Friday, March 13, 2009

Sotheby's "Women" Show

Apparently Sotheby's is putting together a show of art that depicts women as subjects. I thought I'd collect the highlighted images they've listed so far in the press release blurb:

Edvard Munch's Madonna (1895–97),
Picasso's Le Repos (1932),
Warhol's Turquoise Marilyn (1964),
Lucian Freud's Portrait of Rose (1978–79), (can't find this one, but here's Esther)
Richard Prince's Spiritual America (1983), featuring a rephotographed nude, prepubescent Brooke Shields.

Woman as virgin, muse, child. Seems like the theme here (so far) is the tension between available/unavailable -- desire and the inability to fulfill that desire. But could we say that applies to all depictions of women in art?

The show is called "Women". I'm curious to find out if there are any woman artists, or if women are only the subjects.

What do you think about a show that uses "women" as a subject? Is it a great way to collect some star artworks under a common theme, or is it celebration of the traditional objectification of women in art? If it is both, does the second detract form the first?

Tangentially, what about shows of women artists - which is what I thought the show would be before I read the press release. Should women be grouped together (and separated from men) as artists?