Wednesday, April 7, 2010
I think this piece by Barbara Kruger says it all. She also states: "I mean, making art is about objectifying your experience of the world, transforming the flow of moments into something visual, or textual, or musical, whatever. Art creates a kind of commentary." (BrainyMedia)Kruger works mainly in this graphic style with short, concise messages. This particular piece is making a statement about abortion, but I feel that it can have a much broader statement on feminism in general.
I really like the graphic arts. I think the simplified messages are more powerful than the long, drawn out ones. A simple graphic, or maybe only just words (see Jenny Holzer at the bottom of the page). Clear. Concise. And to the point. Something that captures your attention and makes you think a little bit.
Women in the art world have come a long way. They've had to fight their way to be recognized by the art world and art historians. They've also used emerging styles and made them somewhat uniquely theirs. One of these styles was postmodernism.
"Feminist art and art history helped to initiate postmodernism in America. We owe to the feminist breakthrough some of the most basic tenets of postmodernism: the understanding that gender is socially and not naturally constructed; the widespread validation of non-'high art' forms such as craft, video, and performance art; the questioning of the cult 'genius' and 'greatness' in Western art history; the awareness that behind the claim of 'universality' lies in aggregate of particular stand-points and biases, leading in turn to an emphasis upon pluralist variety rather than totalizing unity. " (Broude, Garrard 10)
Postmodernism questions everything. So clearly this is going to work well with the feminism movement in art. An artist like Cindy Sherman will question the stereotypes of women in her photographs. Louise Bourgeois questions the woman's placement in the house. Kollowitz questions what she's seeing right on her doorstep. Kruger is questioning the pro-life movement.
I have only been able to simply touch on a few of the important feminist artists that are out there. I've picked the most recognizable women to touch upon, but there are many, many more who are still out there. Some more famous than others, but still trying to get their messages through. Art history, among other disciplines as well, have left a large number of women out of their canon simply because they are women. It's still thought that the male artist is the superior. These women, both past and present, need to have their voices heard. So I hope that I have let them speak sufficiently for themselves here.
BrainyMedia, . "BrainyQuote." Barbara Kruger Quotes. BrainyMedia, 2010. Web. 7 Apr 2010. http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/quotes/b/barbarakru243789.html.
Broude, Norma, and Mary Garrard. "Introduction: Feminism and Art in the Twentieth Century." The Power of Feminist Art. New York, NY: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1994. Print.