Read The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work by Germaine Greer Free Online
Book Title: The Obstacle Race: The Fortunes of Women Painters and Their Work|
The author of the book: Germaine Greer
The size of the: 38.92 MB
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Reader ratings: 6.3
Edition: Farrar Straus Giroux
Date of issue: October 1st 1982
ISBN 13: 9780374224127
Format files: PDF
Read full description of the books:
Greer’s important and oddly overlooked book raises what she describes as:the true questions contained in the false question, "Why were there no great women painters?" The real questions are "What is the contribution of women to the visual arts?", "If there were any women artists, why were there not more?", "If we can find one good painting by a woman, where is the rest of her work?", "How good were the women who earned a living by painting?" The real questions are based not in the notions of great art entertained by the "layman", which are essentially prejudices, but in the sociology of art, an infant study still in the preliminary stages of inventing a terminology for itself. (p. 6)
Greer concludes:There is then no female Leonardo, no female Titian, no female Poussin, but the reason does not lie in the fact that women have wombs, that they can have babies, that their brains are smaller, that they lack vigour, that they are not sensual. The reason is simply that you cannot make great artists out of egos that have been damaged, with wills that are defective, with libidos that have been driven out of reach and energy diverted into neurotic channels. Western art is in large measure neurotic, for the concept of personality which it demonstrates is in many ways anti-social, even psychotic, but the neurosis of the artist is of a very different kind from the carefully cultured self-destructiveness of women. In our time we have seen both art and women changing in ways that, if we do not lose them, will bring both closer together. (p. 327)
It's not necessary to agree with this emphasis on the "neurosis of the artist", for Greer's chapters on individual artists also give due weight to the endless economic and social circumstances that (mostly) prevented women from achieving their artistic potential. If you missed this book when it was first published in 1979, the 2001 reprint is still readily available--and Greer's argument still well worth attending to.
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Read information about the authorGermaine Greer is an Australian born writer, journalist and scholar of early modern English literature, widely regarded as one of the most significant feminist voices of the later 20th century.
Greer's ideas have created controversy ever since her ground-breaking The Female Eunuch became an international best-seller in 1970, turning her overnight into a household name and bringing her both adulation and criticism. She is also the author of Sex and Destiny: The Politics of Human Fertility (1984), The Change: Women, Ageing and the Menopause (1991), and most recently Shakespeare's Wife (2007).