Art History

Question

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/13/arts/design/suzanne-lacy-and-hundreds-of-women-take-to-the-stoops.html?_r=1

There are 2 articles, one is on that website above and the second article is attached. I need you to review these two articles in 3 pages.

Thank you.  Review the articles by summarizing them, critiquing/commenting on the ideas they contain, and stating similarities and differences in the ideas presented in the two articles.

Answer

Art History

The aim of this paper is to analyze two articles: “When Talking Makes the Art Happen” by Carol Kino and “The Imaginary Orient” by Linda Nochlin. Both of them set out to explore the theme of gender discrimination through pieces of art. In the first article, the writer introduces readers to Ms. Lacy who is an artist widely known for her social activism. Ms. Lacy uses art to discuss gender-related issues such as reproductive rights (Kino). Moreover, she is a feminist who advocates for improvement in the protection of women’s rights. The author’s evaluation of feminism is excellent: she uses Ms. Lacy, an outgoing character who addresses the issue of feminism without any fear of criticism. The direct approach used grabs the audience’s attention rather easily. Ordinarily, an artist would be confined to the expected standards of artistic expression.

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Moreover, an in-depth appraisal of the article projects Ms. Lacy’s display of exemplary skills in handling crucial matters relating to feminism. The public is frequently involved in the shows she performs as she goes from door to door asking for moral support. Although her works also grab news media attention and also lead to demonstrations by members of the public, Ms. Lacy continues to focus on her theme. Her resilience as an artist establishes a base on which other artists in the area can stand up against practices that perpetuate gender bias in society.

            On the other hand, the aim of the second article is to analyze paintings from an orientalist perspective. Nochlin suggests that when studying paintings, people should pay a lot of attention to the qualities which predict the future culture of society rather than the aesthetic value of the paintings themselves (72). In other words, she advises those who analyze paintings to attempt to answer unconventional questions.

            According to Nochlin, orientalist paintings portray a world of customs and rituals which are not confined to a specific temporal context. In addition to this, they are not affected by advances in the historical processes of Western society. She uses Gerome’s work “The Snake Charmer”, a painting of a boy holding a snake, to elaborate on orientalism and its tremendous impact on social values. Even with technological advancement, military improvements, and cultural evolution, the painting still suggests that the values based on which the world operates will remain the same.

Nochlin argues that the painting was accepted by society for two reasons (71). Firstly, it showed the existence of masculine superiority in many of the parts of the society, for instance, in general administration, and in family leadership. Secondly, it portrayed the perceived superiority of the white man over other races. Gender bias and racism continues to exist despite advancement in technology, culture, and economy (Nochlin 7). These two elements have historically shaped social behavior, and are still evident in the present world. On the other hand, Manet’s painting was rejected by society. The painting which is an example of a work showing critical realism represented the erotic commercial transactions that take place in society. Despite being rejected, the painting highlighted the entrepreneur’s side of artistic works (Nochlin, 75).

            In terms of comparison, both articles expound on gender issues in society and how they are portrayed through art. In the first article, the author addresses matters related to discrimination of women and feminist advocacy through reference to Ms. Lacy’s work. On the other hand, the second one entails Nochlin’s reference to Gerome’s painting in efforts to examine the deep-seated problems of domination by the male gender and racial inequality (71). In the first article, gender discrimination is challenged through “Three Weeks in May” in which Ms. Lacy draws attention to rape cases that have occurred in Los Angeles.

In the second article, the work of Manet is used to address gender discrimination, though it is rejected for challenging gender superiority of the men. The article acts as a valid reference point for an orientalist depiction of gender inequality and how it has been manifested in society in the course of history. For instance, Gerome’s painting reflects the impact of works of art in describing various problems affecting society. Through its analysis, one gets a lasting impression on the circumstances that influenced its conceptualization within French society. Nochlin’s efforts to provide a historical context for the work goes a long way in facilitating a more enlightened orientalist interpretation (71). Similarly, Ms. Lacy’s work provides useful historical details about feminism and women’s struggle for gender equality while dealing pointedly and directly with issues of class and women (Kino). The article explains how her efforts have contributed to improvement in women’s rights in Los Angeles and beyond.

In conclusion, the two articles demonstrate the need for an in-depth analysis of works of arts particularly in terms of the way they address various social issues. This involves addressing, not just the aesthetic nature of paintings, but also the questions that arise from it. By reading them, one realizes that issues of gender and racial discrimination can be addressed in an artistic way that both grabs the attention of members of society and drives change. Undeniably, art has a great role to play in influencing social practices as seen in the works of Gerome and Ms. Lacy.

Works Cited

Kino, Carol. “When Talking Makes the Art Happen: Suzanne Lacy and Hundreds of Women Take to the Stoops.” The New York Times, October 10, 2013. Web.

Nochlin, Linda. “The Imaginary Orient.” In Kimberly N. Pinder. Race- ing Art History: Critical Readings in Race and Art History. New York: Routledge, 2013. Print.

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