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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 6, 1972)
n M '
thursdcry, april 6, 1972
lincoln, nebraska vol. 95, no. 92
Female artists-women's liberation on canvas
by Jacquin Sanders
For upwards of 150 years, a portrait of a serene
young woman, now hanging in New York City's
Metropolitan Museum, was attributed to the giant of
French neo-classicism, Jacques-Louis David. Then it
was discovered that the giant who painted this
particular picture was actually a giantess-an almost
forgotten woman named Constance-Marie
'The Jolly Toper' the bleary-eyed boozer who
has delighted generations of visitors to Amsterdam's
Rijksmuseum, was considered a Frans Hals until a
good scrubbing with modern cleaning fluids revealed
the signature of a considerably less renowned, but
perhaps equally talented woman artist, Judith
Since medieval times, art dealers have made a good
thing out of the works of the productive Jacopo
Tintoretto. That "productiveness" seems less
formidable lately, due to well-founded suspicions that
many Tintorettos may not be Jacopo 's but those of
Marietta, his extraordinarily gifted but-because of
her sex-much less salable daughter.
Women, it would seem, have always gotten the
short and of the stick in the art world-not only in
&tary Corse. . Vaiket 9-foot
acrylic and crushed glass.
sales and recognition, but also in the opportunity to
develop their talent. Men have not only dominated
the field, as creators and critics and museum officials;
they have totally monopolized it.
But a survey of the art world today shows change
is in the wind. Women artists are bursting out all over.
Their works are turning up in important exhibitions;
the great museums are adding substantial rather than
token, examples of art by women to their collections,
and dealers are beginning to push their works to the
When he was first shown some sketches by Mary
Cassatt, Edgar Degas, renowned painter of ballet girls,
was moved to a tare compliment. Ha could hardly
believe, he said, that a woman had drawn such works.
That's the sort of thing women artists have teen
putting up with, probably since the first cave woman
scrawled the first picture of a brontosaurus tending
its young. But times are changing and women artists
no longer put up with such remarks. More
importantly, they no longer justify them.
The best women artists these days do not produce
"female art. Their works are neither soft nor
sentimental and most certainly they are not fragile.
The new woman in art has moved way beyond the
gentle world of pastels and Sunday-afternoon water
Women's art is now fust art, indistinguishable by
gender from that of inert, and unique only in the
individual's intention and technique and material.
They use steel and stone and surplus Navy
hardware. They weld metals and spray acrylic They
use the knowledge of physics and the material of the
junkyard to Tefract light rays on rusting pipe and
degenerating motors. They build sculptures that
people can walk into, pictures so loaded with nearly
everything, including paint, that they strain the very
beams of the museum walls they hang upon.
Even their language is the language of the artist,
neither man-talk nor woman-talk, only the special
argot peculiar to all artists these days. Mary Corse, for
example, stopped painting at the age of 22, convinced
that she had gone as far as possible in the medium of
Rembrandt and 1 Greco. "I just felt there were no
more paintings to be done, she says.
She turned to a medium of her own, using
Plexiglass and hidden light sources, and then, sensing
that she was into technology rather than art, went
hack to painting. Wow she is 25 and her 9-foot square
"sketches,' made with a mixture of acrylic and
crushed glass, have been 'exhibited in Los Angeles,
Chicago and New York, and she is selling them
regularly and for good prices.
Despite her success, Mary Corse finds some
discrimination against her sex among dealers. 'Some
of them think a woman will paint until she has
children and then give it up," she notes. But being
married and having a year -old baby has only made her
more of an artist.
"My baby has just made everything better," she
says. 'The baby has kept my head straight, and when
your head is straight you paint better.
The best women artists have a toughness about
their male counteroarts. At 24.
a former high-school cheerleader.
hung in New York's Guggenheim
now support herself by painting.
New York now. and gives drawing
ass at the University of Rochester.
moved, too. She began wrfli
an started to build corner pieces
and confronted the viewer."
them, just as do
has already been
Museum and can
She works in
and sculpture c&
Her work has
"My involvement with plastic has a kind of
attraction-repulsion effect," she says. The material is
repulsive but the form is intriguing."
Best known of the young American women artists
is Nancy Graves. 31. Her materials include hide, glue,
wax, marble dust and steel, and her sprawling
constructions are a blend of sculpture and painting.
Louisianabom Lynda Benglis is more of a
militant. "Women have less ambition," she says,
"because they've been taught to have less. But this is
an exciting time to be a woman and I think there's a
change in attitude in men because of the women's
Turn to Page 3
fisncy Grswss. . - has worked with csnrtef
sculptures, bones and now does
Another low-budget newspaper, The Lincoln Gazette,
popped up in Lincoln Tuesday. The two-page mimeographed
sheet expressed views of TMU Regent Robert Prokop, amnesty,
student life insurance plans and drug busts.
According to Ron Kurtenbach, a member of the "editorial
board," the paper "hopes to fill a void created by the Lincoln
dailies and the Daily Nebraska n."
Kurtenbach maintained the Daily Nebraskan was guilty of
"political expediency, capricious editing and being very
impersonal in style.
"If we can't step outside of our professional roles and
candidly criticize each other, then this society is suspect," he
said. "It seems that truth seeking is not being rewarded.
Kurtenbach said the Daily TMebraskan "seems to be
subject"to pressures like advertising, student fee concerns and
job security which "tend to distort" the news. He said the
student paper should have followed up on what he called
"Prokop 's plagiarism."
Said Kurtenbach: "No reporters went to ZumbergeVarner
or any of the other regents and asked them what they thought
of the situation."
An article in the Gazette's first issue stated: "No one denies
or doubts that Regent Robert J. Prokop plagiarized his article
on homosexuality in Aim Batdielder's Douglas County
Gazette but there has been great confusion among students
and townspeople about what the regents or the faculty will do
about the fact"
The article was authored by staff members Larry Wolf ley
and Jay Palashek.
Kurtenbach said the staff members have political opinions
that range from "generally liberal to radical." He said further
the paper was "not going to provide a forum for YAF (Young
Americans for Freedon) people."
Fellow staffer Lia Johanson said "contributions from
YAFers would be welcome."
Johanson added that many people working with the paper
are also involved in the Peoples Community Coop, which
hopes to form a community center that will allow open
exchange of ideas.
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