Blog for April 12, 2011

Jayme Walker

Last Tuesday’s class was really important to me because it helped me to understand feminism a lot better, especially in relation to art and our course topics. Starting class with the DVD segment about Ida Applebroog allowed me to see how confusing feminism can be. The powerpoint and class discussions following the DVD, however, helped me to clear up my confusion and above all, the class as a whole proved to be extremely beneficial to me as a learner.

I enjoyed learning about the feminist movement and feminist art and how both are often misunderstood by mainstream culture. In a world where we tend to generalize and categorize, it is extremely important to understand that it is way more complex. For example, even though Applebroog doesn’t claim her art as “feminist art”, many tend to categorize it as such. All in all, it depends how you look at her art and the assumptions that you make based on your personal knowledge and beliefs. However, as we discussed, Applebroog was not trying to perpetuate feminist art, she simply wanted to be herself. (Which I feel is one of the most important things about her!)

The powerpoint about feminist art in the early years (1960’s – 1970’s) was extremely helpful for me in terms of understanding feminism in a more historical sense. Understanding what was happening in the U.S. at the time helped me to understand feminism and how the feminist movement started, as well as feminism in relation to art’s departure from modernism. Clearly, the feminist movement and art’s departure from modernism were occurring within times of extreme change, posing opportunities for everyone to experience at least some form of change. What I liked most from our lesson last Tuesday was learning that feminism is about having a choice. Simply looking at feminism as having the opportunity to have “choice”, I’m almost certain that just about everyone can relate and or support the idea of choice.

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3 Responses to Blog for April 12, 2011

  1. Lacey DeAngelis says:

    Last week’s class taught me a lot about Feminist Art and Feminist artists. Through the reading from last week and the class, I learned that not all artwork that was done by female artist are part of feminist art. I was really interested to learn a little more about Lee Krasner’s work and role within feminist art. Last semester I learned about Jackson Pollock and how he changed the way people saw art. I didn’t know that his wife Lee Krasner was also an inspirational artist during this time. Looking at one of her pieces in class last week, I saw similarities to her husband work. Her work showed that she was focused on “formal values of form and color.” (Feminist Art PowerPoint) This had me wondering if their artworks were inspired by each others, or if they were done without the others influence.
    Another feminist artist that I thought was interesting to learn about from last class was the female artists named Joan Mitchell. Her artwork that we looked at in class also reminded me of Jackson Pollock’s works. Joan Mitchell focused on the colors, showing dark colors like blue and green along with brighter colors like yellow and red. I thought it was interesting that she was trying to “convey the impression of a dying sunflower.” (Feminist Art PowerPoint) The yellow seems to be getting darker on the right side of the painting, representing the flower dying. When looking at this painting without knowing the meaning behind it, I wouldn’t have thought it represented a flower dying. Now that I learned more about the painting, I understand it better and appreciate it more. Overall, I enjoyed learning and looking at more feminist artists, because I’m not so familiar with many feminist artists.

  2. Austin Smith says:

    Feminism is most definitely confusing to me sometimes, especially being a male who has never thought about the concept. I remember when we spoke about it back in the day when the class was first starting and it seemed as though feminist were stereotypically considered extremist to a cause, but it is much clearer to me now that it is simply wanting the equality all others should have. This certainly applies in today’s society at least when we were speaking about the expected roles woman are supposed to play, but as a male I would like to point out that men are also expected to play a role in society. Jayme spoke about the perceptions of people in categorizing art to be feminist. I have to agree that every individual comes from a different background and may perceive something completely differently as another might and it is important to keep that in mind when hearing out others opinions. Times are changing and it is important that we keep in consideration all that has happened in society. Woman have come a long way in society and it is only a matter of time before equality will be a constant struggle between who ever is on top and who ever is on bottom, but I do not believe that it will always be between male and female for that may end up in the past and the new struggles will be between race which we currently battle daily. The woman in the video did not want to be considered feminist, but I think society feels it necessary to lable things or they with otherwise be uncomfortable with something they cannot name. It seems like a security measure our society has to make sure there are no surprises or sudden change. Change to our society has certainly been what many a people have been battling for hundreds and hundreds of years.

  3. Sarah Rose
    I can definitely understand where Austin is coming from, feeling a little out of place when discussing feminisms. I suppose it is the same way many of us feel when we talk about things we were not familiar with. It is hard to relate to someone or their culture if you haven’t lived in their shoes. I feel like it makes us better more informed people though, for taking classes that make us put ourselves in others shoes and really having to think about others then just ourselves.

    One this that I kept thinking about last week was the first time we touched on feminism. I was really surprised when I realized men could be feminists and that feminists weren’t all the stereotypical image of extremists. I never really thought about the idea before that homemakers, who love staying home and raising a family, could be a feminist. All they want is the option to choose to do anything they please and to have the same options as a man.

    I really like that we talked about the “Dinner Party,” since Judy Chicago was the artist we had to write about at the beginning of the semester it was cool to see her work again and talk a little more about her. I think her piece is just amazing and is a true representation of the power of women and what we have accomplished over the years. She made such a powerful shrine to many of the important women in history it is just really inspirational. I had no idea the table what that big though until I saw the picture with her in front of it. To put so much work and energy into something that is so meaning full is just so moving and makes me proud to be female.

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