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Recognizing Women artists Essay

Linda Nochlin’s article tries to bring to light the differences that exist between men and women art and how this disparity has been linked to the distinct nature of men and women. However, Nochlin believes that the differences that may exist in art do not come about as a result of ones gender but rather these discrepancies are influenced by particular social institutions. This, Nochlin says, is because art develops in a specific social situation and that it is usually a fundamental component of that social structure.

Nochlin further explains that art can not be considered a free self-directed activity that can be influenced by social forces since it crops up in a social situation, gender, previous artists and other things normally considered influential notwithstanding (Nochlin, 1988, pp. 147-158). As a result therefore, Nochlin states how feminity does not count when it comes to evaluation of great artists. Therefore Nochlin defines the background of some of the great artists like Picasso who came from already artist families.

Nochlin also cites how the works of Redon and Corot, both male, had a feminist touch thus it could not be concluded that women art should be classified according to its own standards. This argument makes sense because art is not gender based; rather it is learned through teaching, apprenticeship or even from a long experience period (Nochlin, 1988, pp. 147-158). I agree with Nochlin’s reasoning because one can not classify art as masculine or feminine. When one sees a piece of art, what comes out is the expression captured in that piece of work and not the masculine or feminine touch in it.

Therefore Nochlin’s argument is sound because even if it is assumed that women artists are inward-looking, delicate and nuanced in their art pieces, other male artists also exude such characteristics in their work. For instance Redon’s pieces were inward turning and Corot’s art was also delicate and nuanced (Nochlin, 1988, pp. 147-158). Nochlin’s position relies upon the assumptions that great art is a result of intelligence and talent. It is not merely influenced by gender, social class or any other social forces.

This is true because great artists like Michelangelo produced exemplary pieces because of the talent they had and not because of social influences. Further still, artists such as Giotto became great artists even though he started off drawing on stone. It is the intelligence and talent that he had in art that elevated his work to great art (Nochlin, 1988, pp. 147-158). Besides, Nochlin’s position also relies on the assumption that the creation of art entails its own form of language.

What is more, this language comes to life in paper and not in a mere story that could be told to another party thus disregarding the feminist notion in art. This argument is true because art is learned and perfected through experience and this means that regardless of gender artists with the experience can bring out great art work (Nochlin, 1988, pp. 147-158). Therefore this means that women can produce great art as much as men because art is not gender based. Art is learned and comes to perfection from a period of experience.

Besides, great art is also primarily a result of an individual’s intelligence and talent therefore other social forces are just secondary factors in the creation of great art. This therefore implies that women art can be accorded much attention and appreciation if only people could get a deeper insight into what art really entails (Nochlin, 1988, pp. 147-158). Reference Nochlin L. (1988). Why have there been no great women artists? Women, Art and Power and Other Essays. Westview Press.


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