable either to act t r u l y or to be ourselves i n f r e e - dom and enjoyment. (p. 12) She says that women must begin to discard the o l d image, l i s t e n deeply to what experience has shown, and stubbornly and daringly create a new image from true l i v e d experience. It i s not surp r i s i n g that, with the growing awareness of the power of the image, p o l i t i c i z e d women in the l a s t decade have sought to re-discover and create a more authentic self-image i n a r t . S h i e l a Rowbotham (1973), i n Woman's Consciousness Man's World, describes the process of t h i s search which has led to the study of woman's image from a feminist perspective. In order to create an a l t e r n a t i v e , an oppressed group must at once shatter the s e l f - r e f l e c t i n g world which e n c i r c l e s i t and, at the same time, project i t s own image onto h i s t o r y . In order to discover i t s own i d e n t i t y , as d i s t i n c t from the oppressor, i t has to become v i s i b l e to i t s e l f . (p. 27) One way that women can become v i s i b l e to themselves i s through a study of the images of women by women a r t i s t s i n the twentieth century. Beginning with the Impressionist p o r t r a i t s of Mary Cassatt and working through the various decades i t i s possible to rediscover and re-evaluate the s p e c i f i c experiences, values and attitudes which formed the authen- t i c f e l t l i v e s of i n d i v i d u a l s . While Chapter IV focused on women a r t i s t s as they encountered both external and i n t e r n a l b a r r i e r s to becoming a r t i s t s , t h i s chapter w i l l show women a r t i s t s on the other side of the door; discovering, naming and re-defining themselves on th e i r own terms. While many of the a r t i s t s discussed in t h i s thesis predate the women's ar t movement, they l a i d the ground work i n t h e i r own often private and i s o l a t e d worlds for conscious exploration of women's i d e n t i t y i n the art of the 1970's. 101 The object-centered and formalist e s t h e t i c of modernist c r i t i c i s m often overlooked the important and complex meanings of many of these works. The p u r i s t e s t h e t i c of much contemporary a r t , which culminated in the minimal art of the 1960's, was based on the concept that "works of the imagination could be p u r i f i e d of the personal, the subjective, the t r a g i c and the narrative in the favor of a world of things and pure form" (Munro, 1979, p. 18). In the e a r l i e r movements of Impressionism, Expressionism, Realism and Surrealism, many of these works were l a b e l l e d as shallow, sentimental, "feminine" or " n a r c i s s i s t i c " by d i n t of t h e i r i n t r o s p e c t i v e , l i t e r a r y or autobiographical associations and because some were made by women. The emergence of the women's art movement has helped to form a new e s t h e t i c i n which the personal and autobiographical i s seen as a valuable source of a r t i s t i c expression (Alloway, 1974). Experiencing and coming to terms with one's inner r e a l i t y , p h y s i c a l i d e n t i t y , and one's s o c i a l r e a l i t y , has become a v a l i d basis for the perception of the world and the a r t i s t s ' p o s s i b i l i t y i n i t . Many women a r t i s t s have re-affirmed the notion that the body i s the f a m i l i a r source of memories, dreams, and c r e a t i v i t y . An i n t e r e s t has been rekindled i n , not only the creation of new images of women but also in the reevaluation of the Impressionist, Expressionist, Realist and S u r r e a l i s t representations of women by e a r l i e r women a r t i s t s . This study of women's image in art w i l l begin in the e a r l y 20th century with Mary Cassatt's treatment of the maternal image. Beginning with the age-old theme of mother and c h i l d i t i s possible to see how changing a r t i s t i c , i d e o l o g i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l conditions generated f i v e very d i f f e r e n t i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of t h i s image. 102 In the second group of works, beginning with the s u r r e a l i s t a r t i s t Dorothea Tanning and including contemporary a r t i s t s l i k e N i k i de Saint- Phalle and Mary Frank, i t i s possible to gain a f u l l e r understanding of the search for a new physical and sexual i d e n t i t y . In these works created from 1940 to 1980 we see women confronting and questioning the tyranny of her b i o l o g i c a l destiny and exploring new i d e n t i t i e s through a r t i s t i c form. From t h i s study i t i s possible to understand the meanings behind the more p o l i t i c i z e d sexual iconography and organic images found in the abstract works of contemporary a r t i s t s . F i n a l l y , the t h i r d section of t h i s chapter w i l l explore the a r t i s t i c image of women in myth, society, and h i s t o r y . In t h i s group of works, beginning with A l i c e Neel i n the 1930s and ending with Eleanor Antin and Judy Chicago in the l a t e 1970s, a r t i s t s adapt and invent new s t y l i s t i c devices to explore the r e l a t i o n s h i p of the private inner s e l f to the public image. In t h i s section i t i s possible to make deep investigations into the texture of contemporary l i f e and into ways women have preceived and experienced t h e i r p o s i t i o n i n soci e t y . In the l a s t part of t h i s section, women a r t i s t s also redefine and reclaim t h e i r i d e n t i t y i n h i s t o r y , myth, and r e l i g i o n . By bringing knowledge and appreciation of women's h i s t o r y into consciousness, a r t i s t s l i k e Judy Chicago create new mythic images and explore a new system of feminist values. Despite the fact that these a r t i s t s o r i g i n a t e i n d i f f e r e n t coun- t r i e s at d i f f e r e n t times and work i n many s t y l e s with varied media, th e i r common search for integration of aspects of the s e l f and wholeness of experience, u n i f i e s them. In most of the works i t i s possible to detect a desire for "connectedness, relatedness and continuity" (Munro, 103 1979, p. 58). If there i s a woman's s e n s i b i l i t y i n a r t perhaps we w i l l f i n d i t here i n t h i s search for a f u l l e r s e l f - i d e n t i t y and h o l i s t i c view of l i f e . Out of t h i s c r i t i c a l inquiry into the h i s t o r y of the image of women in a r t , two general purposes may be served: one i n d i v i d u a l and one s o c i a l . Through dialogue we a r t i c u l a t e our own inner l i f e of f e e l i n g s and responses so that we become more conscious of i t s elements and i t s e s t h e t i c meaning. Secondly, we reveal the fac t that women's s o c i a l r e a l i t y and inner r e a l i t y share some common threads and that they can be understood only within the h i s t o r i c context which incorporates the l i v e s and accomplishments of both men and women. F i n a l l y , i n these images the s e l f speaks and i s recognized. As E l i z a b e t h Janeway (19749 suggests, a h i s t o r y o f a u t h e n t i c images provides the key to su r v i v a l in the journey from the private world of i s o l a t i o n to the public world of s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y . She suggests that: Crazy Jane, so long alone, w i l l f i n a l l y f i n d her name; and in so doing she w i l l become more than the c o l d , passive observer. Because she i s recognizable, because singular experience has been transformed into an image which can be shared and under- stood, the image a f f e c t s the i n t e r i o r l i v e s of i t s audience u n t i l they become—Jane and a l l of us, or the Jane i n a l l of u s — n o t j u s t audience, but p a r t i c i p a n t s . This i s the task we are undertaking today, the creation of a true symbol of our- selves out of our s p e c i a l , l i v e d experience which w i l l explain our i d e n t i t i e s , both to others and to ourselves. (p. 19) The Maternal Image — The Domestic Role The mother and c h i l d theme has captured the attention of both women and men a r t i s t s for many centures. That the maternal image has played an e s p e c i a l l y important role i n women a r t i s t s ' iconography i s hardly s u r p r i s i n g . H i s t o r i c a l l y i t has been the c e n t r a l l i f e experience for 104 most women, stretching across " b a r r i e r s of c l a s s , period and nation- a l i t y " (Harris and Nochlin, 1976, p. 66). However, even i n the case of a universal subject, the v a r i a t i o n s in a r t i s t ' s expression of domes- t i c i t y are more s t r i k i n g than the s i m i l a r i t i e s . Much of t h i s has to do with i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t s ' personal response to s o c i a l and h i s t o r i c a l conditions of the time, the ideology of a p a r t i c u l a r art movement, the status of women and the importance of the family at the time the a r t i s t l i v e d . Mary Cassatt (1844-1926) i s a l o g i c a l s t a r t i n g point for t h i s survey because she bridges two centuries and contains within her work . both the t r a d i t i o n a l domestic image of the middle-class mother of the 19th c e n t u r y — t h e angel of the he a r t h — a s well as the more independent and s e l f - d e f i n e d woman which slowly emerged i n the 20th century (Beecher and Stowe, 1869). Like a l l the Impressionists, Cassatt's work i s avant-garde s t y l i s t i c a l l y but, unlike her alleg e d l y r a d i c a l contemporar- i e s , Cassatt does not conform to the standard male images of women painted at that time. Cassatt's art o f f e r s a new v i s i o n of the unconsidered aspects of domestic bourgeois l i f e because she defined her world through women, apart from their r e l a t i o n s h i p s to men. After her student days at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and during her productive years i n Pa r i s , her subjects were nearly e x c l u s i v e l y female. In her three major themes—friendships, the t o i l e t t e and mother and c h i l d — C a s s e t t portrays women, not in an id e a l i z e d or passive manner, but as r e a l active i n d i v i d u a l s , complete i n themselves ( F i l l i n Yeh, 1976, p. 359) . The majority of her o i l paintings and pastels show mothers and chi l d r e n who are together yet seem to be i n d i v i d u a l s in t h e i r own r i g h t . 105 Although t h i s theme i s rooted i n the substructure of the l a t e Rousseauen 19th c e n t u r y — a s icon of a conservative Protestantism—her image of motherhood i n "Baby's F i r s t Caress" (1891) i s approached d i r e c t l y , devoid of the extreme religous content of the t r a d i t i o n a l V i r g i n and Chil d image, or of the an i m a l i s t i c p h y s i c a l i t y of her contemporary, Paula Modersohn-Becker (Harris and Nochlin, 1976, p. 66). In "The Bath" (1891) we f e e l a r e a l and concrete presence; an intimate and intensely believable moment of sensuous contact between a mother and her c h i l d . "Touching, touching: i t i s the touching of these p a i r s of figures that distinguishes Cassatt's works from those of the other Impresionists" (Munro, 1979, p. 20). Degas' women, in contrast, are often removed or iso l a t e d in their own preoccupations. For him the unifying device i s formal: i t i s l i g h t glancing o f f arms, costumes or angles created by moving arms and legs. Cassatt, however, acknowledges strong emotions often expressed i n physical contact. In " L i t t l e Ann Sucking Her Finger, Embraced by Her Mother" (1897), Cassatt's mother i s warmly att e n t i v e while her c h i l d looks out, perhaps s t r a i n i n g to be elsewhere. Always caught i n an active movement her mother and c h i l d r e n never appear engulfed by each other's dependence or helplessness. The ass e r t i v e figures which crowd the foreground of t h i s p i c t ure form a compositional device often used by Cassatt as a metaphor for the strength she sees i n a l l her female subjects. In "Young Mother Sewing" (1902), Cassatt again challenges stereo- t y p i c views of the passive mother, which disembody them. Unlike Renoir's "Madame Charpentier and Her Daughters" (1878) who i s i d l e , Cassatt shows women with work to do. The mother i s a separate, s e l f - involved e n t i t y , engrossed by her needlework, while she remains open to 106 the contact with her self-contained daughter who leans across her l a p . Cassatt uses, in t h i s o i l painting, a l l the aspects of the Impressionist e s t h e t i c : l i g h t n e s s of pale t t e , fresh gestural brush strokes, and an intimate contemporaneity of subject. However, by es t a b l i s h i n g the autonomy of mother and c h i l d , "she departs from conventional imagery which stresses c h i l d i s h dependency" ( F i l l i n Yeh, 1976, p. 362). Cassatt's images of female companionship i n domestic l i f e challenge the t r a d i t i o n which defines women only i n th e i r r e l a t i o n s h i p to men. Cassatt's portrayals, for example, of her mother and s i s t e r i n domestic i n t e r i o r s often stress the a c t i v i t y i n which her subjects are engaged rather than emphasizing appealing d e t a i l s of physique or appearance. In "Reading the Figaro" (1883), Cassatt's mother i s involved i n mental a c t i v i t y . Mrs. Cassatt's squared-off figure emphasizes the shape of the newspaper she i s reading. In her drypoint aquatint, "Gathering F r u i t " (1893) and o i l painting, "Young Women Picking F r u i t " (1891), one finds images of fri e n d s h i p between women that reverse the stereotype of women, iso l a t e d in the i r competition for men. This l a t t e r o i l i s a study of a conversation: captured i n mid-sentence, the woman turns to speak to her companion. Cassatt's women are active and a l i v e — t h e y have much to say to each other. "Such images of fri e n d s h i p and closness between women are nearly unprecedented in Impressionist a r t " ( F i l l i n Yeh, 1976, p. 361). Cassatt's own l i f e s t y l e as a single woman and committed a r t i s t extends beyond the l i m i t s of middle c l a s s propriety as did her a r t . She grew up i n a matriarchal American family; t r a v e l l e d and studied alone; 107 rejected the narrow e s t h e t i c of the French Academy; joined the progres- sive Impressionist group and i n i t i a t e d a daring new color drypoint/- aquatint process c a l l e d "a l a poupee (Harris and H a r r i s , 1976, p. 242). In her etching acquatint, "The F i t t i n g " (1891), a Japanese q u a l i t y of design, l i b e r a t e d l i n e , and b r i l l i a n t pattern looks forward to the abstraction and s i m p l i c i t y of the image seen i n her l a t e r work. Cassatt's r a d i c a l s e n s i b i l i t y , however, originated i n her b e l i e f that, as she s a i d , "Women should be somebody, not someone" ( F e l l i n Yeh, 1976, p. 363) . In her f i n a l years the horror and, sadness of the F i r s t World War and the moral d i s i n t e g r a t i o n of Europe that followed, overwhelmed Cassatt. "She wrote with anguish about the bombardment of Reims, for i t had not seemed possible to her that men would f l i n g bombs out of a i r planes" (Munro, 1979, p. 73). In the end she l o s t i n t e r e s t i n painting and i n her mother and c h i l d theme. She could f i n d only one sing l e hopeful thought and she turned to the image of a new woman in her l a s t memoirs. "After the war ... there w i l l be a great r e v i v a l and surely a new view of things. It i s then that the women ought to be prepared for thei r new duties, taking part i n governing the world..." (Munro, 1979, P. 74). Kathe Kollwitz (1867-1945), born in Germany, twenty years a f t e r Cassatt, also abhored the senseless destruction of human l i f e caused by the two world wars. While Kollwitz also focused on the mother and c h i l d theme, her images went beyond concerns of middle-class domesticity. The daughter of a non-conformist preacher of a humanistic r e l i g i o n which emphasized e t h i c a l rationalism, Kollwitz developed a strong s o c i a l conscience and became intensely concerned with the p l i g h t of the poor 108 and unemployed. Mother and c h i l d r e n , whom she saw as the most helpless victims of war, poverty and starvation, became the main subject i n Koll w i t z ' s drawings, lithographs and woodcuts. So strong was Kollwitz's i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the women she drew that she unwittingly gave them her own features. In her lithographs "The Survivors - Make War on War" (1923), and "S e l f P o r t r a i t " (1934), one can i d e n t i f y the s i m i l a r i t y between her own hollow eyes, rugged features and t r a g i c yet determined expression and the peasant woman with whom she i d e n t i f i e d . Although Cassatt and Kol l w i t z were both influenced by the 19th century view of women, and conceived of motherhood as the natural destiny of t h e i r sex, Kol l w i t z "inserted motherhood into the b i t t e r l y concrete context of c l a s s and hi s t o r y " (Harris and Nochlin, 1976, p. 67). In her etching, "Poverty" (1897), the poor mother i s unable to feed her c h i l d due to economic circumstances. This image was inspir e d by the wave of s t r i k e s which spread r a p i d l y through Germany i n the 1890's and l e f t many f a m i l i e s d e s t i t u t e . For K o l l w i t z , the poor working-class mother was the true p r o l e t a r i a n v i c t i m of h i s t o r y . Although c o n s e r v a t i v e i n s t y l e and unconcerned with the new Impressionist e s t h e t i c , Kollwitz's work i s r a d i c a l in content. Her compassion for the poor has been drawn from the same reservoir of s o c i a l concern that inspired Rembrandt, Goya and Daumier. In f a c t , her anti-war s e r i e s has often been compared to Goya's "Disasters of War" both because of i t s content and use of graphic media (Lippard, 1981). In her woodcut, "The Mothers" (1922-23), a pyramid of mothers form a protective tower to r e s t r a i n and hide the ch i l d r e n so that the next generation would not be s a c r i f i c e d to war. Having l o s t a son, Kollwitz 109 experienced personally the tragedy of war. Her p a c i f i s t statement, l i k e the c l e a r and a r t i c u l a t e l i n e s she used to express i t , are strong, uncompromising and somber. The graphic medium, the black/white con- t r a s t s , the emotive l i n e a r q u a l i t y are formal devices and in keeping- with the German Expressionist works of Munch, Heckel and Kirchner. In t h i s woodcut a l l unessentials are eliminated and massive large scale abstracted forms are emphasized, giving evidence of a new s t y l i s t i c d i r e c t i o n in Kollwitz"s l a t e r works. In her bronze sculpture, "Tower of Mothers" (1937), we see t h i s theme repeated i n three dimensions where forms have been s i m p l i f i e d for maximum power. By the 1920's, a confirmed s o c i a l i s t , feminist and p a c i f i s t , K o l lwitz had relinquished the ardent revolutionary stand she held as a r a d i c a l New Secessionist in her e a r l y years. While i n "Outbreak" (1903) we see Black Anna leading her people to f i g h t i n the peasants' b a t t l e , i n " S o l i d a r i t y " (1931-32), and "Demonstration" (1931) we see the woman and mother taking charge of her own fate through non-violent but united protest. In these images we see mothers, helping to galvanize a human c h a i n — a bulwark against r i s i n g fascisms and worker oppression. The "dramatic chiaroscuro" and the gripping "emotive l i n e " reveal the in t e n s i t y of purpose and c l a r i t y of v i s i o n that permeates much of Kollwitz's work (Lippard, 1981). This l a t e r period between 1910-1935 represents something of a hiatus i n Kollwitz's professional l i f e . She had been elected as professor of art and head of the Graphics d i v i s i o n at the Prussian Academy of Art and had formed the Society for Women A r t i s t s i n order to bring the work of women a r t i s t s before the public (Fine, 1978). In "Two Chatting Women with Two Children" (1930), the bold but more carefree 110 l i n e s evoke a sense of comradeship and s o l i d a r i t y between women. These p o r t r a i t s of working-class women give v i s u a l expression to the p o s i t i v e and hopeful aspects of p r o l e t a r i a n l i f e and a woman's community within i t . In her l a t e r years, however, Kollwitz faced d e b i l i t a t i n g i s o l a t i o n . With the death of her husband and the Nazi government's removal of a l l her work from major museums, Kollwitz t r i e d to l i v e up to her fa v o r i t e writer Goethe's b e l i e f i n the "i r o n resonance of l i f e " (Lippard, 1981, p. x i v ) . In her l a s t s e r i e s on the subject of Death, she portrayed the monumental woman, protector of l i f e , struggling with the eventuality of death. The impact and importance of Kollwitz's powerful images of mothers, both as victims of war and poverty and determined a c t i v i s t s for peace, did not, however, come to an end with her death. Her moving p r i n t s and posters have become p a r t i c u l a r l y appropriate i n our time during the struggle for a more e g a l i t a r i a n humane world and nuclear disarmament (Lippard, 1981). Paula Modersohn Becker (1876-1907) also chose as her main subject motherhood of the poor. The s t r i k i n g d i f f e r e n c e between her conception of the ro l e of mother and that of her German contemporary K o l l w i t z i s further evidence of the changing views of women in the ea r l y twentieth century and the i n d i v i d u a l i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of her ro l e that were possible. In "Mother and c h i l d " (1906), Modersohn Becker has removed the image of the mother from a h i s t o r i c a l or s o c i a l context and has reduced her to purely b i o l o g i c a l dimensions. Here the monumental mother i s s i m p l i f i e d to p i c t o r i a l e s s e n t i a l s and the narrative and s o c i a l comment i s eliminated. Lying on the f l o o r , enveloping a t i n y infant i n 111 the l i n e a r rhythms of her body, t h i s p r o l e t a r i a n madonna suggests that motherhood i s an i n s t i n c t i v e rather than a s o c i a l function. The arresting s i m p l i c i t y of composition, the boldness of color and form and the earnest compassion that emanates from the heavyset, coarsely featured mother defie s the popular s p i r i t u a l i d e a l i z e d image of Madonna and C h i l d . This work i s more reminiscent of Daumier's "The Soup," or Van Gogh's "The Potato Eaters." But here, as i n many of her works, the mother has e n t i r e l y transcended time and place. She i s bound to her b i o l o g i c a l destiny and removed from the context of family and community. As Nochlin (1976) suggests, she i s the archetypal mother— the "anonymous goddess of nourishment" (p. 67). - Although the theme of mother and c h i l d became l e s s popular in the mid-twentieth century, suggesting a lack of i n t e r e s t i n t h i s t r a d i t i o n a l subject, the American sculptor, Marisol Escobar (b. 1930), projects a view of mother which i s relevant to the 1960's. In "My Mother and Me" (1968), an assemblage of two figures confront the viewer with a d i s - arming presence. Both figures are trapped by box-like bodies from out of which emerge c a r e f u l l y sculpted and r e a l i s t i c hands and heads. The cast iron loveseat upon which the c h i l d stands and the mother s i t s , encloses them in mutual dependency. The mother's head i s surrounded by a black box-like helmet which i s severed at the top to reveal a loboto- mized b r a i n - l i k e dome. Her unfocussed gaze and a forced toothy g r i n suggest a kind of domestic madness. The c h i l d ' s p a i n f u l withdrawn grimace i s contrary to the happy and contented expression of Cassatt's c h i l d r e n . While Marisol employs the pop art approach to commonplace images, her work evokes a haunting message of inc a r c e r a t i o n and confine- ment. The s e l f - c o n f i d e n t - 19th century conception of the mother and 112 housewife, charged with the sacred tasks of domestic order and childhood protection i s transformed by Marisol in the 1960's to the image of woman as fru s t r a t e d housewife, mother, sex o b j e c t — u n c r e a t i v e and trapped within a world of mass produced goods. In t h i s piece the mother has become "a v i c t i m of domestic madness" ( S e i f e r t , 1980, p. 5). In Marisol's "Tea for Three" (1960), suburban housewives share a cup of tea. Three mask-like heads emerge from one box-like body that suggests a block of nondescript subdivision homes. A butter d i s h , a school b u i l d i n g and a claw-like machine are perched upon these heads as i f they were hats. Two hands emerge from the block bodies and one claw-like hand holds the communal cup of tea. Here the symbiotic r e l a t i o n s h i p of the housewife and her house i s reminiscent of the work of poets S y l v i a Plath, Adrienne Rich, Anne Sexton and E r i c a Jon^ in which household objects function as "metaphors and morphologies" for the f r u s t r a t i o n and despair of the housewife in the 1960's ( S e i f e r t , 1980, p. 2). Anne Sexton, in her poem "The Housewife" (1961), saw that: "Some women marry houses" (in S e i f e r t , 1980, p. 48). In a l a t e r poem, "Se l f in 1958" (1966), the s e l f becomes imprisoned by the d o l l house as in an a r t i f i c i a l womb from which she w i l l never be set free. She asks, "What i s r e a l i t y ? I am a plaster d o l l . I pose, I l i v e i n a d o l l ' s house ... a cardboard f l o o r , windows that f l a s h onto someone's c i t y . . . . But I would cry, rooted into the wall that was once my mother" (p. 73). These l i n e s could also have been spoken from the mouths of Henrick Ibsen's women in his play The Dol l ' s House written around the turn of the century or by Marisol's imprisoned housewives in the 1960s. Marisol's images of housewife and mother represents the surrender of the 1960's woman to the anarchy of the material world i n which 113 "unspeakable t e r r o r s " are given v i s u a l form" ( S e i f e r t , 1980, p. 3). Her work represents the f i r s t stage of awareness from which have emerged works l i k e "Project Womanhouse" by Judy Chicago and co-workers (1972) . S e i f e r t (1980) suggests that i n t h i s piece, fantasy replaces anger and domestic objects and s i t u a t i o n s are transformed through imaginative juxtapositions to render them impotent and imbue them with a new l i f e - g i v i n g force. Created by a group of female students i n 1972, under the d i r e c t i o n of Judy Chicago and Miriam Shapiro, i n a rundown house i n downtown Los Angeles, the house became a metaphor, as i n Sexton's poem, for the female body. Each woman was given a room i n which to develop her own dreams and fantasies. The images which developed were a r e s u l t of consciousness-raising sessions on the subject matter of the woman and the home. As Chicago (1977) saw, the r e s u l t was a " t o t a l environment, a repository of female experience and womanly dreams" (p. 268) . The kitchen i n "Womanhouse" becomes the c l e a r e s t symbol for the female body. The f l o o r , c e i l i n g s and walls and a l l the kitchen objects were painted fle s h y pink. P l a s t i c f r i e d eggs cascading from the c e i l i n g transform into breasts as they t r a v e l to the f l o o r . According to Judy Chicago, "The association of women with the kitchen and with the gi v i n g of food led to the idea of the nurturant kitchen" (p. 106). The " B r i d a l Staircase," "Menstruation Bathroom," "Sheet Closet," "Dining-Room," and "Nursery," are some of the other rooms which employ juxtapositions of animate and inanimate objects and fantasy to transform the household objects into a feminist statement. Without using the e x p l i c i t image of woman, "Womanhouse," by Chicago and co-workers and other works by S y l v i a Mangold, E l l e n Lanyon, Marjorie Strider and Gathie Falk manipulate 114 r e a l i s t i c and abstracted household objects i n room environments as metaphors for domestic and maternal experience in the 1960's and 1970's. In conclusion, i t has become apparent that the maternal image and the domestic experience has been portrayed by women a r t i s t s from a v a r i e t y of perspectives. The ro l e of mother/housewife affords no singular or stereotypic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . While i n the e a r l i e r twentieth century, a number of a r t i s t s saw the mother as protector, a c t i v i s t and archetype, as the century progressed the t r a d i t i o n a l view of mother and housewife f e l l into question. The invention of the b i r t h - c o n t r o l p i l l in the 1960s, coupled with the writings of Betty Friedan and Simone de Beauvoir, made i t possible for women to r e f l e c t upon and consciously choose either motherhood, a career, or a combination of the two. Along with these changing i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the maternal image came a search for a new physical image and sexual i d e n t i t y , which could allow for a transcendence from stereotyped roles into a more s e l f - a f f i r m i n g i d e n t i t y based on free choice rather than purely b i o l o g i c a l factors alone. The Physical Image — A New Sexual Identity In Dorthea Tanning's (1.910) s u r r e a l i s t p o r t r a i t s of women, one becomes aware of a conscious questioning of sexual i d e n t i t y . In "Maternity" (1946), a mother and inf a n t , i d e n t i c a l l y dressed in tattered white gowns and bonnets, stand i s o l a t e d in a huge sulphurous yellow desert expanse. Sharing the blanket upon which the mother stands i s a white-haired baby-faced Pekingese who acts as a desert sphinx or portent (Harris and Nochlin, 1979). In the foreground, a large wooden door indicates the passage from which t h i s young but despairing woman has come. In the d i s t a n t background another door appears. In the center of 115 - t h i s open door looms a biomorphic mechanical body of an older woman. She hangs, puppet-like, from s t r i n g s attached to black, menacing clouds. The mood of i s o l a t i o n and p a r a l y s i s i s reinforced by the l i f e l e s s expanse of the deadly yellow desert. In t h i s and other works, Tanning's imagery evolves from the subconscious dream world. She depicts the solitude of woman, her u n f u l f i l l e d wishes and the e x i s t e n t i a l despair i n contemplation of woman's fixed b i o l o g i c a l destiny. In another work, "Birthday" (1942), Tanning again employs t y p i c a l s u r r e a l i s t techniques to give form to her search for a new sexual i d e n t i t y . Unusual juxtapositions of people, objects and places, as well as meticulous brushwork which makes the imaginary r e a l , are devices which allow her to explore women's sexual and psychic evolution. In "Birthday," the woman appears bare-breasted and shoel e s s — s h e appears vulnerable and threatened by the strange weeds that grow from her body. She has ju s t opened one door of a passage but many doors loom ahead i n v the steps to womanhood. In much of Tanning's work l i k e "Evening i n Sedona" (1975-76), woman's sexual i n i t i a t i o n appears ominous and fri g h t e n i n g . In "Eine Kleine Nachtmusic" (1946), two young nubile g i r l s stand i n a long, dark hotel c o r r i d o r . Once again they stand r i g i d with t a t t e r e d garments draped below th e i r waists. A torn and mangled sunflower—an image suggesting deforation—dominates t h e i r view. Four doors appear down a long corrid o r and only the l a s t one stands a j a r , admitting a thi n ray of l i g h t . The doors, which could symbolize the t r a d i t i o n a l stages of woman's l i f e — p u b e r t y , motherhood, middle age and death—appear ominous and u n i n v i t i n g . Only the l a s t door sheds l i g h t and one i s reminded of the confusion faced by a young g i r l "overwhelmed by the consequences of 116 an unquestioning acceptance of the dictum that biology i s destiny" (Orenstein, 1979, p. 54). Tanning spoke for women in her art by uncovering the shared desires and anxieties faced by women in the 1940's. During the post-war years, women were encouraged to return to the domestic r o l e . Without the advantages of adequate b i r t h c o n t r o l , many women faced once again the fears of i s o l a t i o n , l o n e l i n e s s and the f r u s t r a t i o n of a predetermined j destiny. Within the S u r r e a l i s t movement i t s e l f , women, according to Orenstein (1979), were not seen to have a destiny apart from man. She was seen either as a sorceress or divin e muse—"La.Femme Fatale" or the naive woman-child—"Femme Enfant" (p. 38) . Like a number of other s u r r e a l i s t women a r t i s t s such as Carrington, F i n i , Oppenheim and Varo, Tanning by-passed these l i m i t i n g views and uncovered the unconscious fears of i s o l a t i o n and anxiety of the crea t i v e woman. These issues confronted in the work of Tanning, would be addressed again i n the co l l a b o r a t i v e and feminist works of Joyce Welland and Judy Chicago i n 1970s and 1980s. The Mexican a r t i s t , F r i d a Kahlo (1910-1954), also reveals, i n her p o r t r a i t s , the f u l l truth of her physical and b i o l o g i c a l experience. At the age of 15, kahlo survived a major accident which broke her spine and prevented her from f u l f i l l i n g her obsessive longing to have c h i l d r e n . Although she suffered 29 years of pain and 32 operations, Kahlo con- fronted her r e a l i t y through her a r t . Like an "artist-Curandera" or Shaman she "painted to perform miracles" and to exorcise the pain that accompanied her i n l i f e (Orenstein, 1972, p. 9). In "Las Dos Fridas" (The Two F r i d a s ) , Kahlo portrays h e r s e l f as " i d e n t i c a l but a n t i t h e t i c a l twins—one i s dark and the other l i g h t " (Orenstein, 1972, p. 6) . 117 Through t h i s juxtaposition she suggests an inner dialogue of the l i g h t and dark aspects of her psyche. Orenstein (1972) suggests that the notion of d u a l i t y seen i n the two-headed f i g u r i n e s of ancient T l a t i l c o ar t might have provided the i n s p i r a t i o n for t h i s piece. It could also be interpreted as the balance of l i f e and death which Kahlo was con- s t a n t l y reminded of. The_heart-shaped palette held by the l i g h t f i g u r e i s reminiscent of the magical Milagio, a small s i l v e r charm made in the shape of the part of the body that i s diseased. The Milagro, according to Orenstein (1972), usually placed i n the church to bring about a cure, becomes a motif of t h i s painting invoking the healing power of the heart. In t h i s painting and "Lo que e l Aqua Me Ha Dado" (1938) Kahlo reaffirms her growing b e l i e f i n the interconnectedness of a l l l i f e ; her Mexican heritage, her present r e a l i t y and the d i a l e c t i c of l i f e and death. "Hospital Henry Ford" (1932) i s a s e l f - p o r t r a i t of the a r t i s t undergoing an intimate personal c r i s i s r e l a t e d to one of the many miscarriages provoked by her near f a t a l accident. Tears streaming down her face, she i s attached by v i s i b l e s t r i n g s — " t h e p h y s i c a l and emo- t i o n a l t i e s to her unborn c h i l d . " G l o r i a Orenstein (1972) sees these s t r i n g s as "concrete representations of the s p i r i t u a l and psychological bonds between her a r t i s t i c expression and the traumas rel a t e d to the b i o l o g i c a l c r i s e s of female sexuality that she portrayed in her many canvases depicting b i r t h , Caesarean operations and miscarriages" (p. 7). In t h i s work one f e e l s the b r u t a l anguish of Frida's s u f f e r i n g . Through s u r r e a l i s t i c juxtaposition of objects and of a Detroit s e t t i n g i n the background, one recognizes the "dehumanization and a l i e n a t i o n of the 118 production-line attitude that has been so c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of the handling of women by the medical profession" (Orenstein, 1972, p. 7) . As Mexican a r t i s t Juan O'Gorman sa i d , i n writing about Frida's choice of themes, "Frida's painting i s anything but morbid ... there i s nothing but health, the health of t e l l i n g everything and of having overcome everything" (Orenstein, 1972, p. 7). F r i d a dared to challenge the conspiracy of sile n c e which has kept images rel a t e d to women's physical and b i o l o g i c a l experience hidden from conscious expression and understanding. Kahlo was the f i r s t woman a r t i s t to give e s t h e t i c form to the drama of her b i o l o g i c a l existence and was a pioneer i n the quest for a more authentic sexual i d e n t i t y sought after i n many of the contemporary abstract works by Judy Chicago, Mary Frank, Adrien Piper and Hannah Wilke. No longer seeing herself as a sexual object for the pleasure of others, Kahlo i n i t i a t e d a turning of tables i n which women are revealed *as sensual and sexual beings with t h e i r own autonomy, power and s u f f e r i n g s . N i k i de Saint-Phalle (b. 1930) i s one of the more contemporary a r t i s t s who challenged sexual stereotypes i n her huge sculptures of Nanas. These l a r g e r - t h a n - l i f e - s i z e d f i g u r e s , decorated with b r i l l i a n t pop a rt colo r s and whimsical f o l k motifs, are a fi n e blend of the humorous, grotesque and the sexual. These j o y f u l f e r t i l i t y goddesses c a l l e d Nana's r e - d e f i n e the concepts o f beauty and l o v e . "Black Venus" (1967) (or Aphrodite)—goddess of love and beauty, born from the foam of the ocean—has been t r a d i t i o n a l l y portrayed i n art according to accepted concepts of beauty held by the white race (Hedges and Wendt, 1980, p. 193). Here, the goddess i s b l a c k — r e c l a i m i n g the r i g h t of black women 119 to take pride i n her body. Unlike the vulnerable, d e l i c a t e and danger- ously seductive Greek goddesses, "Black Venus" i s huge, strong and p l a y f u l . She balances on a leg of monumental strength as she dances with her beach b a l l . She wears the symbol of love on a c o l o r f u l swim s u i t and celebrates her inner power and harmony with nature (Hedges and Wendt, 1980). In 1963, de Saint-Phalle extended her Nana into even more monu- mental proportions i n her room-sized figure c a l l e d "Hon" (She). This author had the opportunity to v i s i t the 82 foot long by 30 .foot wide figure i n Stockholm's Moderna Mussett i n 1966. Hon l a y on her back and contained numerous rooms into which one entered through a doorway between the legs. Complete with an expanding and contracting heart and lungs, t h i s figure becomes a metaphor for the mechanized image and context of modern women. The viewer can partake of beverages at the bar located i n the breast and eavesdrop on recorded love t a l k from the love nest. "Hon" also contained a cinema with Greta Garbo movies, a planet- arium, an aquarium, a telephone and music room. "Hon" i s neither d e l i c a t e nor subtle and her s a t i r i c a l and p l a y f u l comment on Popular stereotypes of women i s p a r t i c u l a r l y relevant to the image of women in the Pop art era. C r i t i c s Semmel and Kingsley (1980) suggest that t h i s m u l t i - f u n c t i o n a l i r o n i c super-woman symbolizes the " c o n f l i c t i n g demands of the pop goddess/mother/whore fantasies" that abounded prior to the women's movement (p. 5). In contrast to the s l i c k , glassy look of the near-pornographic iconology of Wesselman, Lidner and Ramos, "Hon" can not be dismissed, however, as a t a n t a l i z i n g sex object. By exaggerating proportions and functions of t h i s great goddess and by confronting the viewer with ludicrous s p a t i a l and temporal dimensions one becomes forced 120 to confront stereotyped notions of a woman's sexual i d e n t i t y and ro l e i n hi s t o r y . In the 1960s, 70s, and 80s, women a r t i s t s l i k e Mary Frank, Linda Benglis, Louise Bourgeosis and Hannah Wilke have used c l a y , l a t e x , rubber and p l a s t i c s to explore in sc u l p t u r a l form the sexual i d e n t i t y of women from a .feminist point of view. Through abstract form, a r t i s t s l i k e Mary Frank candidly celebrate women's sexual and sensual i d e n t i t i e s i n large scale c l a y sculptures. Assembled out of fractured, stretched slabs of hollow stoneware, her figures are caught in'an organic process of transformation. In the past, women have been conditioned to see themselves only as sexual objects for men's pleasure: now, a r t i s t s l i k e Mary Frank are revealing women as sexual beings who are free to d i r e c t and experience their own sensual needs. In "Lovers" her figures are caught i n a moment of union with the forces of nature. Background, foreground and figure merge in u n i f i e d space through an emotional c o l o r a t i o n given to her moving forms. The raw edges of her figures l e f t agape, the burnt raku impressions of ferns, the speed and movement of the half s h e l l s of bodies evoke a cross over of anguish and ecstacy as her lovers seek t h e i r way to the earth f l o o r . Her images of women, l o v e r s , animals and plants f i n d t h e i r roots i n thei r oneness with nature. No longer i s women's sexual i d e n t i t y defined only i n r e l a t i o n to men but her sexual energy finds i t s source i n the common wellspring of nature, and from t h i s , source her physical form takes shape. Susan G r i f f i n , i n Woman and Nature, speaks of t h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p . Because we know ourselves to be made of t h i s earth temporary as the grass. Wet as t h i s mud. Our c e l l s f i l l e d with water. 121 Like the mud of t h i s swamp. Heather growing here because of the damp. Sphagnum moss f l o a t i n g on the surface, on the water standing in these pools. Places where the r i v e r washes out. Where the earth was shaped by the flow of l a v a . Or by the slow movement of the g l a c i e r s . Because we know ourselves to be made from t h i s earth and shaped l i k e the earth, by what has gone before. (1980, p. 223) The Mythic Image, History, and S o c i a l Change On a philosophical l e v e l , the image western society holds of women can be seen as a mythic image which controls aspects of the multi- dimensional process of consciousness (Kazanis, 1976, p. 176). A number of contemporary women a r t i s t s can be seen searching to the source of the image in h i s t o r y and myth i n order to define and project a new image. To begin with, a myth i s what Mark Schorer describes as a "large c o n t r o l l i n g image, that gives philosophic meaning to the fa c t s of ordinary l i f e ; that i s , which have organizing value for experience" (Watts, 1970, p. 3). The large mythic image, according to Alan Watts (the great discussant of East and West), that grounds our present view of experience in the West i s that of absolute d u a l i t y based on the p o l a r i t y of good and e v i l . This p o l a r i t y f inds i t s equivalents i n not only concepts of white/black, r a t i o n a l / i n t u i t i v e , god/devil, behavior/- i n s t i n c t but also in the male/female myth of p o l a r i t y . The word symbols and v i s u a l images developed in Western culture separate and d i v i d e the poles of masculine and feminine from th e i r place in the continuum. These p o l a r i t i e s are what Watts describes as "abstract terms" which "divide in thought what i s undivided in nature," and "what l i e s between the poles i s more substantial than the poles themselves" (1970, pp. 122 45-46) . The polarized structure of Western thought has made us sus- p i c i o u s of the unity of polar opposites and of the oneness of men and women. As Barbara White Kazanis, i n her a r t i c l e "The Myth of Masculine and Feminine P o l a r i t y , " has seen, " I t i s p r e c i s e l y t h i s view of the a r t s , women and the imaginal experience as morally suspect and perhaps downright e v i l , that necessitates the search for a new mythic image" (1979, p. 176). It i s within t h i s context that women a r t i s t s e s p e c i a l l y i n the 1970's have attempted to search to the source of the mythic image i n f e l t l i f e . From t h i s source they have attempted to create a new mythic image that r e c o n c i l e s opposites and establishes the feminine p r i n c i p l e i n the continuum of l i f e and c u l t u r e . S u r r e a l i s t a r t i s t s such as Leonor F i n i (b. 1908) and Leonora Carrington (b. 1917) explore a world of female archetypes i n a search for a h o l i s t i c and matriarchal world view. Their paintings are l a r g e l y dominated by the theme of woman as subject, rather than object. She i s portrayed as "Goddess, as The Great Mother, as the Alchemist, as the Spinner and Weaver of the d e s t i n i e s of men, and above a l l as S p i r i t u a l Guide and Visionary. She i s ultimately the 'Magna Mater' not the 'Femme Enfant'" (Orenstein, 1973, p. 40). Leonor F i n i i s one of the a r t i s t s who was always extremely con- scious of the dangers involved i n woman's relinquishment of her cr e a t i v e autonomy to s a c r i f i c i a l love. Her paintings of sphinxes such as "The Small Guardian Sphinx" (1942) and "The Guardian of the Phenixes" (1954), are images of the emerging power of consciousness and of the feminine p r i n c i p l e i n l i f e as the embodiment of s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h . Here the 123 woman i s a powerful figure i n her own r i g h t , surrounded by symbols of the Great Goddess (the t r e e , the t r i a n g l e , the sistrum, etc.) (Lauter, 1980, p. 45) . In a l a t e r work, "The Thinker" (La Pensierosa, 1954), F i n i portrays a more androgynous f i g u r e — a bald p r i e s t e s s who enacts various dimen- sions of the power of Demeter and I s i s . Wearing dark leotards and an i r i d e s c e n t , wing-like cloak, and leaning upon her cupped hands t h i s f i g u r e , l i k e I s i s , i s not only creator, mother and protectress but also the embodiment of knowledge and wisdom. In t h i s work and "The Guardian of the Phenixes" (1954) the woman thinker belongs to h e r s e l f and "has both knowledge and power without being v i o l a t e d sexually to a t t a i n i t . F i n i ' s images of t h i s embodiment of Mana are notable achievements, e n t i r e l y consonant with the aims of modern feminism i n that they reveal the feminine roots of our c i v i l i z a t i o n . . . " (Lauter, 1980, p. 46). In- ner l a t e r works, "Heliodora" (1965) and "Chimere, Chimera, Chimere" (1961) F i n i uses archetypal images to explore contemporary themes related to women's sexual i d e n t i t y and i t s h i s t o r i c roots. Leonora Carrington, one of the o r i g i n a t o r s and leaders of the feminist movement in Mexico and an active member of the S u r r e a l i s t group i n P a ris and the United States, also recognized the need for the r e - i n t e g r a t i o n of the feminine p r i n c i p l e for personal transformation and human evolution. In "The Lepidopterus" and "The B u t t e r f l y People Eating a Meal," Carrington explores the symbolism of the Black Swan. According to Orenstein (1973), the .Black Swan i s the secret sign of the Goddess of the Old Religion for the Britons of the Stone Age. In t h i s work, the Swan i s being fed food for the dead because the Old R e l i g i o n and Great Goddess has been buried. By eating the food, the power of the Goddess 124 i s being revived and enlightenment i s attained. The egg i s the female symbol which i s prevalent in both her painting and her plays. It i s a l s o , a c c o r d i n g to O r e n s t e i n (1979), the p h i l o s o p h e r s ' stone--the universal vessel of c r e a t i v e , s p i r i t u a l r e b i r t h . It represents the u n i f i c a t i o n of opposites and the integration of the conscious with the unconscious s e l f (Orenstein, 1979, p. 41). Carrington's paintings l i k e "Reflection on the Oracle" a t t e s t not only to her deep involvement i n the study of alchemy, magic and the oc c u l t , but also her in t e r e s t i n a psychic l i b e r a t i o n based on the integration of the d u a l i t i e s of male/female p r i n c i p l e s found i n the mythical imagination of p r e h i s t o r i c c u l t u r e s . As w i l l be shown in Chapter VI, female archetypes, as they have been explored by C a r l Jung and E r i c Neuman are now being a c t i v e l y sought by contemporary feminist a r t i s t s such as Marybeth Edelson, Betsy Damon and Judy Todd i n the i r earth works. Fa i t h Ringold, Rosemary Mayer and Judy Chicago are also forging new connections to a matriarchal h i s t o r y and mythology and are incorporating elements of the Demeter myth into t h e i r abstract s c u l p t u r a l imagery. These a r t i s t s reveal i n the i r images of women the need to explore women's contr i b u t i o n to culture in order to make "connecting l i n k s between the generations" (Nemser, 1976, p.. 22). Judy Chicago, i n "The Dinner Party" (1979), has cooperatively executed an epic art work that i s both an es t h e t i c c e l e b r a t i o n and a symbol for the c l a s s struggle based on the d i v i s i o n between women and men. This c o n t r o v e r s i a l environment—a moveable feast of sculpture, ceramics, china painting and needle work—challenges the hierarch i e s and power structures that have denigrated women i n cu l t u r e and negated 125 women's contribution to c u l t u r e . One of the most ambitious works of art made in the postwar period, t h i s c o l l a b o r a t i v e piece transcends the e l i t i s t aspects of the modernist e s t h e t i c and addresses both myth and r e a l i t y i n attempts to re a f f i r m a more p o s i t i v e female i d e n t i t y i n hi s t o r y . By surrendering the myth that "men's h i s t o r y i s hi s t o r y , " Judy Chicago and over 300 pa r t i c i p a n t s have created a multi-media environment that leads the viewer on a tour of Western C i v i l i z a t i o n that bypasses what "we have been taught to perceive as the main path" (Lippard, 1980, p. 116). It traces the h i s t o r y of women's achievements i n p o l i t i c s , a r t , science, philosophy, music, and other f i e l d s , from p r e h i s t o r i c to modern times. A r a d i c a l feminist rather than a marxist feminist, Chicago f e e l s that everything i s predicated on myth, not economics, and that feminist a rt has the capacity to be the purveyor of new myths and to transform cu l t u r e (Lippard, 1980, p. 115). For a l l of i t s d i d a c t i c content, "The Dinner Party" i s f i r s t and foremost a work of v i s u a l a r t (Lippard, 1980, p. 116). Upon entering the room from a hallway l i n e d with banners and documentation, one perceives a shimmering white t r i a n g l e glowing i n the darkness. As one draws c l o s e r , t h i s abstract ancient symbol of female energy comes into focus as a r i c h l y ornamented ceremonial table set with 39 abstracted and sculptured plates set upon r i c h l y colored hand-embroidered runners. These plates are dedicated to 33 accomplished women throughout h i s t o r y . The 48 foot open triangular table s i t s upon a luminous white raised platform, i n l a i d with 999 t i l e s , gold scripted with the names of other accomplished women from the mythical past of the Great Goddess to the present era. While each setting t e l l s a unique story i n abstract 126 symbolic form, i t serves as a metaphor for i n d i v i d u a l s i n soci e t y . Chicago weaves several themes through the forms and materials u n t i l words, images and meanings become threads of the same f a b r i c . Following the pr i m a r i l y v i s u a l experience the viewer, with the aid of the written biographies of each celebrated woman (found i n the book, The Dinner Party), becomes absorbed in another l e v e l of meaning embodied in the p i e c e — t h e h i s t o r i c a l aspect. The f i r s t wing of the table has 13 settings which celebrate accomplished women from pre-history (primordial Goddess) to the decline of the Greco-Roman empire (Hypatia); the second goes from C h r i s t i a n i t y ( M a r c e l l a ) to the Reformation (Anna van Schurman) ; the l a s t goes from the 17th to the 20th centuries (Anne Hutchinson to Georgia O'Keeffe). Each woman whose name has survived, stands for m i l l i o n s of others who contributed to society, improved conditions for women, and whose l i f e might have provided a r o l e model for the future had the i r work been acknowledged in h i s t o r y . Taken as a whole, t h i s symbolic piece, i s anathema to the modernist t r a d i t i o n of "high a r t . " Not only does i t break down the b a r r i e r s between audience and art in i t s capacity to f i g u r a t i v e l y and l i t e r a l l y "move" an audience through r e a l and s p e c i f i c f e e l i n g s , but i t s e s t h e t i c forms and p o l i t i c a l content have become synthesized in both the process and product to create a s o c i a l l y relevant a r t . "The Dinner Party" r e f l e c t s i n i t s form, inherently feminist processes and values. While Chicago sestablished the parameters of a l l imagery, the project members had constant input and r e s p o n s i b i l i t y . In the book, The Dinner Party, most p a r t i c i p a n t s i n s i s t e d that the process was p o s i t i v e and even transformative. The structure integrated "the consciousness r a i s i n g and c r i t i c i s m / s e l f - c r i t i c i s m techniques" that are 1 27 at the core of feminist activism (Lippard, 1980, p. 117). The process aimed at a new r o l e for a r t i s t s and for the p r a c t i c e of a r t making (Lippard, 1980, p. 117). The c o l l a b o r a t i v e techniques, p o l i t i c a l content and integration of "minor" techniques such as needle work found i n "The Dinner Party," f i n d t h e i r p a r a l l e l i n an e a r l i e r environmental work by Canadian Joyce Weiland e n t i t l e d "True P a t r i o t Love/Veritable Amour Patriotique," exhibited at the National Gallery in Canada in 1971 (Rabinovitz, 1980/81). Searching further into h i s t o r y , the c o l l a b o r a - t i v e process harks back to the q u i l t i n g bee and even to the medieval c r a f t g u i l d s of the Middle Ages. The p o l i t i c s behind t h i s c o l l a b o r a t i v e t r a d i t i o n o f f e r an a l t e r n a t i v e to the highly competitive, e l i t i s t r o l e of art and a r t i s t without s a c r i f i c i n g a s pirations towards i n d i v i d u a l expression and beauty t r a d i t i o n a l l y expected from high a r t . "The Dinner Party" passed through a number of stages in i t s esth e t i c conception. The story begins in the l a t e 1960's when, as Judy Gerowitz, she attained recognition as a successful West Coast minimal sculptress. A f t e r ' becoming a feminist, Chicago temporarily stopped making art objects and immersed her s e l f i n wr i t i n g , reading about women's h i s t o r y , d e v e l o p i n g F e m i n i s t a r t programs and c o n d u c t i n g performances. By 1972 Chicago had evolved a female abstract formal language based on the but t e r f l y - v a g i n a image. With i t s expanding and contracting c e n t r a l i z e d forms, and pale lush c o l o r s , t h i s image became the basis for an e n t i r e iconography with which to reveal degrees of "confinement and l i b e r a t i o n , compression and release" found at the core of female sexual, s o c i a l , h i s t o r i c a l and p o l i t i c a l experience" (Lippard, 1980, p. 118). These two morphological forms combined in one image r e l a t e to larger 128 archetypal symbols which stand for the s t a s i s and movement—the dynamic poles of l i f e energy. Women's bodies are at the core of feminist a r t , entangled as they are with our e x p l o i t a t i o n and c e n t r a l as they are for our campaign for reproductive r i g h t s and p o l i t i c a l r i g h t s . Chicago, along with Harmony Hammond, Rosemary Mayer and Miriam Schapiro, have been struggling to create a new public image and symbol s u i t a b l y powerful, evocative and f l e x i b l e for the breadth of women's h i s t o r y . The images on the plates i n "The Dinner Party" are, however, not l i t e r a l or i m i t a t i v e . As c r i t i c Lucy Lippard sees, "they are rather a blending of h i s t o r i c a l f a c t , iconographical sources, symbolic meanings and imagination" (1980,. p. 123). The setting of the 18th century astronomer, Caroline Herschel, for example, represents not only the accomplishments of a woman who provided for science new knowledge about comets and s t a r s , but a woman who despite r e s t r i c t i o n s managed to continue to work i n a f i e l d which r a r e l y acknowledged women. On t h i s plate the wings l i f t o f f the two-dimensional surface i n a gesture which represents the e f f o r t s she made to become an independent woman. An eye forms the centre of the plate and i t "looks out upon the embroidered universe which covers Hershel's runner and provides her with an image of the skies at which she gazed" (Chicago, 1979, p. 86). The crewel work, a s t i t c h e r y technique popular during the 18th century, repeats the color s and penwork hatching on the plate so that the foreground (plate) and background (runner) create a tension and form a u n i f i e d whole. While Chicago wished to blur the d i s t i n c t i o n s between a r t cate- g o r i e s , she has not been w i l l i n g to say a pot and painting are the same thing. She says, " i t has to do with intent. I want to make a r t " (Lippard, 1980, p. 124). She has found that each medium brings with i t 129 c e r t a i n content and image p o s s i b i l i t i e s and has found needlework to be the v e h i c l e of her biggest step away from modernism (Lippard, 1980, p. 124). In her l a t e s t work, "The B i r t h Project," which i s s t i l l underway, she continues exploration of t h i s medium in a r t i s t i c form. While hundreds of thousands of men and women have flocked to see t h i s epic work and many have found i n s p i r a t i o n for a new understanding of a rt and culture and women's r o l e i n i t , the art world continues to avenge the challenge Chicago and co-workers have presented. Many have disregarded or over - s i m p l i f i e d the piece, seeing i t as just sociology or feminist dogma or a lesson i n h i s t o r y . However, without s a c r i f i c i n g e s t h e t i c s , "The Dinner Party" has begun to a f f e c t c u l t u r e by transforming the circumstances that have i n the past silenced c r e a t i v e women, into the subject matter of a r t . Through written media and symbolic v i s u a l forms the whole polarized nature of the human condition in Western Culture i s revealed. By introducing new images of women into c u l t u r e , new d e f i n i t i o n s of art and a r t i s t s into c r e a t i v e processes and by reaching new audiences for art Judy Chicago affirms her b e l i e f that a r t i s t i c images can suggest new myths which i n turn can a f f e c t c u l t u r a l values, preferences, and assumptions. Moving from myth and h i s t o r y toward the present world of society and c u l t u r e , women a r t i s t s have also been interested i n searching for a new public image which r e f l e c t s t h e i r experience and values. Many of the a r t i s t s discussed in t h i s section confront the p o l i t i c a l and s o c i a l conditions which have affected women in the 20th century. Others, through t h e i r a r t , t r y on o l d and new roles i n an attempt to understand or exercise p o t e n t i a l i d e n t i t i e s . Some have cast a c r i t i c a l but compassionate eye upon the ever-changing r e f l e c t i o n s of women's r o l e i n 130 s o c i e t y as i t has been defined by others i n media and popular c u l t u r e . By exploring the s o c i a l r o l e s of women as student, worker., a r t i s t , s c i e n t i s t , a c t i v i s t , beauty queen, s o c i a l i t e and feminist, these a r t i s t s have made new public images of women v i s i b l e in the context of h i s t o r y . Through t h i s consciousness a new ground has been prepared for a d e f i n i - t i o n of s e l f which has led to the s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l experiments in the a r t of the 1970's and 1980's. In her chapter, "Through the Looking Glass," S h i e l a Rowbotham (1974) describes the search for a newly defined s e l f - i d e n t i t y within a broad p o l i t i c a l framework. The art under discussion in t h i s section r e l a t e s to the i n i t i a l phases of t h i s larger c u l t u r a l transformation which has been taking place during the feminist movements of the 1970's and 1980's. The vast mass of human beings have always been mainly i n v i s i b l e to themselves while a t i n y minority have exhausted themselves in the i s o l a t i o n of observing th e i r own r e f l e c t i o n s . Every mass p o l i t i c a l movement of the oppressed n e c e s s a r i l y brings i t s own v i s i o n of i t s e l f into sight. At f i r s t t h i s consciousness i s fragmented and p a r t i c u l a r . The p r e v a i l i n g s o c i a l order stands as a great and resplendent h a l l of mirrors. It owns and occupies the world as i t i s and the world as i t i s seen and heard. But the f i r s t glimpse of revolutionary p o s s i b i l i t y leaves a small but i n d e s t r u c t i b l e chink in i t s magnificent self-consciousness. . Capitalism now c a r r i e s not chinks but great s l i t s and gashes. It bears the mark of r e v o l u t i o n . (p. 27) Beginning with the American, A l i c e Neel (b. 1900), one finds an a r t i s t whose own personal l i f e and her confessions about i t have made her a model of rare courage and openness for many i n the Women's movement today (Fine, 1980). Born i n Pennsylvania, Neel attended the Ph i l a d e l p h i a School of Design for Women. - After completing her studies there she married a Cuban man' and went with him to Havana only to return alone to New York in 1927. After various personal d i s a s t e r s , including- 131 the l o s s of a c h i l d in infancy, a period of extreme poverty, a nervous breakdown and attempted s u i c i d e , Neel decided to p u l l a l l her strength together to continue with her a r t . After s e t t l i n g permanently i n New York and p a r t i c i p a t i n g i n the New Deal Public Works of Art Project, she moved to Spanish Harlem where she remained for twenty-five years. It was within t h i s context that she found her i n s p i r a t i o n for many of her intense and revealing p o r t r a i t s of women. Many of Neel's p o r t r a i t s of women, such at "T.B. Harlem" (1940), expose an inner r e a l i t y but within a framework of " s o c i a l and temporal accuracy" (Harris and Nochlin, 1979, p. 323). This intensely moving p o r t r a i t of a dying woman i s a s t r i k i n g example of Neel's s o c i a l and human concern. Bandaged and weak, t h i s figure r e s t s on a pale mauve pi l l o w , p a r t l y shrouded with crumpled sheets. She looks out with dark C h r i s t eyes and tenderly engages the viewer. This image stands as a symbol for the world Neel knew i n Spanish Harlem during the 1940's—"an age of massive s o c i a l f a i l u r e " (Munro, 1979, p. 120). While t h i s image may be a generalized symbol of the su f f e r i n g of many Third World women in a c a p i t a l i s t i c society, she i s nevertheless an i n d i v i d u a l who maintains a s t o i c d i g n i t y . Eleanor Munro (1979) compares the i n t e n s i t y and human compassion found i n t h i s work to that of Franz Kline before he abandoned the figure for Abstract Expressionism. She compares i t to "Franz Kline's mad, dying Nij i n s k y ; no more than a skein of black naked nerve ends ... drawn at the very turning point of the painter's leap from f i g u r a t i v e a rt to abstraction" (p. 120). Munro (1979) also provides an insight into an aspect of Neel's greatness and the reason she stayed with the human concern in her p o r t r a i t s . 132 Indeed, i t was just during those middle years of A l i c e Neel's l i f e , when her s o c i a l conscience was moved and her hand re- leased, that most other advanced painters i n New York began to formulate an esth e t i c of transcendence over s u f f e r i n g (another word might be 'escape') through Abstract Expressionism. But for what ever reasons, nervous, psychic, i d e o l o g i c a l or a l l three, Neel stayed with the human f i g u r e . (p. 120) In her recent p o r t r a i t s of a r t i s t s such as "Isabel Bishop" (1974) and writers such as "Linda Nochlin" (1973), Neel exposed the changing s o c i a l r e a l i t y of our present era. About her subjects she says, "You see everything i n the i r faces. I l i k e to think too that I have re- f l e c t e d the S p i r i t of the Ages. I have painted the faces of the 50's, the 60's and the 70's. Each of these decades i s completely d i f f e r e n t " (Munro, 1979, p. 130). In 1970, Neel undertook a % cover p o r t r a i t of "Kate M i l l e t " for Time magazine (Harris and Nochlin, 1976, p. 323). As an outspoken advocate for women's r i g h t s , Neel captured i n t h i s p o r t r a i t the s p i r i t of the r a d i c a l feminist movement of the l a s t decade and the inner being of a courageous i n d i v i d u a l . Neel has probed M i l l e t ' s inner s e l f — h e r determination, her fears and panics and her tenderness. With b r i l l i a n t c o l o r s and sweeping dark l i n e s charged with energy, she develops her complex character. Formal elements are reduced to essen- t i a l s and as in many of her works Neel has " d i r e c t l y translated into l i n e , color and image her own coping with a l i f e of extreme s t r e s s " (Munro, 1979, p. 120). That she had suffered much and learned how to l i v e through her a r t — t h i s was both Neel's and M i l l e t ' s salvation i n a world experienced as barbarous, unjust and yet ripe for change ( M i l l e t , 1977) . Isabel Bishop (b. 1902) also l i v e d in New York from the 1930's onward and concentrated on p o r t r a i t s of the poor or. working woman. Her i n t e r e s t , however, l a y l e s s i n the uncovering of s o c i a l i n j u s t i c e and 133 more on the mobility and contemporaneity of the modern woman. Like Reginold Marsh, another S o c i a l R e a l i s t with whom she i s often l i n k e d , Bishop sought to connect the grand manner of the c l a s s i c a l t r a d i t i o n with contemporary urban American subjects. In her p a r t l y abstracted etching and aquatint, "Campus Student" (1972), women are captured i n impressions of movement as they cross the courtyard. As i n many of her impressions of women such as "Women Walking" (1963), Bishop seemed compelled by the dynamics of mob i l i t y from one place to another, one ro l e to another, or one c l a s s to another. She says, " I f they (the working women) want to move into another c l a s s they, can, and i t s that m o b i l i t y that connected for me something that I was absolutely focused o n — t h e attempt to make forms which to the spectator were mobile or move-able, that could move" (Fine, 1978, p. 205). In many ways Bishop captured the humanitarian and e g a l i t a r i a n s p i r i t of the Roosevelt years and the s p i r i t of the 1960s and 1970s i n America. Her most s u c c e s s f u l p o r t r a y a l of young women encountered on subways, at lunch bars and in the New York s t r e e t s are almost always monumental in size and engrossed i n a c t i v i t y . Even "Nude Reaching" (1963) i s self-contained, non-idealized, i n d i v i d u a l who appears caught i n a spontaneous moment. Bishop's palette of muted greens, oranges, ochres and whites create a surface which lends a v i b r a t i o n to her moving f i g u r e s . Layers of color extend beyond sharp gestural o u t l i n e s as her fig u r e s s h i f t i n and out of l i g h t and dark spaces. These women appear to be in t r a n s i t i o n a l states of being. As Nochlin and Harris (1979) have suggested, "she arranges her figures i n an endless v a r i e t y of contrasts and juxtapositions suggesting a world of multiple p o s s i b i l i - t i e s within a feminine syntax" (p. 325). Although Bishop does not work 134 consciously from a feminist point of view she does believe her work has a "content d i f f e r e n t from men's" (Nemser, 1976, p. 20). After her major retro s p e c t i v e at the Whitney Museum in 1975, Bishop received a renewed public acclaim and was acknowledged as an a r t i s t who sympathetically recorded the l i f e of an era and women's p o t e n t i a l i n i t (Fine, 1974). The works of Marisol Escabor (b. 1930) s t r i k i n g l y demonstrate yet other forms of s e l f - d e f i n i t i o n within a s o c i a l context. Her in t e r e s t i n the theme of woman as mother i s explored i n Part I of t h i s chapter. Using h e r s e l f as a model, Marisol makes plaster castings, drawings and carvings of her own f a c e — o f t e n incorporating them into sculptured assemblages depicting women in other t r a d i t i o n a l s o c i a l r o l e s . Marisol's iconography finds i t s o r i g i n s in several sources but i s transferred through her own expression. In "Three Women with an Umbrella" (1965-66), her use of everyday household objects juxtaposed with women figures i n mundane r o l e s i n popular urban s e t t i n g s r e c a l l s aspects of pop a r t . In her assemblage of masks, "The Mayflower" (1961), she draws upon col o r s and motifs of e a r l y American fo l k a rt and Pre- Columbian pottery as well as Mexican painted boxes (Fine, 1978,.p. 219). Her m u l t i l e v e l l e d s o c i a l comments and the underlying seriousness of her intent transcends, however, the semi-deliberate banality of pop produc- ti o n s and moves beyond the functional aspects of fol k c r a f t to an o r i g i n a l art form evolving from her own l i f e experience. Her f i f t e e n figure mixed media piece, "The Party" (1956-1966) i s a monumental work through which she explores and s a t i r i z e s the ro l e of the s o c i a l i t e and party-goer. The f i f t e e n figures confront the viewer, each elegantly gowned, bejewelled and dramatically c o i f f e d . In the bodice of one figure i s the luminated s l i d e projection of a diamond necklace, i n 135 the head of another stares the s i n g l e eye of a miniature working T.V. repeating s o c i a l b a n a l i t i e s (Fine, 1978). One frozen f i g u r e , with hair covering eyes and hand over mouth, withdraws from the sight of the other l a d i e s as they proudly move before her. Another "wall flower" i s a c t u a l l y t w o - d i m e n s i o n a l — l i t e r a l l y part of the w a l l . A r o b o t - l i k e man in a tuxedo guards the door. Marisol's own self-image appears painted, drawn, or moulded in plaster on each of the f i g u r e s . The repeated image of Marisol i s s t a r t l i n g and suggests her empathy with these programmed f i g u r e s . In a formal sense we can see Marisol's her teacher, Hans Hoffman's, influence on the "push p u l l " s p a t i a l r e l a t i o n s h i p s found in her geo- metric d i s s e c t i o n s of the f i g u r e . In Marisol's work a tension e x i s t s between the two-dimensional f l a t f r o n t a l i t y of and drawing on most of her figures and the three-dimensional emergence of a hand, a face or an object (Schulman, 1923). The mask-like faces r e c a l l the Mexican masks and at the same time plaster face casts in Jasper John's "Target with Four Faces" (1955). In "The Party", Marisol's use of two- and three- dimensional forms suggests a tension between confinement and a desire for l i b e r a t i o n in her women. "Baby Boy" (1962-63) i s another work which synthesizes formalism and fantasy to make a s o c i a l comment. This work deals with the v i c t i m - i z a t i o n of women in c a p i t a l i s t America. A gargantuan 7 1/2 foot, chubby-cheeked baby boy grasps in his wooden hand a t i n y s t uffed woman with a r e a l i s t i c a l l y painted Marisol face. The giant boy wears a cocky expression on h i s contorted wooden face. Upon his boxed-in torso i s painted a f l a g - l i k e s t r i p e d jacket and boxer shorts. While c r i t i c Leon Schulman (1973) suggested that t h i s piece depicts the i n s e c u r i t y and 136 self-consciousness of a boy and h i s r e l a t i o n s h i p with h i s mother, for Marisol the baby monster was a symbol of a p o l i t i c a l oppressor. In an interview with Cindy Nemser (1975), Marisol said about the boy, "for me, that meant America. This huge baby monster i s taking over. I even had the f l a g there and s t r i p e s . And people think i t ' s a c h i l d " (p. 188). In t h i s piece, Marisol makes the connection between patriarchy and oppression of women. As Cindy Nemser (1976) suggests, Marisol, in her numerous sculptures of male power figures follows the t r a d i t i o n of women writers and a r t i s t s who were the f i r s t to reveal in t h e i r art the f a c t that c a p i t a l i s t p a t r i a r c h a l systems mean personal oppression for a l l humankind. Nemser sees that: ... i n the v i s u a l arts these connections have been made by Marisol in her sculptures of male power f i g u r e s , by Judith Bernstein in her Union Jack - Off Flags and Big Screws, by May Stevens in her Big Daddy paintings, by Nancy Speers i n her Female Bomb serie s and by Nancy Grossman in her drawings and scupltures of encapsulated males who are simultaneously victims and v i c t i m i z e r s . (p. 22) Looking back into the e a r l i e r decades of the twentieth century these connections can also be seen in the works of Kathe K o l l i w i t z and, to some extent, A l i c e Neel. Not only did Marisol help to form a t r a d i t i o n of a r t that i s p o l i t i c a l , which by the 1970's had become a major concern i n art by women, but she helped to make the stereotyped s o c i a l images of women v i s i b l e . In her s c u l p t u r a l work "Women Learning" (1965-66), an older woman l i t e r a l l y gazes into a looking glass to bring the v i s i o n of a wiser and more knowing s e l f into s i g h t . Eleanor Antin (b. 1935), an American performance a r t i s t , explores aspects of her inner and outer s e l f through theater a r t , as Marisol d i d through assemblage sculpture. In her performance pieces, Antin names 137 and gives s o c i a l p e r s o n a l i t i e s to parts of her inner human psyche and sets them upon the i r own autobiographical track. Antin, l i k e another performance a r t i s t , Adrien Piper, explores through her art the r e l a t i o n - ship between the s e l f and the image and the s e l f and the other. While Antin and Piper both explore "the phenomenology and transformations of the s e l f , through the other" (Sondheim, 1977, p. x x i i i ) , for Piper the "other" i s the "Mythic Being" (the masculine part of her being). For Anton the "other" becomes four b e i n g s — t h e King, the B a l l e r i n a , the Nurse and the Black Movie Star. Through improvisation and written dialogue, Antin's characters exchange dialogue on the important questions of love, the economy and p o l i t i c s . Through t h i s t r y i n g on of r o l e s and through dialogue, she attempts to "f l u s h out" the truth of a l l sides of h e r s e l f . Antin also integrates videotapes, photo narratives using puppets and other v i s u a l devices i n her episodes of l i f e and work. A famous photo narrative "Adventures of 100 Boots" i n which she set those hundred soles on a journey across f i e l d s and ditches to the Museum of Modern Art for an e x h i b i t , i s a s t r i k i n g example of the public nature of her multimedia art (Munro, 1979, p. 418) . Antin's use of r o l e playing, props, and performance creates a hybrid art form—and an experiment with a r i c h h i s t o r y . C a r l Jung, with h i s concept of the anima animus, Duchamp with h i s characters Dandy, Mutt and Rose Si l a v y , and Alan Kaprow, one of the inventors of the Happenings of the 1960's, provide the t r a d i t i o n for t h i s e c l e c t i c a r t form (Munro, 1979). Like other performance a r t i s t s , Nancy K i t c h e l , Laurie Anderson 138 and Adrien Piper she employs l i t e r a l , photographic, and written appear- ances of the s e l f to bring sectors of a private h i s t o r y into a public context. The performance work of a r t i s t s l i k e Antin i s i n many ways a revolutionary break i n the hi s t o r y of art on several l e v e l s . Like many of the p o r t r a i t s discussed so f a r , Antin's work i s imbued with the personal and yet rel a t e s to a s o c i o - c u l t u r a l r e a l i t y . Hers i s a l i v e l y conscious stand against the technological attack on the environment, society and women, and the re d u c t i o n i s t a t t i t u d e of the modernist e s t h e t i c . She exposes, not the one abstracted s o c i a l l y acceptable image of the s e l f as woman, but masculine and other selves as well through l i v e performance. Although she d i s s e c t s , her a r t i s aimed at integration of the separate parts. It projects a personal meaning and content within the s o c i a l and c u l t u r a l context of l i f e i n order to expand the notion that the personal i s p o l i t i c a l . Her art i s meaningful not only to a l o c a l segment of the cultured p u b l i c — i n f a c t , much of her work i s not a f f i l i a t e d with the commercial context of art g a l l e r i e s . Like the other performance a r t i s t s mentioned, her work has been oriented to the general public and receives broad coverage i n journals and books. Through her a r t , one gains access to a very r e a l understanding of the many voices at work i n the psyche of contemporary women and the many s o c i a l roles available to her. In many ways, Antin's t h e a t r i c a l experiments and explorations of s e l f i n society represent a t r a n s i t i o n from the past to the present. From the point of view of media, her work represents a t r a n s i t i o n from the o i l on canvas p o r t r a i t s of Cassatt, Bishop and Neel, the graphics of Kol l w i t z , the sculpture of Saint Phalle and Marisol to contemporary work which incorporates multiple media, multiple views and sometimes even the 139 immediate involvement of a r t i s t and audience. From an e s t h e t i c view, her work represents the t r a n s i t i o n from t r a d i t i o n a l uses of space and time to environmental works by Aycock and Miss which explore r e a l a r c h i t e c t u r a l space and expanded temporal dimensions. From a feminist perspective her work can be seen as the t r a n s i t i o n out from the private explorations of s e l f into the public worlds of society and the larger c u l t u r e . Here a new woman can be seen and heard, not ju s t by a c u l t u r a l e l i t e but by the general public i n everyday environments. The a r t i s t s discussed i n t h i s chapter helped to shatter the stereotype image and bring a new image of women into s i g h t . Through explorations of t r a d i t i o n a l maternal and domestic r o l e s , sexual i d e n t i - t i e s and h i s t o r i c a l / s o c i a l images t h i s f i r s t group of 20th century women a r t i s t s prepared the ground for an i d e n t i t y which includes s e l f aware- ness and, p a r t i c i p a t i o n in the s o c i a l l y relevant movements of art. i n the 1970's and 1980's. 140 CHAPTER VI MOVEMENT TOWARD NATURE AND ENVIRONMENT THROUGH ABSTRACTION New Interpretations of Nature Chapter V sought to reveal a new i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of human r e a l i t y i n the f i g u r a t i v e images of women by 20th century women a r t i s t s . Through Realism, Impresionism, Surrealism and other s t y l i s t i c idioms, a r t i s t s represented i n Chapter V seemed to probe an inner psychic landscape to externalize the forms and fe e l i n g s of the i r f e l t l i v e s . This chapter w i l l show how a second group of women a r t i s t s have extended e a r l i e r a r t i s t i c explorations of the s e l f and society i n new int e r p r e t a t i o n s of man's r e l a t i o n s h i p to nature. While the themes of women and nature have been explored separately i n Chapters V and VI, taken together they weave the in t e r l o c k i n g threads of an integrated r e a l i t y revealed i n a r t i s t i c form. As Ernst Cassirer suggests in h i s philosophic essay, "Language and Art," "Art i s not a di s p l a y and enjoyment of empty form. What we i n t u i t i n the medium of art and a r t i s t i c forms i s a double r e a l i t y , the r e a l i t y of nature and human l i f e . And every great art gives a new i n t e r p r e t a t i o n of nature and l i f e " (in Verene, 1979, p. 157). From works studied i n Chapter V, we have been given a new i n t e r - pretation of human r e a l i t y /through the self-images of women. Along with new modes of thinking and a new system of aesthetic and s o c i a l values, a feminist awareness of r e a l i t y was explored as i t evolved in the a r t i s t i c forms of women a r t i s t s throughout t h i s century. In t h i s chapter, a r t i s t s can be seen to extend the awareness of s e l f and culture through 141 explorations of nature and the dynamics of space and time. Chapter VI w i l l explore the evolution of a new e c o l o g i c a l v i s i o n through a r t i s t i c forms which reconceptualize nature as a l i v i n g organism rather than a mechanical system—a view which finds i t s p a r a l l e l i n both mythical thought and moden physics. It i s not sur p r i s i n g that these in t e r p r e t a t i o n s of the human r e a l i t y and the r e a l i t y of nature, while seeming unrelated seem to f i n d a common source in what might be c a l l e d a "feminist s p i r i t u a l i t y . " In his recent book, The Turning Point, the t h e o r e t i c a l p h y s i c i s t , F r i t j o f Capra, provides a d e f i n i t i o n of t h i s v i s i o n which he believes i s at the center of a c u l t u r a l transformation and which l i n k s feminism and ecology. He suggests that t h i s view, culminating i n the women's movement of the 1970's, f i n d s i t s p a r a l l e l i n modern physics i n a systems view of l i f e . " He says, "A feminist s p i r i t u a l i t y i s based on an awareness of the oneness of a l l l i v i n g forms and of t h e i r c y c l i c a l rhythms of b i r t h and death, thus r e f l e c t i n g an attitude that i s pro- foundly e c o l o g i c a l " (Capra, 1982, p. 415). It i s from t h i s common source that a feminist and ec o l o g i c a l v i s i o n can be seen to integrate as they are revealed i n the works discussed-in t h i s t h e s i s . The ancient association of women and nature also i n t e r l i n k s women's hi s t o r y with the hi s t o r y of the environment and i s a source of the natural kinship of a feminist awareness and e c o l o g i c a l v i s i o n i n t u i t e d in the a r t i s t i c forms under discussion. Throughout t h i s century, women a r t i s t s can be seen to have evolved an awareness of t h i s connection and have been involved i n the creation of a new v i s i o n of t h i s double r e a l i t y . 142 In mythical p r e h i s t o r i c c ultures nature was associated with the many manifestations of the Goddess and was seen as a somewhat unpre- d i c t a b l e but kind and nurturing mother (Neumann, 1963). The unity of the s p i r i t and nature were bound together in the view that t h i s great mother i s embodied in a l l of nature and in the earth i t s e l f . Huge earth mounds and temples were constructed to celebrate t h i s Great Goddess and to mark the seasons and cycles of nature (Cassirer, 1944). Under patriarchy, with the advent of a g r i c u l t u r e and f i n a l l y with the r i s e of Newtonian Science, "nature became a mechanical system that could be manipulated and exploited together with the manipulation and e x p l o i t a t i o n of women" (Capra, 1982, p. 40). The reconceptualization of nature as a machine rather than a l i v i n g organism sanctioned the domination of both nature and women. The Cartesian view of the universe extended the mechanistic model to a l l l i v i n g things which were regarded as machines constructed from separate parts, to be exploited by d i f f e r - ent i n t e r e s t groups. Capra suggests that " i t has now become apparent that overemphasis on the s c i e n t i f i c method and on r a t i o n a l thinking has led to an ever increasing separation between b i o l o g i c a l and c u l t u r a l aspects of human nature and to the neglect of i n t u i t i v e wisdom and e c o l o g i c a l aweareness" (Capra, 1982, p. 41). The d i s l o c a t i o n of nature and culture and s p i r i t and matter has also been apparent in the art movements of the second h a l f of the 20th century. The erosion of the modernist f a i t h " i n the l i v i n g bond between human kind and the natural world and the power of a r t to reveal i t " (Munro, 1979, p. 43) had become evident to many by the 1950's. By the mid 1950s, a growing sense of fear and f a t a l i t y developed amongst a r t i s t s of the Abstract Expressionist- movement as art became a 143 matter of increasing f i n a n c i a l p r o f i t . Control of the art market had gradually d r i f t e d away from the a r t i s t into the hands of dealers and investors. Many of the major a r t i s t s of the movement faced premature deaths and "there were signs of a t r u l y r a d i c a l break preparing i t s e l f " (Munro, 1979, p. 48). The 1960s became a decade of what Judd (1954) c a l l e d "demythologizing," "denigration of seriousness," and "evaporation of the s i g n i f i c a n t subjects," perhaps as a defence against an increas- i n g l y dehumanization caused by the mid-century technological attack on human beings and the environment (Battock, 1966, p. 154). The art world continued to be heavily male dominated and women a r t i s t s often worked in i s o l a t i o n . John Cage (1961) saw the c r i s i s i n art as a statement about the emptiness of the modern age. He suggested, "The absurdity of man's po s i t i o n in the world has become the guiding idea of many a r t i s t s . The most meaningful act that can be performed, they i n s i s t , i s to emphasize the meaninglessness of l i f e " (p. 50). By the 1970's an issue quite beyond pure e s t h e t i c s was voiced by a few in the art world. As Munro (1979) saw i t , "the question, banished since the 1930's from discussions of a r t , of value in the larger human sense, of what the arts were in e f f e c t e x i s t i n g f o r " was raised with frequency. Barbara Rose (1968) began to write thoughtfully about the i problem the modern a r t i s t has experienced in finding a s p i r i t u a l subject i n a secular age and Lucy Lippard (1976) began a searching for women a r t i s t s whose work revealed new layers of meaning and new d i r e c t i o n s i n a r t . Out o f t h i s multifaceted c r i s i s i n art and society a few s o c i o l o - g i s t s , h i s t o r i a n s , s c i e n t i s t s and p h i l o s o p h e r s have turned t h e i r attention to what Capra (1982) c a l l s "a paradigm s h i f t ... a profound 144 change i n thoughts, perceptions and values that form a p a r t i c u l a r v i s i o n of r e a l i t y " (p. 30). Lucy Lippard (1979) quotes Marcuse and hi s warning that a necessary s h i f t "would require a new climate wherein new experi- ments and projects would be suggested to the i n t e l l e c t by new s o c i a l needs.... Instead of the further conquest of nature, the rest o r a t i o n of nature; instead of the occupation of outer space, the occupation of inner space..." (p. 88). In The Turning Point, Capra describes four aspects of t h i s s h i f t . He shows through extensive analysis that i t has already begun and that i t ori g i n a t e s from an e c o l o g i c a l point of view. From the point of science i t i s a systems view. It i s a s p i r i t u a l view and i t i s a feminist view. In the l a s t decades a note has also been sounded amongst a r t i s t s which can be read as a s h i f t in what Robert Morris (1978) c a l l s "valua- t i o n on experience." Lucy Lippard (1981) sees i t as a c a l l to "refemin- ize society." The focus has s h i f t e d for many a r t i s t s to meaningful new explorations which can heal the gap between the s p i r i t and nature as an alt e r n a t i v e to "science's r e j e c t i o n of the concrete experience which i s so much part of the archaic concept of nature" (Lippard, 1981 , p. 137). Statements by Cassirer (1944), Capra (1982), and Marcuse (1967) i l l u m i n - ate the fac t that many of the a r t i s t s who are revealing e c o l o g i c a l , s p i r i t u a l and feminist meanings i n art are women. These statements also illuminate the fac t that many of the a r t i s t s who have concentrated on the connective rather than destructive aspects of the web have also been women. P a r a l l e l i n g the a r t i s t s studied i n Chapter V who explore new dimensions of the human r e a l i t y , a r t i s t s studied i n Chapter VI can be seen exploring dimensions of space and time which extend beyond the conventions of modernist movements. From the i r works we can i n t u i t new 145 forms of the human r e l a t i o n s h i p to nature and a new e c o l o g i c a l v i s i o n of the environment. This study, s t a r t i n g with Georgia O'Keeffe i n the e a r l y 20th century and ending with A l i c e Aycock in the 1980s, further illuminates the ways women a r t i s t s have concentrated on the connective aspects of our double r e a l i t y . Not one of the subjects discussed in t h i s chapter can be seen to have moved beyond what Eleanor Munro (1979) c a l l s the " n a t u r e - s e l f - a r t " c o r r e l a t i o n to what Ro b e r t - p i n c u s - W i t t e n c a l l s "epistemic abstraction" or purely i n t e l l e c t u a l content i n art (Munro, 1979, p. 22). While the idioms and media change in each of the groups studied in Chapter VI, no matter how abstract or how far removed in the end the work may look, most of the a r t i s t s "affirmed the presence of" that "content in their work" (Munro, 1979, p. 22). Their a r t , informed and inspired by th e i r source of cr e a t i v e energy i n l i f e and nature, w i l l show that there i s a movement in abstraction, not away from i n t e r e s t i n the dynamic forms and cycles of nature and human l i f e but towards them and to th e i r deepest sources in authentic experience, myth, and feminist thought. Starting with Georgia O'Keeffe at the beginning of the century and ending with environmental sculptors l i k e Nancy Holt and A l i c e Aycock i n the 1970's and 1980's, i t i s possible to see how many of the a r t i s t s choose o r g a n i c a l l y inspired forms, and focus on the dynamic framework of space and time, "the framework in which a l l r e a l i t y i s concerned" (Cassirer, 1944), p. 42). Although many of the older a r t i s t s such as O'Keeffe, Krasner and Frankenthaler were part of o r i g i n a l modernist movements and were often seen as "conservative" in th e i r f a i l u r e to abandon the " s i g n i f i c a n t subject," they can now be seen as survivors who 146 have provided for younger a r t i s t s a f a i t h i n the power of art to reveal new meaningful i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s of that double r e a l i t y . The a r t i s t s to be studied, for whom the dynamics of nature, environment and the human r e a l i t y have been a focus and for whom abstract form has been the idiom, f a l l into three groups and w i l l be studied in parts I, II and III i n t h i s chapter. Part I begins with Georgia O'Keeffe, whose work signals the coming of International Modernism to America i n the e a r l y 1900's. Through a b s t r a c t i o n ( O'Keeffe set the stage for the growing b e l i e f i n the modernist e s t h e t i c — t h a t a rt had the power to pierce the surface appearance of natural forms to release f e e l i n g s through correspondences. She extended Kandinsky's theory of equivalents to f i n d correspondences i n the patterns of l i g h t , forms of the desert h i l l s and co l o r s of the mid-west which were capable of a f f e c t i n g the emotions and tones of the body. It i s possible to find in her work the beginnings of a feminist s p i r i t u a l i t y , an e c o l o g i c a l v i s i o n and an awareness of the unity of a l l l i v i n g forms. This chapter w i l l explore the ways Lee Krasner, Helen Frankenthaler and other Abstract Expressionists extended the use of abstract form and how they dispensed with representation of the image i n favor of enacting the psychic state in physi c a l movement to reveal deeper meanings i n l i f e . While these a r t i s t s b u i l t on mainstream movements i n the f i r s t h a l f of the century, t h i s study w i l l analyse the sources and conditions that moved these a r t i s t s to extend the modernist e s t h e t i c beyond the conven- tions of the time. By transforming the raw material of th e i r f e l t l i v e s 147 and "by transcending the germ of i n s p i r a t i o n through wonderful muta- tion s " (Munro, 1979, p. 22), these a r t i s t s uncovered s t r a t a of meaning in nature and l i f e that have profound meaning to current movements i n environmental sculpture and culture as a whole. The evolution from Abstract Expressionist painting to new forms of Experimental Sculpture w i l l provide the focus of part I I . Concentrating mainly upon Eva Hesse, t h i s section w i l l study how women a r t i s t s of the 1960's began to emerge from under the shadow of a heavily male dominated Op, Pop, and Minimal art scene to expand the process of the self/nature revaluation with new materials. Taking t h e i r own paths, a r t i s t s l i k e Eva Hesse, Louise Bourgeosis and Lee Bontecou began to explore new dimensions of inner-space with organic use of non-art materials. Using stretched canvas, latex, rubber, and rope, these a r t i s t s with "excruci- ating v i s c e r a l directness" (Munro, 1979, p. 53), explored the human body and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p to the dynamics of nature. By extending the r i s k of Action painting beyond pure gesture, these a r t i s t s opposed p r e v a i l i n g trends to formalism and created sculpture involving a synthesis of form and f e e l i n g . The scale and meaning of much of t h i s new sculpture o r i g i n a t e s from i t s materials, context and s i t u a t i o n rather than from a purely psychological necessity (Lippard, 1976). This use of r i s k and gesture, now more independent of purely psychic needs, reveals new dimensions of our double r e a l i t y . This work provides the bridge to understandings of environmental sculpture studied in part I I I . In the group of a r t i s t s studied in part III we see a turning point from the "private to the public" and from the g a l l e r y to the environment (Lippard, 1979). In addition, there i s an evolution of a more conscious 148 e c o l o g i c a l v i s i o n i n the way these a r t i s t s unite t h e i r sculpture- architecture with the natural environment. Working from t h i s e c o l o g i c a l perspective, these a r t i s t s transform awareness of space and time through powers of the imagination opened by understandings'of mythical, feminist and s c i e n t i f i c thought. They tap g e s t a l t s i n which nature, art and l i f e are so c l o s e l y enmeshed as to be aspects of the same speculative process (Munro, 1979). They f i n d correspondences of form i n ocean currents, galaxies, the double h e l i x , the DNA molecule and i n the cycles and seasons of nature. As Munro (1979) noted, th e i r touchstones i n art are not the s t y l e markers l i k e Cezanne or Picasso but ancient earth mounds, and the archeological monuments of Mexico, Greece, India and China. These a r t i s t s i nterpret nature with environmental sculptures that make l i t e r a l use of the subjects t h e i r forebearers painted. With raw hemp, pulverized rock, saplings, earth and growing plants, these a r t i s t s yearn to regain contact with the earth with an art that o f f e r s a concrete r e a l experience. Using a "present sense of space" (Morris, 1978) and integrating temporal dimensions i n the i r work they d i s p l a y "an awareness of the mythical roots of sculpture, and architecture i n the earth and female body" (Lippard, 1979, p. 88). These young a r t i s t s have not had to break with t h e i r past i n order to become themselves, as i t seems the cre a t i v e male has been impelled "to overthrow h i s father by symbolically r e j e c t i n g h i s a r t " (Munro, 1979, p. 53). Miriam Shapiro, Judy Chicago, and other a r t i s t s studied in the previous chapter, opened up a new p o t e n t i a l for bonding to the communal human past by e s t a b l i s h i n g a feminine presence i n the continuum of c u l t u r e . 149 By keeping a l i v e the dialogue between the s e l f , art and nature, many of t h e i r foremothers bequeathed "a s p e c i a l promise" to these younger a r t i s t s who have picked up the thread "to reclaim the natural and human world as a topic of i n t e r e s t " (Munro, 1979, p. 55). Through the work of these women a r t i s t s we have been offered a new i n t e r p r e t a - t i o n of our double r e a l i t y which, i f perceived, may provide new mappings for a c u l t u r a l transformation. Toward Nature — E a r l y Abstraction in Painting Beginning with Georgia O'Keeffe in turn of the century America, we enter the same time period when Kathe Kollowitz through increasing abstraction and Lenor F i n n i through Surrealism were exploring t h e i r personal roots in images of women. It i s the purpose of Part I of t h i s chapter to explore the ways O'Keeffe through e a r l y abstraction and Krasner and Frankenthaler through Abstract Expressionism embraced the new modernist e s t h e t i c — t h e b e l i e f that art had the power to pierce the surface of appearances and release wellsprings of f e e l i n g through i t s correspondence in nature. While O'Keeffe, Krasner and Frankenthaler shared many elements of s t y l e found in the works of t h e i r contemporaries, forms and meanings emerge in t h e i r work which, through a growing momentum, trace t h e i r own path through abstraction. One can c o r r e c t l y say that these a r t i s t s are members of Abstract and Abstract Expressionist schools, but there i s a " l i t e r a l n e s s " to many of t h e i r works that seem to press beyond the convention of that "Americanism" that peaked in the 1940's and 1950's (Munro, 1979, p. 235). Munro (1979) suggested that O'Keeffe's flowers may aspire to be experiences of expanding growth, Frankenthaler's work 150 may aspire to "be" experiences of t!he sky and M i t c h e l l ' s may "be" walks in the country (p. 235). According to Munro's (1979) interviews with these a r t i s t s , they continued to learn from correspondences i n nature what form was and never abandoned the remembered sensory experiences i n nature for explorations of pure and empty form. Not only d i d they r e t a i n the s i g n i f i c a n t subject i n t h e i r abstract work, but t h e i r images and forms were seen to change and transform. Jackson Pollock, Franz Kline, Mark Rothko and Barnett Newman, on the other hand, leapt into pure form and gesture and began to adopt the "s i n g l e image" as a trademark. As Munro (1979) noted, " t h i s was an e f f e c t i v e 'male modus operandi' during the coming to prominence of the Abstract Expression- i s t s " (p. 28). Although e f f e c t i v e , i t i s possible that t h i s s e l f - l i m i t a t i o n caused the frightening impasse and sense of meaninglessness that many of the prominent males f e l t near the end of t h e i r l i v e s . Either because of an i n t u i t i v e understanding and acceptance of growth or because they had abandoned the goal of "market success," the a r t i s t s discussed here were not pressured into these moulds. Lee Krasner, for example, who was married to Jackson Pollock and understood the idea of the single image, was quoted as saying: "For me, a l l the doors are open. One can't stand s t i l l . I t takes enormous energy to keep growing and i t ' s p a i n f u l , the constant state of change. And yet I have never been able to understand the a r t i s t whose image does not change" (Munro, 1979, p. 28). It i s t h i s continued b e l i e f i n l i v i n g bond between the ever- changing human and natural world and the power of art to reveal i t that unites these a r t i s t s . Not victims of the e x i s t e n t i a l despair or premature deaths that t r a g i c a l l y claimed many of t h e i r male colleagues, 151 these a r t i s t s continued, often in i s o l a t i o n , to allow the raw material of t h e i r whole l i v e s to invade th e i r a r t i s t i c forms. Beginning with Georgia O'Keeffe's work, we see the signals of the a r r i v a l of Modernism to North America. At the same time, her l i f e and work an t i c i p a t e s a future concern found in the Earth Art of the 1970's. The modernist e s t h e t i c , argued f i r s t by Emersonian Transcendentalists in science and l a t e r by Kandinsky i n Concerning the S p i r i t u a l i n Art was passed down to O'Keeffe by her progressive teachers, Dow and Amon Bennet and through the S t e i g l i t z c i r c l e during a time when the i m i t a t i v e 19th century t r a d i t i o n s t i l l held in America (O'Keeffe, 1976). In her work, we see t h i s modernist f a i t h i n the power of art to reveal that sense of the l i v i n g bond between the human and natural world. In one of her e a r l i e s t abstract works, "Music" (1919), O'Keeffe had taken that leap from an art that imitates nature to an a r t that through ^ abstract, correspondences reveals underlying s t r a t a s of meaning.1 Two events can be seen to have married in her mind to spark t h i s r a d i c a l leap into abstraction. O'Keeffe often r e c a l l s with wonder the sense of the unknown she experienced as a young c h i l d , enchanted with the music and co l o r s of the Dominican Catholic Church she v i s i t e d . Although her s e n s i t i v i t y to the land and the l i n e s and tones of music may have been awakened back in her e a r l y childhood on Sun P r a i r i e , Wisconsin, her teacher, Bement, helped c r y s t a l l i z e those magic images. It occurred to her in one of h i s classes in which students were asked to draw from music, that patterns of flowing l i n e s and co l o r s placed in c e r t a i n r e l a t i o n s h i p s could play on the nerves and senses l i k e pure and passion- l e s s music. This painting with i t s strands of blue and pink swelling forms presents to the viewer a symbolic expression of t h i s inner 152 r e a l i t y . Landscape, sound and sensuous references to the human body interweave as images in abstract form. After/teaching art i n Texas schools, marrying A l f r e d S t e i g l i t z and moving to New York, O'Keeffe began to r e f l e c t on the p r i n c i p l e s of shape and color of Japanese a r t , the Cubist, S u r r e a l i s t and Expressionist works seen at the 1913 Armory Show, the ideas of Emmerson on s e l f - r e l i a n c e and Kandinsky's theory of correspondence. The theory of correspondences, rooted in the Kantian view of a r t , suggested to O'Keeffe that nature presents the mind with a number of symbolic representations which are related to each other and evoke c e r t a i n f e e l i n g s i n the mind and body (Munro, 1979). By 1924, O'Keeffe had begun the rapturous flower paintings which caused such controversy and speculation in New York. The "Black I r i s " (1926), so voluminous and yet so t r a g i c in i t s dark translucent anatomy, i s one of O'Keeffe's most unusual works of t h i s s e r i e s . Like "Two C a l l a L i l i e s on Pink" (1928) and "Jack i n the P u l p i t V" (1930), the flowers are blown up beyond the edges, s i m p l i f i e d and abstracted into sensuous form. This close-up technique may have been inspi r e d by the photographs o f Paul Strand and S t e i g l i t z . Some are r e m i n i s c e n t of Imogene Cunningham's photos of magnolias with erect stamens. But while these images come from O'Keeffe's perception of the r e a l world they are also equivalents for the a r t i s t s ' f e e l i n g s . There i s something rapturous and even r a d i c a l i n these sensuous images. Mul t i p l e tensions e x i s t between the part and the whole, closed and open shapes, raw edges and fleshy forms. Many people have read a sexual and feminist content into these works (Chicago, 1976). Although O'Keeffe r a r e l y made a cause out of being a woman, i t i s i n t e r e s t i n g to note that only a few years before, 153 i n 1919, the suffragette case triumphed with the passing of the 19th Amendment (Munro, 1979). In the year she painted the "Black I r i s " she gave a speech to the National Woman's Party i n Washington. Whatever her intent, these flowers s t i r r e d up a controversy i n New York and as Munro (1979) saw i t , "They spoke powerfully to the Freudian Z e i t g e i s t and seemed to many to reveal for the f i r s t time the true nature of that perplexing creature, the Suffragette" (p. 87). Georgia O'Keeffe put i t in another way: "A flower i s r e l a t i v e l y small. I ' l l paint i t big and they w i l l be surprised into taking time to look at i t — I w i l l make even busy New Yorkers take time to see what I see i n flowers" (O'Keeffe, 1976, p. 23). The "Lake George Barn Series" (1918-33) are the most p r e c i s i o n i s t of her paintings with t h e i r crowded shuttered buildings that o f f e r no escape, and small black windows that reveal no l i f e indoors. Once again, however, these forms may be the equivalent of O'Keeffe's f e e l i n g s t i r r e d up by her v i s i t s to Lake George. It i s well recorded that O'Keeffe f e l t r e s t l e s s during the summers in upstate New York (O'Keeffe, 1976). She longed for the solitude and open sensuous spaces of the New • Mexico desert she had l e f t . Only three summers after t h i s s e r i e s , she began her treks back to Taos where she worked for days on end painting the black and red h i l l s , the dark crosses on blood red skies, the deaths heads and flowers. In "Grey H i l l s " (1942) and "Pedernal and Red H i l l s " (1936), O'Keeffe focuses her search on the human body i n landscape. By giving us a natural world she makes c o r r e l a t i v e s to our own body. Using a s l i g h t l y elevated vantage point, with middle ground eliminated, she focuses the viewer on the sensuous rhythms of the h i l l s . The sourceless 154 l i g h t found in a l l of her works r e c a l l s the mystique of e a r l i e r works and according to her teacher, Arthur Dove, was a symbolic device that li n k e d r e l i g i o n , science and art at the turning point to modernism. Used not only to lend p i c t o r i a l unity, t h i s sourceless l i g h t i s also an affir m a t i o n of a b e l i e f i n an "underlying natural order" (Clark, 1976, p. 23). By the 1920's l i g h t had come to represent for many a r t i s t s not only the unifying p r i n c i p l e , but what Dove c a l l e d the e s s e n t i a l i d e n t i - fying c h a r a c t e r i s t i c of an i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t . While for O'Keeffe i t represented the et e r n a l , for Frankenthaler i t l a t e r came to evoke the sublime and for M i t c h e l l the virtuous (Munro, 1979, p. 482). In " P e l v i s with Moon" (1943), O'Keeffe explores the way l i n e i s affected by l i g h t . Edges that curve into three dimensional space; edges that fade or are broken and edges that create a strange perspective may seem at f i r s t a r b i t r a r y . However, by extracting these e s s e n t i a l l i n e s and eliminating d e t a i l , O'Keeffe has revealed a " t r u t h f u l r e n d i t i o n of desert sunlight on bleached bones" (Harris and Nochlin, 1976, p. 306). Through the int e r p l a y of l i n e and shape, a tension i s created between foreground and the weightless blue shapes. O'Keeffe says, "I was most interested i n the holes i n the bones ... what I saw through them.... They were most wonderful against the B l u e — t h a t Blue w i l l always be there as i t i s now after a l l man's destruction i s f i n i s h e d . I have t r i e d to paint the Bones and the Blue" (1976, p. 74). This painting i s perhaps the most moving example of her recurring theme of motion and s t i l l n e s s . For O'Keeffe, these were perhaps the alt e r n a t i n g poles of energy she found most basic to the rhythms of nature and the"human body. Through her works, one f e e l s the moving and changing world of wind upon bare h i l l s , forms expanding and contracting, 155 rhythms of growth and death, cycles of night and day. There also e x i s t s a quiet and "permanent ground" i n the s t a r s , the eternal blue sky, the weathered earth and bones (Munro, 1979, p. 91). I t i s through these rhythmic a l t e r a t i o n s that Georgia O'Keeffe has provided for a world i n need of such images "both an active model and reassurance of the permanence of some values and i d e a l s " (Munro, 1979, p. 91). While O'Keeffe s i g n a l l e d the coming of International Modernism to America, Lee Krasner was one of the f i r s t generation Abstract Expres- s i o n i s t s who picked up the thread of t h i s new e s t h e t i c and with Hoffman, Pollock and others, helped to shape a new a r t . In an interview with Munro (1979), Krasner ta l k s of the main events that influenced the d i r e c t i o n of her l i f e and art and direc t e d her on a path d i f f e r e n t from many of her male contemporaries. F i r s t , she r e c a l l s the wild natural surroundings of her home i n Brooklyn, the synagogue and the l i n e a r patterns of the s c r i p t u r a l i l l u m i n a t i o n s . These images gave her a f e e l i n g for ge s t u r a l l i n e i n nature. Then was her decision to defect from Judaism because of the oppressed p o s i t i o n of women in the church. Reflecting on her aversion to dogma and narrow ideologies, t h i s d e c i s i o n confirmed her b e l i e f i n her s e l f worth and the importance of independent thought. Her sub- sequent decision to replace her f a i t h with a r t led her to future involvements with the W.P.A. The government murals she executed at t h i s time introduced her to the huge scale found i n her l a t e r works. Later, a c l a s s with Hans Hoffman introduced her to a f e e l i n g for nature "imploded into the r a t i o n a l structure of cubism" (Munro, 1979). In "Milkweed," a highly charged l i n e traces razor t h i n pods that soar upward across several torn block shapes and f a l l through space to 156 the ground. The dark shapes create a tension with the l i n e s as they move in and out of space. Unlike the clear cut cubi s t l i n e , hers i s intense, thrusting and charged with f e e l i n g . Hoffman's system of push-pulls and i n t e r r e l a t e d thrusts may have been the device which Krasner transformed to create an all-over f i e l d of energy. However, correspondences to nature and her l i f e were s t i l l v i s i b l e in her images. The l i n e a r patterns she so admired i n the s c r i p t u r a l texts can be seen in her paintings but now they are free to explore space and evoke nature's dynamic energy. It was at t h i s point that Krasner met Jackson Pollock, whose breakthrough freed many of the Abstract Expressionists to take on the canvas as a "thing in i t s e l f " to "work up" in "Surreal automatic gestures" (Munro, 1979, p. 113). For a short period during t h e i r eleven year marriage Krasner, l i k e Pollock, gave up her nature-derived l i n e to explore pure gestural l i n e and form. She soon f e l t t h i s to be a mistaken decision and returned for i n s p i r a t i o n to the raw material of her ' l i f e and nature (Nemser, 1973). During these years, Krasner was overshadowed by Pollock and the "er a s c i b l e Eighteen" as they began consolidating t h e i r idiom and ridding i t h e i r works of any Surreal, Cubist or f i g u r a t i v e elements. Although she was c r i t i c i s e d for not taking t h i s "conceptual leap into the future" she rejected the closed ideology of formalist e s t h e t i c s and the sing l e image in favor of an es t h e t i c that operated between the poles of nature, a r t and l i f e . In "Bald Eagle" (1955), Krasner returned to her old work, and collaged o l d and new images into a u n i f i e d whole. Nemser (1973) suggests that t h i s r e l i a n c e on i n s t i n c t to return to the source was more 157 a sign of her prophetic g i f t and the strength of her " l i f e force" than her f a i l u r e (p. 44). Her fear of the consequences that l a y ahead for some who accepted closed theories and the single image can be seen i n "Prophesy" (1956). In t h i s highly disturbing image of half-man, half-beast, a heavily lidded prophetic eye hovers in the upper r i g h t corner. This work was painted in what Krasner describes as some t r u l y anguished months when her despairing husband faced a c r i s i s of emptiness and ceased painting altogether. "Prophesy" foreshadowed the great tragedy of Pollock's death and many of h i s colleagues (Munro, 1979, p. 112). Years l a t e r , when the events of her l i f e i n t h i s h e avily burdened time led her to analysis, Krasner r e c a l l e d a childhood memory in which t h i s archetypal "half-man, half-beast" leapt out at her in a f e a r f u l dream (Munro, 1979, p. 104). After p a r t l y recovering from these d i f f i c u l t times, Krasner painted 17 huge canvases. Their t i t l e s , " L i s t e n , " "Earth Green," "Springbeat" and "Upstream" t e l l a poignant t a l e . Having abandoned the harsh d i a l e c t i c of black and white c o l o r , which for many of the Abstract Expressionists became associated with the horrors of World War II and the l i f e / d e a t h balance, Krasner flooded these canvases with whole f i e l d s of abstract green l e a f forms, fuschia, mauve and white flower-cloud images and yellow l i g h t . These works were praised by notable c r i t i c Clement Greenberg, but Krasner i n s t i n c t i v e l y moved on to explore aspects of that darker unresolved side of h e r s e l f . There was s t i l l a whole store of c o n f l i c t i n g emotions to assimilate after returning to the empty Pollock home; great waves of dark amber and white worked themselves to r e s o l u t i o n in "Charred Landscape" (1960), and 158 "White Rage" (1960). Greenberg was disappointed with t h i s work but Krasner, believing that r e a l growth encompasses both past and present, anguish and joy, continued in t h i s idiom u n t i l i t s meaning was resolved (Nemser, 1973). In l a t e r works l i k e "Majuscule" (1971) and "Palimgenesis" (1971), col o r s had flooded back into her expansive planes of f l a t c o l o r . The images of organic growth can be read as g e s t a l t s in the way p o s i t i v e and negative shapes i n t e r r e l a t e i n rhythmic a c t i v i t y . Krasner says: "I merge the organic with-what I c a l l the abstract. I see both s c a l e s . I need to merge these two into the ever present" (Nemser, 1973, p. 44). F i n a l l y , i n the 1960's Krasner emerged from the dark shadows of the movement to claim her place as a survivor. The modernist movement, o r i g i n a l l y bound to i n t e r n a t i o n a l exchange and f a i t h i n the power of a r t to explore the underlying stratas of meaning in l i f e and nature had ended with a deep sense of "despair, parochialism and male chauvinism" (Munro, 1979, p. 50). However, by r e j e c t i n g a l l the closed ideologies presented to her in her l i f e , her r e l i g i o n , p a triarchy, e x i s t e n t i a l i s m , formalist e s t h e t i c s , and the single image, she maintained her great f a i t h in the human s p i r i t and nature's organic rhythms of change. She reached for a h o l i s t i c integration of her art and l i f e and was there in the 1960's and 1970's to take her place and pass on her s p e c i a l promise to a younger generation of a r t i s t s working in nature through abstrac- t i o n . Her shows at the White Chapel Art G a l l e r y in London (1965) and at the Whitney (1973) were received with overwhelming enthusiasm. She has become a model for many i n recent y e a r s — a survivor and a g r e a t l y g i f t e d a r t i s t who revealed a new organic v i s i o n of our double r e a l i t y . 159 A number of other women a r t i s t s of the f i r s t wave of American abstraction worked idioms and s t y l e s other than Abstract Expressionism. Each contributed to the melting pot out of which the new American a r t was to come, but more s i g n i f i c a n t l y each retrained the source of i n s p i r a t i o n i n the double r e a l i t y of l i f e and nature and gave i t new form. i There was the Canadian, Emily Carr, who through her expressionist J B.C. landscape images upheld the d i g n i t y and independence of the native people and tapped the rhythms of the B.C. r a i n f o r e s t . THere was Alma THomas, c h i l d of a black family in the deep south, who tapped the motifs of A f rican art to a r r i v e at her own i d i o m — i n the present decade c a l l e d C o l o r - F i e l d p a inting. There was Louise Bourgeosis who drew upon the sources of subjective f e e l i n g and memory to create e r o t i c , appealing and threatening environments out of latex rubber and cement. F i n a l l y there was Louise Nevelson, whose C o n s t r u c t i v i s t wood environments made a "metaphysical proposition in a f a i t h depleted age" (Munro, 1979, p. 20). During the 1940's, there was also a second generation of Abstract Expressionists who found new ways of "bringing the landscape home," as t h e i r teacher, Hans Hoffman, put i t . Enriched by the stream of new input into the movement and working in an idiom well rooted in e a r l y 1940's, Frankenthaler, Joan M i t c h e l l and Elaine de Kooning took o f f to explore forms of r e l a t i o n s h i p s to nature that probed inner psychic landscapes as well as outer physical o r b i t s . This second generation of Abstract Expressionists were born to be winners. Nurtured by supportive f a m i l i e s , sheltered from the depression and the war, and schooled i n the progressive e g a l i t a r i a n high schools of the 1930's, these a r t i s t s gained a strong footing. However, World War 160 II had a subduing e f f e c t on the s p i r i t of optimism and the reactionary views concerning women in and out of the art world i n the 1950's caused many of these a r t i s t s to turn inward to pursue th e i r self-appointed a r t i s t i c goals in pr i v a t e . Machismo was i n the a i r and few of these women a r t i s t s were i n v i t e d to the male bonding placed l i k e the Cedars or the Club. Barnett Newman's famous image of "Vir Heroicus Sublimis" became a symbol for what c r i t i c Herbert Crehan c a l l e d that "proud and i n f l e x i b l e archaic male s e n s i b i l i t y l i f t e d from the Old Testament" (Munro, 1979, p. 484). These women worked under t h i s shadow. Women got shows those days only through /connections with men and few made i t i n the inc r e a s i n g l y competitive and market-oriented g a l l e r y system. Helen Frankenthaler's "soak and s t a i n " technique, while seen i n the 1950's to be an extension of Pollock's gestural d r i p idiom, allowed her to r e t a i n the nature-derived subject without resorting to i l l u s i o n i s t i c uses of sp a c e — a goal dearly sought for but unattained by many others who r e s t r i c t e d themselves to ,a pure form. In "Mountains and Sea" (1952), the l y r i c a l biomorphic shapes r e c a l l the influence of A r s c h i l e Gorky and Wassily Kandinsky while the technique of soaking and sta i n i n g canvas with free gesture r e c a l l aspects of Pollock's action paintings. In t h i s work, however, Frankenthaler went beyond these idioms to reach a new synthesis of meaning and form. She added color and l i g h t to Pollock's breakthrough and, as Barbara Rose (1971) stated, she "managed to change the fracture and surface of p a i n t e r l y painting by d i s s o c i a t i n g for the f i r s t time the p a i n t e r l y from the loaded brush" (p. 57) . This f i r s t formulation of the atmosopheric image was inspired by a t r i p to Nova Scotia and Cape Breton i n 1952 in which she saw foreground (sea) and background (mountains) i n a d i a l e c t i c a l r e l a t i o n s h i p . 161 Upon her return to New York, she decided to thin down her o i l paint and with her whole body in action, pour paint onto raw canvas on the f l o o r . This innovative technique, l i k e the spontaneous immediate process of watercolor, allowed her to integrate the s u r r e a l i s t f a i t h that i n t u i t i v e forces within could reveal deep universal meaning through form. This spontaneous process served Frankenthaler, whose prepared mind understood the q u a l i t i e s of abstract space and form and t h e i r a b i l i t y to evoke f e e l i n g . While painting "Mountains and Sea" she s a i d , "I had the landscape in my arms" (Rose, 1971, p. 54). In l a t e r works, " F l o o d " (1967), "Jacobs Ladder" (1957), and " I n t e r i o r Landscape" (1964), Frankenthaler moved further toward the edge i of invention by eliminating the use of applied l i n e to indicate edges of space. Instead, blurred or sharp edges are created by the i n t e r s e c t i o n of flooded c o l o r s . In nature, l i n e e x i s t s only where two forms meet and Frankenthaler captured t h i s v i t a l edge. In these works her organic color i s associative and i l l u s i v e . P r e c i s e l y at the time Pollock, Kline and de Kooning were turning to impasto blacks and whites, Frankenthaler began exploring a bizarre palette of c o l o r s . Beiges, mauves, greens, rusty browns and reds are found in unusual juxt a p o s i t i o n s . The "mystic- a l " white of the canvas corresponds to the/ l i g h t which permeates color in the natural world and i t glows through her translucent washes of earth and sky. While her images are abstract, she has captured an essence of the underlying structure of nature's forces through a world of c o l o r , shape and form. In many works l i k e "Blue Tide" (1963), Frankenthaler overcame i l l u s i o n i s t space and the figure ground d i a l e c t i c that plagued Pollock and others. By marrying figure and ground, and sinking both into the 162 surface of the canvas she maintained a balance of energy between subject/object, g e s t u r e / s t i l l n e s s , l i n e / p l a n e , emotion/tranquility. Here the upper crimson shape, for example, appears d i s t a n t or far depending on the shapes and c o l o r s of i t s neighboring forms. Nothing e x i s t s i n i s o l a t i o n in her w o r k s — i t i s a l l part of a h o l i s t i c f i e l d of energy and c o l o r . Frankenthaler, either with hand, sponge, brush or by pouring, controls and moves with her l i q u i d forms through a highly developed sense of hand-body coordination. The kind of movement she c r e a t e s — t h e b i l l o w i n g , churning, splashing, f l o o d i n g — a r e not only weather and ocean related energies, but they are body movements which correspond to emotions and states of mind (Rose, 1971). A unity i s created between her a r t , h e r s e l f and nature as she works in t h i s new sphere. If art and poetry are reconstructions of the world or "emotions r e c o l l e c t e d i n t r a n q u i l i t y " (as Wordsworth said) , or "emotions elevated to a new state" as Cassirer (1944) suggested, Frankenthaler 1s painting i s art of the highest order (p. 163). Without resorting to imitations of nature, Frankenthaler's work evokes a memory of the emotion as an experienced moment of a t o t a l r e a l i t y . While retaining loose abstract p a i n t e r l i n e s s she achieved a sense of deep o p t i c a l rather than i l l u s i o n i s t i c space; while r e t a i n i n g her images of nature she resolved the figure ground d i a l e c t i c , and without abandoning the modernist f a i t h she went beyond s t y l i s t i c innovation to find secret meaning incarnate in form. Other women a r t i s t s worked t h i s old-new ground of Abstract Expres- sionism to give new understanding of our double r e a l i t y . There i s Joan M i t c h e l l , whose paintings such as "Posted" (1977) and "Quator for Betsy 163 Jolas" (1976) presents us with a constant dialogue between nature's c y c l e s of winter, spring and summer as the equivalents for the l i f e , death, r e b i r t h cycle of l i f e . As Munro (1979) has seen, "hers i s a psychic struggle for which we take the natural as symbol" (p. 183). There i s Elaine de Kooning, whose image of the Towering Male presents us with a symbol of the p a t r i a r c h a l dynamics of c u l t u r e and s o c i e t y . F i n a l l y , there i s N e l l Blaine, and Grace Hartigan, whose l i g h t - f i l l e d d i s p e r s i v e images of i n t e r i o r s and urban landscapes give i n s i g h t into modern man's r e l a t i o n s h i p to the natural world. While on one hand, the a r t i s t s discussed here adapted many of the formal devices shared by others i n the movement and embraced the o r i g i n a l modernist f a i t h i n the power of art to reveal truths about our present r e a l i t y , t h e i r work opens perhaps more than others to what Munro (1979) sees as a surprising "directness" of experience and disarming " l i t e r a l n e s s that seems to push beyond conventions of mid-century a r t " (p. 208). As Munro (1979) says, Frankenthaler's works in t h i s ambiguous sense may be said to aspire to 'be' experiences of the sky and M i t c h e l l ' s may 'be' walks in the country" (p. 208). These forebearers l a i d the ground work in two dimensions with o i l and canvas for a generation of sculptors l i k e Eva Hesse and recent earth a r t i s t s who make l i t e r a l use of the subjects they painted. While Mary Frank's and Mary Anne Caruthers-Aikin's works are l i t e r a l l y made out of earth, Nancy Holt's and Mary Miss's use of space, l i t e r a l l y incorporates multiple views, protracted distances and separate spaces. Time i s i n t h i s new work in a way that i t never was in past sculpture or p a i n t i n g . While O'Keeffe used p a i n t e r l y l i g h t to evoke a sense of i n f i n i t e time, Eva Hesse uses natural l i g h t with translucent materials, and Nancy Holt 164 uses the r e a l l i g h t of the sun and stars to mark c y c l i c a l time in her "Sun Tunnels." Mary Miss's involves the viewer in s c u l p t u r a l space which can only be experienced by moving through i t temporally. She gives us a present active sense of time rather than i l l u s i o n i s t i c time. While Frankenthaler created a n o n - i l l u s i o n i s t i c deep space by almost merging foreground and background in layered s t a i n s , Mary Miss creates a r e a l a r c h i t e c t u r a l space in which one's own space co-exists with what i s perceived. A l i c e Aycock imbues space with emotional c o l o r a t i o n by creating equivalents in a r c h i t e c t u r a l space. These young environmental sculptors extend many of the correspon- dences explored by O'Keeffe, Frankenthaler and Krasner and transform them through the meshes of th e i r minds into new s c u l p t u r a l forms. While Abstract Expressionists reached into the raw material of t h e i r l i v e s and experiences in nature, these young a r t i s t s probe further into the f i e l d s of science and architecture as well as the structures of the mythical imagination, and the s e l f to tap o r i g i n a l sources of experience and to r e - e s t a b l i s h the unity of s p i r i t and nature. Nature and P h y s i c a l i t y — Organic Use of Materials The second group of a r t i s t s discussed i n Part II of t h i s chapter came into their own in the free experimentation and radicalism of the 1960's. During t h i s decade much that was conventional in art was questioned—easel painting, t r a d i t i o n a l s c u l p t u r e — a n d a bewildering emergence of new isms—Pop, Op, Conceptual a r t — s e t the stage with a new cast of characters. Jasper Johns, Robert Rauchenberg, Andy Warhol and others replaced the older a r t i s t s of the Abstract Expressionist era. From under the shadow of a heavily male dominated art scene, a 165 number of women a r t i s t s began to take th e i r own paths with non-art materials. Working with l a t e x , rubber, p l a s t i c , rope and f a b r i c , a r t i s t s such as Eva Hesse, Lee Bontecou, Louise Bougeosis and Lynda Benglis began experiments in sculpture that explored the human body and i t s r e l a t i o n s h i p s to the dynamics of nature. They tapped the sources of subjective f e e l i n g d i r e c t l y through t h e i r organic use of materials, context and s i t u a t i o n i n order to embrace more concrete experiences i n three dimensional form. Their art opens more than other recent art to a surpr i s i n g directness of experience embedded in the nature of materials and s p a t i a l perception. Through the use of environment the focus has sh i f t e d from objects to forms i n space to, reveal more temporal kines- t h e t i c dimensions of subjective experience. A number of important developments characterized the c u l t u r a l and s o c i a l world of the 1960's which contributed to the emergence of women a r t i s t s i n t h i s group. It was an era of economic boom which on one hand created a f i e r c e l y competitive climate i n the art world but, on the other hand, provided new opportunities. It was also a period when art departments of u n i v e r s i t i e s were graduating women a r t i s t s i n greater numbers. Then there was the b i r t h control p i l l which, by 1965, changed l i f e for v i r t u a l l y a l l women and provided a means for s e l f - l i b e r a t i o n . F i n a l l y , by 1969 there were the beginnings of the women's movement which originated i n the writings of Betty Friedon and Simone de Beauvoir. "1970 was the tremendous watershed," says Lippard, and a community of women a r t i s t s was born (1976) . Beginning in the ea r l y 1960's, with Louise Bourgeois, we see the emergence of environmental sculptures that use abstract organic forms to explore women's experience. Her " L a i r s " (1964), r e c a l l i n g the "organic 166 o r i g i n s of architecture from caves and animal burrows to wasps and swallows' nests" reveal an ea r l y precedent for "thinking s c u l p t u r a l l y from the inside" (Lippard, 1979, p. 88). This new approach to sculpture extended i n the sculpture-architecture discussed i n part I I I merges inside and outside forms as a symbol for body-house images. The latex pieces hang, f o l d and r i s e with e r o t i c combinations of limpness and s t i f f n e s s and are the plaster i n t e r i o r pieces turned inside out. Soft latex and hard plaster and marble are materials that tap subconscious f e e l i n g s and evoke a sense of what Lippard c a l l s "body ego" (1976, p. 187-190). The hanging n e s t - l i k e bags also refer to skeins of wool associated with the a r t i s t ' s mother and are nostalgic references to her childhood i n France. Nature i s also an i n d i r e c t and perhaps subconscious source of many of her images. In "Les Repas du Soir" (The Evening Meal), amoeboid forms suggest f e t a l imagery. S p l i t s h e l l s of wood revealing physical tension can be seen as a metaphor for anxiety and b i r t h . In "Le Trani Episode" (1971), p h a l l i c images are at times "benign, f a t , n e s t l i n g , almost motherly" (Lippard, 1976, p. 243). Bourgeois, aware of the erotici s m i n her work, sees such merging of opposites as a youthful perception of the dangerous father and protective mother (Lippard, 1976). Bourgeois' images of women and women's experience are ambivalent i n the way she juxtaposes nurturing forms of growth with the emergence of sharp, threatening forms of oppression. "Confrontation" (1978) though not f i g u r a t i v e , integrates symbolic references to se x u a l i t y and the destru c t i v e and seductive aspects of women's and men's r o l e s i n Western society. More importantly, however, Bourgeois 1 work demonstrates a new 167 directness and honesty which, unlike much of the minimal sculpture of the 1960's, reveals an intimate bond between art and i t s maker. Lee Bontecou was also a major force during the sculptureal r e n a i s - sance of the 1960s and influenced some l a t e r materials-and-process- oriented a r t i s t s l i k e Eva Hesse. Her u n t i t l e d scuptures of 1959 and 1960, sculpted from the canvas of worn out conveyor b e l t s and sewn onto s t e e l frames, are capable of numerous i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s . According to Munro (1979), to some they have overtones of an t i q u i t y , c a l l i n g to mind the skinned flattened b i r d masks of Chinese bronzes. To others they may be the icons of i n d u s t r i a l i s m or the totems of war. To many, e s p e c i a l l y women tuned into a feminist consciousness, these shapes "were sexual apertures, the private parts of Maloch's mother h e r s e l f ; splayed on the marble examining tables of museum walls... but what' every your p r e d i l e c - t i o n , that black funnel spoke to you" (Munro, 1979, p. 378). Out of these sensual and psychic needs has come a tendency of more recent women a r t i s t s l i k e Eva Hesse to fuse the formal with emotional i n t e n s i t y , i n experimental sculpture. Eva Hesse, perhaps the most abstract and also the most prophetic of these a r t i s t s , between the f a l l of 1965 and her death at t h i r t y - f o u r i n 1970 made 70 sculptures which have assured her place as a major a r t i s t . Emerging out of the turbulent 1960's, Hesse witnessed on one l e v e l the bewildering and challenging s o c i a l / p o l i t i c a l upheavals i n society and, on the other hand, the e c l e c t i c i s m of the fast.paced emergence of Op, Pop, Minimal, Conceptual, Happenings, and other isms i n the art world. Her o r i g i n a l involvement with Abstract Expressionism evolved through experiments i n various idioms, to her own disarmingly honest 168 s c u l p t u r a l experiments t h a t with " e x c r u c i a t i n g v i s u a l d i r e c t n e s s " explore the human body (Munro, 1979, p. 53). Having suffered numerous family tragedies and deaths related to the horrors of World War I I , Eva Hesse struggled with the a b s u r d i t i e s and contradictions of the human condition in the context of her own s e l f - doubts. Given t o much p s y c h o l o g i c a l i n s i g h t and s e l f - d i s c u s s i o n concerning her l i f e , Hesse was aware of the implications of a l l her actions as part of her i n t e r n a l h i s t o r y . Within t h i s context, her l i f e and art became so close that in one way they were aspects of the same process. So while her prophetic sculptures made with non-art mater- i a l s — r u b b e r , l a t e x , rope and c l o t h — d o not reveal l i t e r a l references to her physical being or l i f e h i s t o r y , they are the projections of an externalized selfhood in a d i s t i l l e d abstract form. They are perhaps what Robert Smithson referred to as "psychic models" of a "very i n t e r i o r person" struggling with i r r a t i o n a l forces and unknown fa c t o r s of her f e l t l i f e (Lippard, 1976, p. 6). "Hang up" (1966) i s a rectangular cloth-bound frame measuring six by seven feet. From i t a great metal loop protrudes about 10 f e e t . The r e l a t i o n s h i p between the hard r a t i o n a l geometry of the frame and the i r r a t i o n a l looped appendage can be seen as "absurd" i n one sense and symbolic of deeper l e v e l s of meaning on another. Hesse says, " i t has a kind of depth or soul or absurdity or meaning or f e e l i n g on i n t e l l e c t that I don't always get" (Lippard, 1976, p. 157). The empty rectangle, bound with shades of dark and l i g h t e r f a b r i c , may be read as the r a t i o n a l objective side of Hesse. The 'absurd' loop which yearns for freedom but withdraws back to the r a t i o n a l structure may be a metaphor for the i n t u i t i v e " i r r a t i o n a l " force within her. Taken to a more 169 un i v e r s a l plane, the rectangle may be a metaphor for the r a t i o n a l , masculine p o l a r i t y in Western culture which dominates or imprisons the i n t u i t i v e feminine aspect of the continuum. Hesse s a i d , "my l i f e and art have not been separated. They have been together." From a more formal point of view she says "Hang Up" deals with a tension between two- and three-dimensional shapes, " i t i s a p i c t u r e l e s s picture from whose surface a drawn l i n e escapes into r e a l space" (Lippard, 1976, p. 56). In t h i s piece, Hesse went beyond the r a t i o n a l structure of minimal art or the pure gesture of Abstract Expressionism. She subjected h e r s e l f to both pure phy s i c a l r i s k in a gestural use of materials and the ordered structure of the g r i d to explore the unknown r e l a t i o n s h i p between the two. "Contingent" (1969), was one of Hesse's l a s t and most successful synthesis of beauty and ugliness, order and chaos. It i s eight luminous r e c t a n g u l a r s t r i p s of f i b e r g l a s s ' a n d r u b b e r i z e d c h e e s e c l o t h - - e a c h worked, shrunk and p u l l e d i n t o v a r i o u s p r o p o r t i o n a l and t e x t u r a l changes. In t h i s s e r i a l work she uses perfection and imperfection, r e g u l a r i t y and i r r e g u l a r i t y , opacity and translucency to reconcile the opposites of reason and emotion. Lippard sees that " i n combinations of a shape and highly sensuous ^textures, the way forms swell or sag, l i e or lean, the ways in which one can f e e l one's own body assuming these po s i t i o n s or r e l a t i n g those shapes to another body, Hesse's e x i s t e n t i a l humor and eroticism meet" (Lippard, 1976, p. 187). What was formerly part of the metaphorical and expressive f a b r i c of painting i s now offered in a l i t e r a l way in three dimensions. In a period of Minimalism when neatness and s t r a i g h t edges were close to "the godliness of success," Hesse continued to explore the organic form which was r e a l to 170 the sense of touch and which occupied r e a l space (Lippard, 1976, p. 199) . The humorous aspect of "Contingent" may be i t s unexpectedness. Once Hesse established an order i n her s e r i a l arrangement of components, she abandoned i t to ex p l o r e more s u b j e c t i v e r e l a t i o n s h i p s . In "Addendum" (1967), neat rows of rubber tubing emerge from small breast- l i k e wooden forms and f a l l to the floor in abandoned confusion. In "Hang Up" the outrageous loop leaps out of the picture frame eight or ten feet into the viewers' space and de f i e s the structure of the picture plane. In that heyday of structure and rigor Hesse seemed very r a d i c a l and ec c e n t r i c . She challenged a l l systems and dogma to a r r i v e at her own synthesis of l o g i c and i n t u i t i o n . The eroticism in her art i s that behind the abstract forms lurks a submerged personnage or "the image of a human figure ... a pr i m i t i v e or dream l i f e incarnation," and " f e a r f u l a t t r a c t i o n of contact" (Lippard, 1976, p. 185). Although, as c r i t i c Lucy Lippard suggests i n her major book on Eva Hesse, i t would be a mistake to see Hesse consciously anthromorphizing her work—"the p l a i n t i v e aspect, or d i s t a n t resem- blances to a gawky, c h i l d l i k e human figure ... in pieces l i k e 'Lacoon,' 'Sans I,' and 'Vinculum I' ... emerges from a profound i d e n t i f i c a t i o n between the a r t i s t , her materials and her forms" (p. 187). Her bandaged forms with cords which spew for t h i n search of connection, could be read as surrogate mother forms, maybe for the mother Hesse l o s t . The bean-shaped images may read as p h a l l i c , the nets and g r i d s as forms of bondages or imprisonment of women in a p a t r i a r c h a l society. Hesse died just before the Women's Movement emerged as a major force in the art world, and although she saw he r s e l f as not being taken 171 s e r i o u s l y as a woman a r t i s t and "almost a freak," she was aware and spoke of the i n j u s t i c e she had suffered as a woman. After reading de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, she says, "I've always suffered with these thoughts but now I've temporarily found a spokesman" (Lippard, 1976, p. 205) . If decisions are directed o r i g i n a l l y through one's body needs and i f i t i s through sensuous t a c t i l e impressions of the world that we begin the process of image making, Hesse tapped that common source. Through her materials and abstract forms she has revealed and reconciled submerged elements of ourselves r a r e l y externalized i n such moving v i s u a l form. i , Through th e i r experiments with non-art materials a r t i s t s l i k e Bontecou, Bougeoisis, and Hesse l i b e r a t e d forms of inner space previous- l y unexplored in a r t . Their work provides a framework for further understanding of new uses of space and time i n the environmental sculpture, studied in Part I I I . Toward Environment - Sculptures Architecture Much of the environmental sculpture of the 1970's i s characterized by a return to an ec o l o g i c a l awareness of nature and use of expanded notions of time and space found in mythical thought. Much of the t r a d i t i o n a l sculpture of the past i s unrelated to the natural environ- ment, e x i s t s without a temporal base and involves uses of abstract space, images and representations. The focus of environmental sculpture having grown out of the sc u l p t u r a l experiments of the 1960s has s h i f t e d from s c u l p t u r a l object to sc u l p t u r a l space. It can only be perceived temporally as one moves through and around the piece in which spaces are 172 concrete and r e a l . Often evolving out of the s i t e and concerned with the rhythms and laws of nature, contemporary environmental sculptures have gone a step further to reunite art with the natural and human r e a l i t i e s . By tracing the expanded concepts of space and time of contemporary environmental scupture t o t h e i r r o o t s i n m y t h o l o g i c a l thought as described by Ernst Cassirer (1944), i t i s possible to develop a broader e s t h e t i c base for understanding and evaluating the public a r t of the 1970's and 1980's (Staley, 1977, 1980). Ernst Cassirer (1944), highly regarded for h i s writing on the philosophy of symbolic form and philosophy of c u l t u r e , and suggests that "there i s no natural phenomenon and no phenomenon of human l i f e that i s not capable of mythical i n t e r p r e t a t i o n and which does not c a l l for such an i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . " Myth, he claims ( l i k e the memory of childhood p l a y ) , overcomes p a s s i v i t y and gives the o r i g i n a l l i f e and force to more abstract forms of e s t h e t i c and t h e o r e t i c a l expression. For environ- mental scupltors, mythical concepts of space, time and place provided the impetus and structure for a r t i s t i c expression which functions i n harmony with nature. The current use of the mythological imagination has provided the means for a r e c o n c i l i a t i o n of art and nature. In order to develop the r e l a t i o n s h i p of mythical concepts of space and time i n contemporary earth a r t , a f u l l e r d iscussion of the mytho- l o g i c a l imagination i s required. In the chapters "Myth and Religion," and "The Human World of Space and Time," in h i s book An Essay on Man (1944), Cassirer provides an excellent framework for an understanding of the dynamics of mythological thought i n regard to nature, space and 173 time. This chapter w i l l f i r s t o u t l i n e these concepts and then r e l a t e them to p a r t i c u l a r examples of contemporary environmental sculpture. 1. The M y t h i c a l View ,of Nature i s , a c c o r d i n g to C a s s i r e r (1944), characterized by a deep f e e l i n g of sympathy and s o l i d a r i t y with a l l of l i f e . This unity i s based on f e e l i n g and emotion rather than on thought. Whereas s c i e n t i f i c thought describes and explains nature through c l a s s i f i c a t i o n s , categories and systems, mythical thought experiences a l l of nature as forming a continuous whole. Magical r i t u a l s fuse p r i m i t i v e man to each other and to a l l l i v i n g things. Ancient earth monuments celebrate the seasons and cycles of nature. Totemism and animal worship assert man's bond to h i s animal ancestors. The unity of s p i r i t and nature are bound together i n the view that the great female mother i s embodied in a l l of nature and in the earth i t s e l f . 2. Mythical Time. For pr i m i t i v e man time i s conceived of in terms of cycles of l i f e and seasons of growth. Past and present blend into each other without sharp l i n e s of demarcation. The unity of universal time i s manifest i n the mythical view that one has l i v e d i n one's ancestors and one l i v e s on in one's descendants. The law of sudden metamorphosis i s the law of spontaneous change where suddenly everything may be turned into everything. Time i s not conceived of as a pure form but a never r e s t i n g , continuous stream of events i n which nothing returns i n i d e n t i c a l shape and no progressive order e x i s t s . 3. Mythical.Space i s , according to Ca s s i r e r , the space of action and concrete events. It functions as an emotional c o l o r a t i o n given to a l l l i f e ' s events and q u a l i t i e s . Space for p r i m i t i v e man i s 174 rel a t e d to the v i s u a l , t a c t i l e and acoustic senses. It i s not a system of abstract geometric r e l a t i o n s removed from r e a l experience as i t i s in our modern concept of space. Mythical space i s experienced in the present in concrete actions through time. Performance art of the 1960's and 1970's opened the door to broader concepts of space and time for environment a r t i s t s . Francoise S u l l i v a n of Quebec, in "Dance dans l a Neige" (1948), i s more concerned with the space of action than abstract space found in the art forms of the past. This piece explores the r e l a t i o n s h i p of dancer to the winter environment and expresses a sympathetic emotional f e e l i n g for nature. S u l l i v a n , l i k e other Dada a r t i s t s , helped to eradicate the abstract and permanent form in favor of more temporal kinesthetic arrangement of forms. Like performance a r t i s t s , contemporary environmental sculptors have acted on a need to share th e i r art with a broader audience than that imposed by the g a l l e r y a r t market. Having departed from the i n d i v i d u a l - i s t i c model of the a r t i s t as hero and v i s i o n a r y , i s o l a t e d from s o c i a l i n t e r a c t i o n , the contemporary environmental sculptor functions more as a public f i g u r e (Woolacot, 1976). Jack Burnham (1974), i n A r t i s t as Shaman, suggests that these a r t i s t s are l i k e the shaman of p r e l i t e r a t e s o c i e t i e s . They f i l l an active role i n uniting man with each other and with a l l of nature. Nancy Graves, in her huge wall piece "Shaman" (1970) gives v i s u a l form to the a r t i s t ' s i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with the mythological imagination. Using s t e e l , latex, gauze, o i l p a i n t , marble dust, and a c r y l i c , she recreates the image of the shaman and alludes to t h i s important role i n unifying man and nature. In her huge taxidermy-sculpture "Camels" (1968), a set of four l i f e - s i z e d fur covered Bactorian camels, one i s 175 reminded of another aspect of the mythical view of nature. Like the p r a c t i c e of totemism, Graves asserts man's bond to the animal world. Her "Camels" evoke a sense of wonder and amazement for a l l t h e i r aptness and a b i l i t y to adapt to a harsh climate. In her f i l m "Izy Bouker" (1971) one i s l e f t to meditate on these marvelous creatures as she reclaims the natural world as a topic of a r t i s t i c i n t e r e s t . According to Munro (1979), Graves' scupltures -.are a witty amalgam of natural h i s t o r y and art which s i g n a l l e d a turn in the tide of formalist concerns and helpted create a d i r e c t i o n for other a r t i s t s of the 1970s and 1980s. The art c r i t i c Frankenstein (1969) suggested that "Camels" was "the most subversive thing that had happened to art since the e a r l y modernists abandoned the subject altogether" (p. 25). In the movement from the g a l l e r y to the outdoors, many recent a r t i s t s l i k e Judy Todd, i n her earthmound " H i l l Reclamation R i t u a l " (1978), have brought art closer to the ancient memories of the earth as a great female mother. E r i c Neuman (1963), i n h i s book The Great Mother, produces mytho-anthropological evidence that the i d e n t i f i c a t i o n of earth with mother i s a general human phenomenon found in a l l cultures up u n t i l modern times. Paul Shepard (1967), i n Man in the Landscape, claims that i t was the advance of Judeo-Christian r e l i g i o n s that replaced the worship of the great goddess embodied in mother earth with the worship of male gods who dominated the earth. The r e s u l t i n g fear and desire to co n t r o l nature created the "profoundly a n t i m a t e r i a l i s t i c separation between s p i r i t and nature." Freud (Shepard, 1967) suggests that the ancient view of earth as female s t i l l operates i n hidden ways in dreams and in a r t . " H i l l Reclamation R i t u a l " gives expression to t h i s mythical view of mother nature. 176 Cassirer (1946) wrote i n Language and Myth, that "The sun and the moon were only i n t e l l i g i b l e to p r e h i s t o r i c people when copied in terms of the human body, and mythical time i s always conceived both as the time of natural processes and the events of natural l i f e . " An ancient example of t h i s mythical concept of time i s evident in the huge "S i l b u r y H i l l " (2660 B.C.), found in W i l t s h i r e , England. According to Dames (1976), t h i s i s one of four seasonal monuments which celebrate spring, summer, f a l l and winter in the forms of the human body. This earth mound, an autumnal image of the pregnant vegetarian goddess, has re-emerged in the works of current environmental a r t i s t s such as Maryanne Caruthers-Aikin, Judy Todd, Robert Smithson and A l i c e Aycock. In "Garden Mounds" (1976-78), C a r u t h e r s - A i k i n photodocuments her sculpture garden—12 earth mounds or raised beds which are places for dreaming as well as b u r i a l . A sense of time as the natural stages of human l i f e i s given material form in t h i s piece which serves as a "psychological n u t r i t i o n d i e t - t e s t i n g unit in conjunction with the University of Oregon Medical School" (Lippard, 1981). Nancy Holt also explores a mythical sense of time in "Sun Tunnels" (1973-76) , located in the deserts of the Great West Basin, Utah. Although she uses more objective forms, t h i s piece also explores the c y c l e s of seasonal cosmological time. Holt (1977) says: ... by marking the yearly extreme positions of the sun, Sun Tunnels indicates the c y c l i c a l time of the solar year. The center of the work becomes the center of the world. The chang- ing patterns of l i g h t from our sun star mark the days and hours as i t passes through the sun tunnel star holes. These aper- tures which r e f l e c t c i r c l e s and e l i p s e s of l i g h t on the concave walls of the 18" long tunnels, bring back to earth the motion of the sun and planets. (p. 30) In Holt's mythical view of time, the past, present and future blend without sharp demarcation. She says, "time i s not just a mental concept 177 or mathematical abstraction ... 'time takes on a physical presence in the desert. Rocks are ageless.... The desert evokes a sense of rotating space and universal time" (1977, p. 31). In her piece e n t i t l e d " C i r c l e " (1979), constructed out of l o c a l stone on the Western Washington University Campus, the p a r t i c i p a n t i s engaged in a more physical and concrete encounter with time and space. Several huge concentric stone c i r c l e s entice the viewer into t h e i r spaces. Rounded entrance ways and window-like openings provide t e l e - scopic glimpses of the environment as one moves through the piece. As i n mythic space, Holt's c i r c l e s require of the viewer more of concrete actions than understanding of images and representations found in the abstract spaces of t r a d i t i o n a l sculpture. Movement through and around the c i r c l e s imparts a f e e l i n g of enclosure and s t a b i l i t y , yet the openings create a sense of freedom by drawing into the piece the expansive outdoor spaces (Lippard, 1979). The c i r c u l a r shape often used by Holt i s , according to Kepes (1957) in Morphology i n Art and Science, an ancient symbol of unity, s t a b i l i t y and divine harmony and suggests the c y c l i c a l nature of time. It has been used in ancient cultures i n huge monuments such as the "Great C i r c l e at Stonehenge" and the "Ring of Brodgar" in Orkney, Scotland, perhaps to give material form to the mythic view of man's unity and s o l i d a r i t y with nature. Mary Miss engages the viewer in topological space in her u n t i t l e d work (1973) constructed on a Hudson River l a n d f i l l . Because of i t s immense size and sequential layout of f i v e wooden forms, t h i s piece cannot be perceived i n one glance. The viewer must move through the 178 work which i n time reveals a s e r i e s of changing perspectives of prox- imity, separation, openness and closure. As the large holes cut i n the fence-like forms are perceived, the sand, the r i v e r and the New Jersey s e t t i n g are telescoped into the i n t e r i o r space. Miss c a r e f u l l y i n t e - grates her sculpture into the environment so that object and s i t e become one. In another work e n t i t l e d "Parimeters, P a v i l i o n s , Decoys" (1979, constructed on the grounds of the Nassau County Museum of Fine A r t s , Miss incorporates four structures which must be experienced temporally and sequentially. A c e n t r a l square p i t with a protruding ladder and three towers remain p a r t l y hidden from casual sight when standing on her f i e l d of a c t i v i t y . The viewer i s compelled by her cues to t r a v e l to the perimeters, heights and depths of her piece to experience the objective and subjective meaning of the work. The l o f t y towers and subterranean p i t cut under the earth's surface allow us to tap our own memories and recreate our own i d i o s y n c r a t i c spaces. Shepherd's (1967) d e s c r i p t i o n of t r a v e l for pr i m i t i v e man in which the inner s p i r i t world i s co-existent with the outer world, where each new place contains subjective and object i v e clues to the next, f i n d s expression in Miss's work. Her a t t r a c t i o n to the d u a l i t i e s of inside/outside and action/rest i n the Nassau p i e c e and " B l i n d Set" (1976) r e c a l l Emerson's open-closed archetypal symbols. They are, he claims, the basic phases of our f e e l i n g s as well as nature's forms (1971). Miss returns to us t h i s o r i g i n a l sense of space— a synthesis of fe e l i n g and a c t i v i t y experienced in childhood and mythical l i f e . A q u ieting, soothing sense of space i s produced i n the work of the Canadian sculptress, Jackie Winsor. Her wrapped and bound works l i k e 179 "Bound Square" (1972), and "Four Corners" (1972) involve that process of r i t u a l i s t i c r e p e t i t i o n which by the 1960's was seen to carry a conscious p o l i t i c a l statement (Alloway, 1976). Munro (1979) adds that, " I f Gertrude Stein's d i c t i o n and rhythm were the immediate model, people a l l over the world have attested to the quieting e f f e c t of repeated hand or body movement" (p. 431) in weaving or chopping wood. Jackie Winsor says, "when you repeat an action again and again you produce an e f f e c t of c e r t a i n t y or serenity" (Munro, 1979, p. 432). The heavy, rough-hewn logs and rope forms seem to r e c a l l the a r t i s t ' s o r i g i n s in Newfoundland and her childhood as the daughter of carpenters and granddaughter of a farmer-fisherman. In a paper con- cerning Cassirer's view of space and time applied to contemporary sculpture, Rosalie Staley (1980) discovers that "there i s an a f f i n i t y to the Japanese "MA" s p a t i a l concept in Jackie Winsor's e a r l y sculptures. In ancient Japanese ar c h i t e c t u r e , 'MA' i s a sense of place which i s open to change ... a consciousness of space in depth" (Staley, 1980, pp. 14, 15). Windsor's "Burnt Piece" (1977-78) shows t h i s consciousness of natural space as a changing place, open to cycles of natural destruction and transformation. Her sculptures reveal a quiet perception of space which i s i n harmony with natural cycles and rhythms and suggestive of "simpler," more integrated times. Having journeyed through the spaces of some environmental sculpture we have arrived at the concept of s h e l t e r — t h e natural habitat for the inner and outer experience. In a t a l k given by a r t i s t A l i c e Aycock in San Francisco in 1979, she referred to the writings of Gaston Bachelard (1964), in which he asserts the phenomenology of the house as a metaphor for the universe and the c e l l a r as a metaphor for "the subterranean 180 forces" of the unconscious mind (p. 18). In her t a l k , she described her i n t e r e s t i n " r e a l " spaces which create f e e l i n g s and s t i r up both mythical and childhood memories. She referred to the small passageways into Egyptian tombs and how the r e s t r i c t i o n of t h e i r s i z e impinged upon the person entering them i n both a physical and emotional way. In "Williams College Project" (1974), Aycock entices the viewer into an earth-covered concrete chamber measuring 4 feet by 6 feet and 2 feet high. Because of the angle of the opening and the si z e of the chamber, the c e l l a r i s impossible to enter and a tension i s created. The viewer i s forced to complete the image and to c a l l upon his/her associations of dark, underground places. In t h i s piece, Aycock gives physical concrete form to the enticing but threatening forces suggested by a journey into the dark well of the unconscious. Aycock's pieces r e c a l l memories based on the concrete emotional experiences of childhood and mythic space rather than on the abstract notions of space inherent in modern architecture. In her "Small House on S t i l t s " (1978), Aycock also makes her enticing sky house impossible to inhabit. One imagines oneself moving up her structures because of recognizable entrances, rooms, et c . , but once again the wish i s only r e a l i z e d as i n dreams—by the very act of being uttered. By manipulating the symbolism of the a t t i c as a metaphor for the conscious r a t i o n a l mind she i n s t i l l s her space with objective and subjective meanings. The towering aspirations of the l o g i c a l mind are given a humorous twist in t h i s piece. Her work seems to s a t i r i z e , with i t s strange angles and odd supports, a r c h i t e c t u r a l monuments created according to r a t i o n a l systems of abstract space. In her a r c h i t e c t u r a l structures, she returns to s h e l t e r , a space which i s 181 a r t i c u l a t e of more emotion and which expresses the ambiguities of the deepest human desires (Kuspit, 1980). Her use of materials, earth, concrete and unpainted wood, reinforces the primordial q u a l i t y of her meaning. Cassirer's view of mythic space, as the space of action and emotional c o l o r a t i o n given to forms and events, i s found most drama- t i c a l l y i n Aycock's narrative structures. Mythical concepts of space and time have emerged most v i s i b l e i n the environmental sculpture of the 1970's. Entropy, ecology, seasonal and cosmological time, the present tense of space and the space of action and emotion, are contemporary concepts which f i n d t h e i r roots i n the mythological imagination. In t h i s chapter, I have attempted to show how mythic concepts of time and space, described by Ernst C a s s i r e r , have provided a r t i s t s with a l i n k to the deepest sources of meaning in nature and to the deepest sources of the s e l f . According to Neoman (1963), the h i s t o r y of natural science shows that a man's view of nature develops p a r a l l e l to h i s experience of h i s own nature. Environmental a r t i s t s have introduced th e i r own c r i t i c a l e s t h e t i c standards based on personal experience of nature, time and space with those of t r a d i t i o n a l mythology. Having integrated and also transcended mere r e p e t i t i o n or reproduction of mythic space and time, many environmental a r t i s t s have taken the f i r s t step to bridging the schism between culture and nature and creating a t r u l y o r i g i n a l p u b l i c a r t . 182 CHAPTER VII A CURRICULUM MODEL FOR THE INQUIRY INTO THE LIVES AND WORKS OF CONTEMPORARY WOMEN ARTISTS Introduction: Objectives of the Unit Although a number of art educators have been working toward the goal of non-sexism in art education through i n d i v i d u a l research e f f o r t s , p r a c t i c a l and d i r e c t e f f o r t s such as the development of curriculum materials on women a r t i s t s have been almost non-existent. It i s the purpose of t h i s f i n a l chapter to begin to f i l l t h i s gap by o u t l i n i n g a high school unit on "Women A r t i s t s of the Twentieth Century." This model, developed and implemented by the author i n a secondary a r t program, adapts some of the ideas discussed i n the previous chapters to the needs of secondary students and the goals of aesthetic education. The unit i s intended as a supplement to the more t r a d i t i o n a l a r t h i s t o r y programs implemented i n secondary schools. It i s hoped, however, that the time w i l l come when these compensatory programs are unnecessary and that women a r t i s t s ' contributions to art h i s t o r y are f u l l y integrated into the mainstream—into teacher t r a i n i n g courses, into modern survey t e s t s , and into curriculum materials a v a i l a b l e to art educators. It i s important that a l l students at t h i s time have access to the work and l i f e s t o r i e s of women a r t i s t s and that they are allowed to i d e n t i f y themselves and the i r r e l a t i o n s h i p s to the world not only through a men's perception of r e a l i t y but also that of women. No part of h i s t o r y can have meaning for students unless i t connects with a broad range of experiences, concerns and i n t e r e s t s . An art h i s t o r y program i s 183 inadequate that f a i l s to a s s i s t a l l students i n gaining an appreciation of the arts of other cultures and of men and women. In regards to female students, i t i s through i d e n t i f i c a t i o n with women as well as male a r t i s t s that they can overcome a lack of s e l f esteem, the fear of success and a sense of i s o l a t i o n that stems from both s o c i a l condition- ing and a culture that has neglected the a r t i s t i c contributions of th e i r sex. As a r t i s t Judy Chicago (1977) stated i n her book, Through The Flower: The acceptance of women as authority figures or as r o l e models i s an important step i n female education. If one sees a woman who has achieved one can say: I'm l i k e her. If she can do i t , so can I. It i s t h i s process of i d e n t i f i c a t i o n , respect, and then s e l f respect that promotes growth. (p. 108) A unit on Women A r t i s t s should provide not only relevant r o l e models but i t should enable students to develop the necessary v i s u a l t o o l s , and i n t e r p r e t i v e s k i l l s to describe, analyse, i n t e r p r e t and evaluate the v i s u a l forms they encounter in art and media. By encourag- ing students to become aware of new trends and issues i n contemporary ar t by women such as p o l i t i c a l a r t , autobiographical a r t , a conscious search for archetypal imagery, exploration of female se x u a l i t y , a return to c r a f t s and decorative arts and a mythical and ec o l o g i c a l view of nature, students can become more knowledgeable and s e l e c t i v e i n th e i r v i s u a l judgements about th e i r own work and that of others. In t h i s unit, for example, students w i l l be encouraged to explore and broaden their understanding of two major themes i n art which have been projected i n art h i s t o r y mainly from a male point of view. By studying and exploring two aspects of our double r e a l i t y — t h e human r e l i t y and the r e a l i t y , o f n a t u r e — i n the art of women, i t i s hoped that 184 students w i l l be better prepared to discriminate and make i n t e l l i g e n t judgements about t h e i r own and others' work. The theme that serves as the i n i t i a l focus for t h i s unit concerns i t s e l f with the human r e a l i t y as i t i s revealed i n the images of women by women a r t i s t s . Through the works of a r t i s t s such as Mary Cassatt, Kathe K o l l w i t z , A l i c e Neel, Marisol, N i k i de Saint Phalle and Judy Chicago, students can learn how women a r t i s t s have transformed i n sensuous forms, i n rhythms, i n c o l o r , i n l i n e s and design the raw material of the i r f e l t l i v e s . Through c r i t i c a l and h i s t o r i c a l analysis students can be led to discoveries about how, through the use of formal elements these a r t i s t s externalize t h e i r experiences, concerns and values i n a v a r i e t y of mediums. Students can make meaningful connec- tions between the works of a r t , the l i v e s of the a r t i s t and t h e i r own l i v e s . This study can lead students to an awareness of the ways women have struggled against i n t e r n a l i z e d conditioning and external i n s t i t u - t i o n a l conditions to ar r i v e in the l a t e twentieth century at a r e d e f i n i - t i o n of s e l f that r e a l growth demands. Through a comparison of these works to some of the more t r a d i t i o n a l images of women in media and some ar t , students can learn to question the myths and stereotypes that have grown up over hundreds of years concerning the nature and role of women. For c e n t u r i e s students have seen images of women i d e a l i z e d , o b j e c t i f i e d and v e i l e d in r e l i g i o u s s i g n i f i c a n c e . The female has often been depicted as passive maiden, madonna, s i r e n , vamp or witch but r a r e l y as a r e a l person involved in r e a l l i f e and work. According to John Berger (1972) and Paula Harper (1972), c l a s s i c a l and baroque a r t i s f i l l e d with male fantasies of cont r o l and power over women. Stereo- typing of women in a r t , however, deprives the young woman a r t i s t of 185 self-knowledge and self-esteem necessary for expression and i t encour- ages women to take a ro l e incompatible with cr e a t i v e development. In order to overcome the poor self-image created by a stereotyped view of women in t r a d i t i o n a l a r t , art teachers must encourage students to challenge and question these images. We must expose our students to the p o r t r a i t s of women by women a r t i s t s i n order that they can better understand women's exploration of th e i r own i d e n t i t y i n a r t i s t i c form. As they see more images of women portrayed as competent, talented people they w i l l be l e s s l i k e l y to i n t e r n a l i z e a l i m i t e d view of themselves and w i l l be more i n c l i n e d to develop broader aspirations for themselves as mature adults. It i s also the objective of t h i s unit to enable students to explore r the many ways women a r t i s t s i n t h i s century have interpreted the re l a t i o n s h i p s of man to nature. Beginning with the works of Emily Carr, Georgia O'Keeffe, Lee Krasner and Helen Frankenthal.\er, students can extend the awareness of s e l f and culture to the i r roots i n nature. They can discover how a r t i s t s have transformed images of nature through abstraction and through correspondences which play on the human emo- ti o n s . Through analysis and in t e r p r e t a t i o n of these works, students can gain an understanding of the ways these a r t i s t s explored the f e l t connection between s e l f a r t — a n d n a t u r e — a v i s i o n that i s c e n t r a l to much of the art of women and one that i s badly needed as man continues to e x p l o i t the environment. j Through the works of Eva Hesse and Louise Bourgeosis, students can discover how a r t i s t s have expanded the process of se l f / n a t u r e / a r t revaluation with new materials i n experimental sculpture. In the past, women have often been reluctant to explore images and art media that 186 stems from aspects of t h e i r own l i f e experience because some of these experiences have not been considered important. Through a study of the sculpture of Bourgeosis and Hesse, students can gain confidence that the material of the i r own l i v e s i s a valuable source of imagery and that i t needn't be cloaked i n what might be c a l l e d "masculine" form or t r a d i - t i o n a l materials. In the works of Nancy Holt, A l i c e Aycock and Jackie Winsor, students can trace the development of a mythical and more conscious e c o l o g i c a l v i s i o n of nature i n environmental sculpture. By discovering how these a r t i s t s integrate mythical concepts of r e a l space and time i n outdoor works made of rock, hemp, raw sapplings and growing forms, students can share i n an art that celebrates the cy c l e s and rhythms of nature. F i n a l l y , i t i s the studio-oriented section of t h i s program that enables students to become active p a r t i c i p a n t s i n the rediscovery and cel e b r a t i o n of women a r t i s t s . By allowing students to bring the h i s t o r y of women a r t i s t s to l i f e i n a p l a s t i c form such as a ceramic sculpture or diorama, they play a key part i n the movement to make men's a r t hi s t o r y , human art hi s t o r y . By making a r t by women v i s i b l e to others, students can help promote new s o c i a l and aesthetic changes by r a i s i n g the consciousness of others. As Ernst Cassirer stated i n An Essay on Man, "art turns a l l these pains and outrages, these c r u e l t i e s and a t r o c i t i e s , into a means of s e l f - l i b e r a t i o n , thus giving us an inner freedom which cannot be attained i n any other way" (p. 149). A s p e c i f i c unit on Women A r t i s t s , which t h i s author implemented with a Grade 12 Ceramic cla s s i n 1981 ou t l i n e s the various components of the u n i t — t h e problem, the approaches of study, the media and materials, the a c t i v i t i e s and the evaluation procedures. At the end of the unit a d d i t i o n a l a c t i v i t i e s are suggested which provide the focus for other studies on women and a r t . The Problem Inquire into and study the l i v e s and works of twelve women a r t i s t s of the twentieth century, who explore the themes of women and nature. Select one woman a r t i s t and in small groups write a short biography and c r i t i c i s m of her work. Create with cl a y or other materials, a sculpture or diorama which gives cr e a t i v e v i s u a l expression to important aspects of her l i f e and work. Approaches to the Study The unit involves students in three realms of a r t i s t i c l e a r n i n g — the productive, the c r i t i c a l and the h i s t o r i c a l . By integrating the appreciative and i n t e l l e c t u a l a c t i v i t i e s involved in the i n i t i a l inquiry and study of women a r t i s t s with the active and creative process involved in making a sculpture or diorama, students become more than passive r e c i p i e n t s of a standard art h i s t o r y . By integrating the behavioral models of the a r t i s t , c r i t i c and h i s t o r i a n in one major project students gain an understanding of how the various a c t i v i t i e s r e l a t e . Students can also make v i s i b l e their knowledge and appreciation of i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t s by bringing them to l i f e i n dioramas which can be shared by others. This unit i s also designed to provide students with the opportunity to work c o l l a b o r a t i v e l y i n large and small groups and i n d i v i d u a l l y , on both the i n i t i a l inquiry into the l i v e s and works of women a r t i s t s and 188 i n the production of the diorama. By providing optional work processes, students learn to expand t h e i r d e f i n i t i o n of what an a r t i s t or h i s t o r i a n does. Hopefully, t h i s i n t e g r a t i v e approach w i l l open up new c r e a t i v e options that can be applied to future studies of art h i s t o r y as well as the i r own studio work. Art Materials Sculpture c l a y , 1/2" plywood for the base of the diorama, paint, oxides and glazes. Other materials such as moss, sand, twigs, balsa wood and modelling paste could be used in the diorama. Ceramic model- l i n g t o o l s , brushes, paper, p e n c i l s are also needed. In s t r u c t i o n a l Material Survey books, biographies, autobiographies, e x h i b i t i o n catalogues and monographs on each of the i n d i v i d u a l a r t i s t s should be provided. s Bachmann and Pilands Women A r t i s t s , an H i s t o r i c a l Contemporary and Feminist Biography (1978) i s now available i n many major l i b r a r i e s and i t w i l l supply an adequate reference l i s t of books and a r t i c l e s on each a r t i s t . (See also the bibliography of t h i s thesis.) In addition to the material in t h i s t h e s i s , a concise s e l e c t i o n of important information on each a r t i s t could be xeroxed from several sources and stapled i n a booklet for future use. One s l i d e unit such as Harper and Row's, Women A r t i s t s ; Twentieth Century could provide e s s e n t i a l reproductions of most of the a r t i s t s ' work (see l i s t of Audio V i s u a l resources) . Four general reference books which survey the work of most of the a r t i s t s included i n t h i s unit provide a minimal amount of information and are excellent additions to any school l i b r a r y . They are: 189 . Harris, Ann Sutherland and Nochlin, Linda. Women a r t i s t s ; 1550-1950. New York: A l f r e d A. Knopf, 1979, . Lippard, Lucy. from the center; feminist essays on women's a r t . New York: E.P. Dutton and Co., 1976. . Nemser, Cindy. Art t a l k . New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1975. . Fine, Elsa Honig. Women and ar t . New York: Allanhead and Schram, 1978. A c t i v i t i e s and Procedures 1. Motivating A c t i v i t y . As an exercise to provoke c l a s s discussion, students are re- quested to b r i n g to c l a s s r e p r o d u c t i o n s o f ad v e r t i s e m e n t s , photographs, paintings or sculpture which they found sympathetic or offensive toward women. The pictures stimulate' an animated discussion amongst students and r e s u l t i n an increased aware- ness concerning the function of images, how they r e f l e c t a t t i - tudes and r e i n f o r c e s o c i e t a l e x p e c t a t i o n s and 1 p e r c e p t i o n s . Students discussed issues such as the denigration of women by se x i s t imagery i n art and the e x p l o i t a t i v e nature of commercial adv e r t i s i n g . . A second exercise was designed to acquaint students with possible reasons for the exclusion of women a r t i s t s from most Art History t e x t s . Linda Nochlin's (1971) short essay "Why Have There Been No Great Women A r t i s t s ? " was read and discussed. . Students are then introduced to the recent e f f o r t s of many art hi s t o r i a n s to reevaluate and rediscover many of the women a r t i s t s 190 who have either received inadequate recognition or whose c o n t r i - butions have been misunderstood. (See Chapter IV of t h i s thesis.) Study and Appreciation of Women A r t i s t s : 1850-1950 . This section of the program takes the form of a s l i d e l ecture and disc u s s i o n . S l i d e reproductions of f i v e works of each of twelve women a r t i s t s are shown and discussed. Several s e l f - p o r t r a i t s or photos of each a r t i s t are also shown. The a r t i s t s f a l l into two groups: the f i r s t group includes a r t i s t s Mary Cassatt (painter and graphic a r t i s t ) , Kathe Kollwitz (graphic a r t i s t ) , A l i c e Neel (painter), Leonor F i n n i (painter), Marisol (sculptor) and Judy Chicago (painter, sculptor and performance a r t i s t ) . The works of these a r t i s t s are discussed as they i n t e r p r e t the image of women. A b r i e f introduction i s given which pertains to the a r t i s t ' s l i f e , the time period i n which she worked, p r e v a i l i n g a r t movements she was associated with, her n a t i o n a l i t y , education, influences, s o c i a l m i l i e u , the status of women during the time she l i v e s , and the reception she received in the art world. From t h i s b r i e f introduction, students are encouraged to discover r e l a t i o n s h i p s between the a r t i s t ' s l i f e and the meaning of her work. They are encouraged to (1) describe the elements of the work without i n t e r p r e t a t i o n , (2) analyse the r e l a t i o n s h i p of c o l o r s , shapes, forms and space, (3) interpret the meaning of the work i n i t s h i s t o r i c a l context, i n comparison with other works and i n r e l a t i o n to what they know about her expectations, (4) discuss how the material and s t y l e f i t s with the idea, (5) 191 evaluate the work by asking, how does i t stand up personally and h i s t o r i c a l l y ? Is i t o r i g i n a l ? Is i t s meaning important? Does the work give an insight into some aspect of the human condition or to women in p a r t i c u l a r ? A s i m i l a r process of esth e t i c evaluation takes place during the viewing of the works of the s i x a r t i s t s whose work in t e r p r e t s the re l a t i o n s h i p of man to nature. This second group of a r t i s t s also includes women of d i f f e r e n t n a t i o n a l i t i e s , of d i f f e r e n t time periods, who work i n a v a r i e t y of materials and s t y l e s . The a r t i s t s included here are Emily Carr (painter), Georgia O'Keeffe (painter), Imogen Cunningham (photographer), Helen Frankenthaler (painter) , Eva Hesse (scul p t o r ) , and Nancy Holt ( s c u l p t o r ) . Other a r t i s t s such as A l i c e Aycock, Nancy Graves, Jackie Winsor and Mary Miss could be included here to give more emphasis to contempoary a r t i s t s . The focus of t h i s s l i d e presentation and discussion i s to a r r i v e at an understanding of how a r t i s t s , through the use of shape, c o l o r , form, space and time, reveal deep meaning about the r e l a t i o n s h i p of man to the environment. Chapter VI of t h i s t hesis can be used to help d i r e c t inquiry into some of the major issues i n contemporary a r t such as the use of r e a l space and time i n sculpture, the idea of a public a r t , the use of new media and processes, the notion of a feminist s p i r i t u a l i t y , the concept of inner space i n sculpture, and the idea of correspondences. Students are encouraged to analyse and int e r p r e t the works i n the i r h i s t o r i c a l context and i n r e l a t i o n to the conditions faced by the woman a r t i s t during her l i f e . They should also be encouraged to see the ways many of the contemporary a r t i s t s have influenced the d i r e c t i o n of current 192 movements and the ways t h e i r work suggest a more e c o l o g i c a l view of nature. 3. Selection and Investigation of One Woman A r t i s t Students select an a r t i s t whose work and l i f e they appreciate and f i n d most connection with. They form small groups of 2 or 3 students and explore a l l the material a v a i l a b l e on one a r t i s t . They consider aspects of her l i f e and work such as her environment, education, home, method of working, a rt influences, subject matter, media, patronage, treatment by art h i s t o r i a n s and c r i t i c s , family, social"expectations, as well as her thoughts and concerns about being a woman a r t i s t . From t h i s material they write a short biography of the a r t i s t and present i t to the members of the c l a s s along with d e s c r i p t i v e quotations and photo- graphs which give' a v i s u a l impression of the a r t i s t i n her home, her studio and her environment. From t h i s material students are asked to make small i n t e r p r e t i v e sketches of the a r t i s t and the important objects, people and places i n her l i f e . These sketches and notes provide v i s u a l clues and d i r e c t i o n s for the creation of a larger diorama. 4. Sketch and Layout of the Diorama The group discusses the preliminary ideas and drawings, decides on which ideas are important and plans a way to integrate them i n one diorama. Students can discuss general f e e l i n g s they have about the a r t i s t and how they can reveal these fee l i n g s through a r e a l i s t , s u r r e a l i s t , abstract or symbolic i n t e r p r e t a t i o n . Each group i s assisted in a discussion of organizational problems, use of symbolism, ways of 193 simpli f y i n g and elaborating ideas, the use of emphasis and d e t a i l and other elements and p r i n c i p l e s which may enhance th e i r portrayal of the a r t i s t i n one s e t t i n g . Technical problems concerning the use of materials are also important to discuss. Where c l a y i s not appropriate, other materials can be used. One group, for example, used modelling paste and sand to interpret the r o l l i n g h i l l s of the New Mexico desert in the Georgia O'Keeffe piece. , At t h i s point, the group must decide on p r a c t i c a l d e t a i l s such as the siz e of the diorama and of the i n d i v i d u a l parts. For the base of the diorama, plywood measuring 2 x 3 feet was selected. Most groups shaped the base to s u i t the fl o o r plan—whether i t was a studio f l o o r , a landscape or a g a l l e r y s e t t i n g . Members of the group then decided on the approximate siz e of each object including the a r t i s t and indicated t h i s s i z e on the scale drawing. Students then discussed the production > of the diorama and decided who would sculpt what objects. Several students decided to work on some objects together. The group also came to a decision about how to work out di f f e r e n c e s and i n d i v i d u a l s were encouraged to discuss problems when they developed. Each student was encouraged to express i n d i v i d u a l ideas i n t h e i r own piece while keeping within some basic group d i r e c t i o n . 5., Production of the Diorama i n Clay . The base i s cut and can be sculpted with modelling paste, painted, stained or covered with ma t e r i a l . . Students produce the objects i n cla y through addi t i v e or sub- t r a c t i v e sculpting techniques. ' Armatures can be used where 194 necessary for support o f large pieces. (Most students i n t h i s group were fa m i l i a r with s c u l p t u r a l techniques i n clay.) . Surface texture and d e t a i l are applied or carved from the pieces through s l i p t r a i l i n g s c r a f f i t o or i n c i s i n g . . Large objects are hollowed out. A l l objects are allowed to dry in a damp cupboard. 6. F i r i n g , Staining, Glazing and Assembly of the Diorama . Students bisque and s t a i n glaze or paint i n d i v i d u a l pieces. . Students complete diorama and assemble i t on a plywood base with glue. E x h i b i t i o n and Evaluation A. E x h i b i t i o n ideas Dioramas are exhibited in the school l i b r a r y and l o c a l com- munity center i n conjunction with the books av a i l a b l e on Women in A r t , and a possible noon hour s l i d e and f i l m presentation (see resource m a t e r i a l s ) . B. Evaluation Group and teacher evaluation of the project takes place. It considers the following f a c t o r s : (1) Technique - what part was the most d i f f i c u l t or success- f u l — t h e research, autobiography, creation of the figures or the objects or the painting and assembly? How did i t work as a whole? To what extent do the parts provide evidence that the student developed increased c o n t r o l over the clay? Are the parts joined c a r e f u l l y so that they don't crack or separate? Has the student t r i e d to f i n d solutions to technical d i f f i c u l t i e s such as proportion, use of d e t a i l and l i n e ? Does the combination of materials work? (2) Process - How well did the group share ideas, plan and carry out the sculpture? Was there room for i n d i v i d u a l expression? Were ideas c r o s s - f e r t i l i z e d by sharing? How thoroughly d i d the group conduct research? Did one person do more than others? (3) Content - How well did the group and i n d i v i d u a l s portray the a r t i s t , her environment, her work and the things which influenced her? What type of expressive character does the work display? How much depth and empathy i s shown in the work? To what extent have the students attended to the organization of form i n the work? Do the forms function as a whole and do they d i s p l a y a cre a t i v e imagination? Does the work provide a sense of insi g h t or illuminate some aspect of xthe a r t i s t or the s e l f that was previously obscure? Conclusions from Evaluation 196 Upon completion of the diorama and i n d i v i d u a l presentations students were asked to answer a short questionnaire. Based on t h i s questionnaire, group discussion and teacher observation, the author was able to make the following evaluation. Students responded with enthusiasm throughout the project. Many of them thought i t would be " d u l l and boring" because i t was concerned with a r t h i s t o r y . They f e l t , however, that because they could work i n groups, create t h e i r h i s t o r y i n c l a y and discover i n t e r e s t i n g a r t i s t s they could help d i r e c t and be a c t i v e l y involved in the whole process. Most sutdents thought the ceramic work was the most ex c i t i n g part and that doing a biography was the hardest. Most students gained a l o t by working in small groups. They found they could "share more ideas and help each other when they got stuck." They found "working with others made such a big project l e s s scarey." On the whole, students expressed pride in their work and enjoyed t a l k i n g to the public about i t during the various e x h i b i t i o n s . The constant dialogue and co-operative s p i r i t which existed between the groups enabled a l l students to share the excitement about a l l of the a r t i s t dioramas. The f i n i s h e d pieces varied in composition, expres- siveness, s t y l e and i n meaning. The f i n i s h e d pieces were so 197 engaging and expressive of each a r t i s t and her l i f e that i t f e l t as though the students had known the a r t i s t . The students f e l t an excitement about discovering women a r t i s t s they had not heard of before. They f e l t instrumental in giving them recognition and discovering t h e i r own roots. One student s a i d , "I thought before that Emily Carr was the only woman a r t i s t , but now I know I can keep looking and there w i l l be more." Another said she discovered "Women had as much poten- t i a l as men in ar t but that women hadn't got as much recogni- t i o n in the past. I hope we can change that." To conclude t h i s t h e s i s , i t i s important ,to re-emphasize the value i n providing to a l l students a meaningful heritage. As ar t educators we can not wait for t r a d i t i o n a l art h i s t o r y to integrate the work of women a r t i s t s into survey books. We must recognize and respond to the immediate need to provide our students with the materials and incentive to explore a broader c u l t u r a l heritage, r o l e models of women as well as male a r t i s t s and art that in t e r p r e t s issues that are important i n the la t e twentieth century. As a l l our students gain more confidence and self-esteem through a l i n k with t h e i r past, t h e i r own p o t e n t i a l to express th e i r values and concerns through th e i r a r t w i l l grow. While the proposed unit and suggested a c t i v i t i e s are in no way exhaustive, they may provide a framework upon which to develop other c u r r i c u l a materials on women in a r t , aided by the wealth of information, research and new publications a v a i l a b l e in t h i s growing f i e l d . 198 Suggestions for Other A c t i v i t i e s Objectives A c t i v i t i e s Provide resources - f i l m s , s l i d e s , video, surveys, books which consider a range of women a r t i s t s from medieval to modern times i n the context of women's heritage. Develop s l i d e r e g i s t r y of the of women a r t i s t s according to themes such as: 1) Women sculptors 2) Women s t i l l l i f e painters 3) Canadian women a r t i s t s 4) Contemporary women a r t i s t s 5) Women printmakers Discover other themes and media used by women a r t i s t s i n the 19th and 20th cen t u r i e s . Find examples of women's art that share common subject matter and concerns: 1) Everyday l i f e i n the home 2) Motherhood and c h i l d r e n 3) Women as a r t i s t s (not muse) 4) Soc i a l protest 5) Nature as mother. Find examples of women's art that uses no n - t r a d i t i o n a l f i n e art media: 1) China painting 2) Fabric 3) Food & household objects 4) Embroidery and s t i t c h e r y 5) Growing plants Discover the v a r i e t y of s e l f p o r t r a i t s i n the work women a r t i s t s . Photograph your own bedroom and use the images for a collage which describes you. Draw a s e l f p o r t r a i t r e a l i s t i c - a l l y , a b s t r a c t l y . Discuss and explore the s o c i a l i n s t i t u t i o n a l conditions that fostered or in h i b i t e d the development and recognition of women a r t i s t s . Consider how women i n each c e n t u r y were a f f e c t e d by the conditions: 1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6) 7) 8) Art education - father a r t i s t s , academies, l i f e drawing c l a s s e s . Art c r i t i c i s m Patronage S o c i a l expectations and roles Family, husbands Art h i s t o r y M i s a t t r i b u t i o n Economics 199 e. Study and compare a r t i s t s who work c o l l e c t i v e l y and discuss the function and value of t h i s process. f . Discover the ideas and issues surrounding performance a r t . What i s i t and what forms has i t taken? g. Study and explore the question of a female form language or feminine s e n s i b i l i t y i n a r t . Make puppets and write a short play which t e l l s the l i f e story of several a r t i s t s and include factors which i n h i b i t e d or fostered her development. Compare the works of Joyce Weiland and Judy Chicago and discover how each of t h e i r c o l l e c t i v e art projects such as "True P a t r i o t Love" and the "Dinner Pary" achieved unique ends. Plan a c o l l e c t i v e mural project that incorporates some of these ideas. Compare the work of Eleanor Antin, Adrien Piper and Anna Bannana. Develop a performance piece which includes viewer involvement, i n t e r d i s c i p l i n a r y ar t forms, autobiographical content, or audio v i s u a l mater i a l s . Discover the writings of art c r i t i c s Lucy Lippard, Cindy Nemser and Lawrence Alloway. Debate three views on the existence of a female ae s t h e t i c . Ask, do women have such a d i f f e r - ent range of experiences from men that they bring to art a d i f f e r - ent set of values, concerns and meanings? 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A walk i n the r i g h t d i r e c t i o n : A model for v i s u a l arts education. Studies i n Art Education, 1978. i APPENDIX LIST OF AUDIO VISUAL MATERIALS ON WOMEN ARTISTS Company T i t l e Media Content International Tele-Film Enterprises 47 Densley Ave., Toronto, Ontar i o , Canada, M6M 5A8 The A r t i s t Was 58 min. color a Woman f i l m Right Out of History 75 min. color f i l m S o c i a l h i s t o r y of women a r t i s t s . Renaissance to 20th century Documentary of the Dinner Party Never Give Up - Imogen Cunningham 28 min. color Documentary on f i l m Imogen Cunningham Harper & Row ,2350 V i r g i n i a Ave., Hagerstown, Maryland, 21740 Women A r t i s t s ; A H i s t o r i c a l Survey 1500 to 1900 120 s l i d e s and notes A survey Women A r t i s t s ; Twentieth Century Women A r t i s t s ; T h i r d World Women A r t i s t s ; Images - Themes and Dreams 80 s l i d e s & notes 80 s l i d e s & notes 80 s l i d e s & notes "A look at women's sense of themselves and sources of imagery i n creating a r t . " Work by Contemporary Women A r t i s t s Company T i t l e Media Content Educational Dimensions Box 126, Stamford, Connecticut, 06904 Mary Cassatt: An American Impressionist 1 f i l m s t r i p (16 mm) 1 cassette Her work Of Women and By Women: The Cra f t s 20 s l i d e s & teacher Four Women A r t i s t s 2 f i l m s t r i p s Sculptors: Mar i s o l , Nevelson 2 cassettes, 18 min. each Painters: O'Keeffe, Frankenthaler Environmental Women A r t i s t s Communications 1550-1950 66 Windward Ave., Venice, C a l f o r n i a , 90291 80 s l i d e s and booklet From Nochlin & Harris' E x h i b i t i o n in L.A. County Museum of Art. Major p o r t r a i t , landscape, f i g u r a t i v e , and abstract pa i n t e r s . S.F. Bay Area Women A r t i s t s 40 s l i d e s and booklet 27 painters Women i n Focus, #6 - 45 Kingsway, Vancouver, B.C., V5T 3H7 872-2250 Signed by a Woman Video 60 min. C a l i f o r n i a A r t i s t s Interviews: Great A r t i s t s Video 30 min. A survey Stone Video Symposium 1975 30 min. 3 stone sculptors (women) Company T i t l e Media Content Sandak 180 Harvard Ave., Stamford, Connecticut, 06902 Womens' Work: American Art 1974 Judy Chicago: The Dinner 76 s l i d e s and commentary 80 s l i d e s Show held at Philadelphia C i v i c Center Museum Documentation Party Women A r t i s t s : 18th to 20th Centuries 120 s l i d e s Moguide, Photography, Graphics, Painting, Sculpture Women A r t i s t s : 18th to 20th Century 60 s l i d e s Nature: Image and Metaphor To be released Spring 1982

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