I was recently reading expressionism the critical idiom from
back in 1973; I’m only about a quarter way through it! (Small book and yes I’m
a very slow reader!) But what I have noticed is that there is know women
mentioned so far at all, lots of writers, poets, artist but all men.
I know this is an age old question but why is it a question
we have to keep asking from one generation to the next?
Surely now you would
think women are equally represented alongside men in the art world; an area
where Eileen Cooper of the RA pointed out last year that women make up 62% of
art students. But only feature in 31% of exhibitions in London!
This was not only a shock to me as one of them mature female
students but also as a mother, to hear that even Tracy Emin suggested that
motherhood was incompatible with being a great artist. How can she even attempt
to influence women with comments like that!
But I did find a more recent artist who’s both a successful
female artist and a mother. I know there must be more out there, but stumbling
across Katy Moran’s work was like a breath of fresh air.
Her work hovers between figuration and painterly abstraction.
Using energetic brushwork mixed in with collage, print and texture. She finds
painting exciting which is also good to hear, as art uni’s are still not keen
on pushing you or training you within the medium of paint.
Moran’s choice of
colours to me has the blend and energy of a Turner sky mixed in with the fun
and simplicity of a Picasso, and even has a touch of Kandinsky himself in them,
again all men! But also I can also see the same expressionistic aesthetics as
Grace Hartigan and Helen Frankenthaler.
Katy was recently asked
– Does she feel
women painters are taken less seriously?
don’t think I would feel that way if I was a man,” she replies. “I wouldn’t be
that worried. It’s clearly because I’m a woman: it’s still more difficult, it’s
still not equal.”
didn’t want to be seen as a stereotype, she tells the interviewer a woman
engaging in craft. “It pisses me off. I hate that the way people perceive your
work can be influenced by your gender, or what you look like, or even what
comes out of your mouth… It’s human nature, I think, you can’t help it. But it
worries me that people will then judge the work differently.”
worries me that we are still having those same discussions, How can we expect the
wider world to accept women as equal when women are still not equal in western
developed countries, are we really going forward with equality or have we just
accepted the status quo by not pushing those boundaries enough.
should a women with children be taken less seriously than a man with children!