Marketing Mondays: "Isms" and "Phobias"

"Feminism changed the way I wrote about art history and what goes into museums, and offered new ways of thinking about exhibitions. It provided possibilities for different readings of art history and a broad social context for individual interpretations."
--Marcia Tucker, founder of The New Museum and all-around bad girl, in A Short Life of Trouble: Forty Years in the New York Art World

Back when SoHo was the center of the universe, I used to have a buddy who constantly complained about the art world numbers. "Women are getting all the shows," he'd whine, after one exhibition got a couple of reviews. Or, "Artists of color are getting all the attention," when one African-American or Hispanic artist (usually male) would rise to prominence. And yet, when we visited exhibitions together, the numbers remained overwhelmingly in favor of men like himself--what Robert Hughes described sarcastically as "the pale penis people."

Thanks to the efforts of people like Marcia Tucker, Thelma Golden, Judy Chicago, the Guerrilla Girls, and every thinking artist's favorite pale penis person, Jerry Saltz, some things have changed. But not fast enough or big enough for a culture whose residents--that would be us--are supposed to be thinking outside the box. While there's no denying that making a career is difficult for most artists, it's harder still for artists who are not white, male and young. In this post I'd like to hear from you--whoever you are, and however you identify.

And guys, I'm not picking on you. Many of you have your own isms and phobias to deal with.

So here's my Marketing Mondays question today: Do you feel that isms and phobias have made your career progress more difficult? I also have a few specific questions, which you're welcome to pick and choose from--or add to, or disregard.

. Men: Do you make the most of your defacto entitlement to open the doors to others once you're in? As you've matured have you found ageism to be an issue?

. Women: Do you prop the doors open once you're in? Younger women, do you acknowledge that one, maybe two, generations of women artists before you battered those doors so you could walk through somewhat more easily? As you've matured how has ageism added to the load?

. Artists of color and ethnicity: Not that it's to easy to disentangle sexism or ageism or homophobia or xenophobia from racism, but is there a way to quantify which ism has been the most blatant? Has it shifted over the course of your career?

. Lesbian and gay artists: is homophobia a career issue for you? Or are the other isms a bigger issue?

. Curators, dealers and critics: Is it "all about the art" or do you consciously try for inclusivity in your exhibitions and reviews--thereby stretching the definition of what art is, in fact, all about? And have you found your sex or ethnicity or age an issue in your own career?

. Educators: There are more female students in art school, yet more male artists go on to achieve prominence in the art world. Who gets the prizes? The encouragement? The mentoring? Do you address the issue of sexism with your students?

. Students, especially female students: Do you think sexism is no longer an issue?

Anecdotes, opinions, rants and links are welcome. .

Update: Link to The Art Newspaper: America is Changing--But Are its Art Museums? The gist of the article: "You do not have to look at major US art museums for long to realise that most of the senior management is white." Says Johnnetta Cole, director of the National Museum of African Art at the Smithsonian Institution: "There is a moral imperitive for making a workforce diverse.” Read more. . .


Cat Rocketship said...

I haven't experienced sexism in my career (I don't think) but in school it seems that male students were more highly praised and encouraged. However, I don't think it was overt-- just that I had a lot of male profs who were probably more comfortable with the male students.

H said...

Yikes. It's frightening that young women really don't recognize discrimination unless it's personalized specifically at them and all the dots between are connected.
Discrimination is rampant at all levels of society and if it isn't addressed is the larger world, it's equally hopeless in the art world.
Joanne, are you saying that artists and dealers have a higher responsibility than every woman and man on the street to right the wrongs?

Rebecca said...

It was only 7 years ago that I remember being one of two female secretaries at an art school (we were also "students" at the time) who were considered talented enough to become teachers. I know it does not sound like a big deal, but I remember the significance of it now, and then. We both went on to become advanced painting instructors before striking out on our own. I opened my own school, and specifically charged lower fees, knowing honestly that the older, male-led art institutions would attract more students, whether or not I was just as qualified. I tried imagining being a prospective student, and I felt even myself thinking that, were I to compare a school led by a talented young female artist to a school led by an older recognized male artist, whether or not I were male or female, I would instinctually think that the latter had a "comfort factor" the second option had not. This sounds horrible, I know, but I think it was fair that I recognized it at the time. I am of a "young" generation, and yet this kind of ancient assumption was already imbibed.
I now see how what I paint and why I paint stems from being a woman, but mostly a sincere and humble person. I don't intend to change this simply to gain more recognition as an artist, as I prefer to keep my painting as free as possible from success-seeking motifs and motives.
I remember 10 years ago when my father (who has always been my biggest fan, but likes to remind me of certain reality checks) replied to my declaration that I wanted to become a painter, "Well, at least you did not want to become a sculptor." I understood his point crystal clear; it simply is harder for women to achieve a certain level of success as an artist. I don't let this upset me, and I just focus on trying to be the best artist I can be.

Joanne Mattera said...

H says: "Joanne, are you saying that artists and dealers have a higher responsibility than every woman and man on the street to right the wrongs?"

No, I'm not saying that. But I am saying that we ALL have a responsibility to ourselves and to one another.

Anonymous said...

Great post Joanne - always an important topic. I’m a white male artist/educator represented in Chelsea. As a teacher I see a population of 75% women in undergrad art programs and 50-60% women in grad school. But in Chelsea gallery shows that shifts to 25% or fewer women (all numbers my impressions – not hard stats) I talk to my students at all levels about this in the hopes of changing things. I’m going to grossly generalize to make my points, but here are my thoughts:

1) There is some unconscious bias among some gallery directors of like to like: more white male gallery directors means more white male artists represented. However, even when a female gallery director expressed to me the desire for more gender diversity among their artists, she complained of not finding women they feel they can rep. So. . .

2) It seems to me there are also the societal pressures that remain favoring men over women. Society continues to accept that men should be allowed to pursue their goals, regardless of cost or consequence. Women are more often asked to put aside their goals for the good of others – family, spouse, job, etc. Or women, more often than men, do this automatically. So a man might monomaniacally pursue an art career while a woman might be turned aside by the needs of others or by the ridiculous risk of the goal. And men are more likely to risk the humiliation of gallery rejection and use that to fuel further efforts.

3) Society supports personal expression in women, not so much in men. Most students entering undergrad art school do so pursuing art as personal expression. This is gradually shifted until we see mostly conceptual work in the upper echelon galleries.

4) There’s money involved. More women cook at home, but most chefs are men. This is changing, but we are still opening to the idea of the forceful, creative woman as a businessperson.

When I talk to my students I urge the women to look carefully at their choices, to be obsessive in pursuit of their goals and not be turned aside. On the responsibility issue, I feel we all have the responsibility for our own actions, but those in positions of power or authority (educators, gallery directors, critics) have a special obligation to be aware of and avoid potential bias.

Again, there are certainly exceptions to everything I’ve said, but I see these as the main factors in the imbalance.

Thanks again,

Son of a Feminist

layers said...

Very thought provoking topic. There is a reason why I sign my name D.Watson instead of Donna Watson. I must have felt some sort of discrimination years ago when I started painting. Although I do see more and more woman prominent in the art world like Jenny Holzer and Cindy Sherman it is probably still dominated by men. Although I do think age can be a factor as well. My son who lives in NYC is extremely skilled and creative but is considered too young and works for Jeff Koons at the moment as he tries to break into the art scene.

Joanne Mattera said...


Thanks for this great response. We are in total agreement. The stats you noted seem about right to me.

I also teach--one course each semester, on building and sustaining a career in art--and when I bring up the issue of sexism, the students don't see it. They're in a supportive environment with a good mix of female and male professors, all of whom show regularly, many in New York, so they don't yet know what they will be up against.

I'm thinking that one new assignment might be to research their 10 favorite Chelsea galleries to learn the genders of the artists and then come up with man v. woman percentages.

Nancy Natale said...

Of course as soon as anyone starts talking about numbers and percentages, they are accused of discrimination, as in the backlash against affirmative action policies. Younger women (and men) forget the lessons of the feminist revolution and older women are tired of fighting a losing battle. I think you are right that it is up to people running the show to make a conscious effort to become aware and change things and it is also the responsibility of artists themselves to do what they can to pass it on - even to the point of calling attention to it as you are doing, Joanne.

By the way, the Marcia Tucker book was a great read. I loved it. Too bad we lost so early someone of her abilities, insight and love of fun and daring.

Philip Koch said...

At least with art galleries, they ultimately are in operation to sell art to usually fairly wealthy people- many of whom consciously or unconsciously are a little more likely to plunk down several thousands of dollars for art made by males than females.

Ian MacLeod said...

Perhaps we (artists) expect the art community to be accepting and open and therefore free of the bias, bigotry and discrimination seen so often elsewhere.
We have all been 'trained' from childhood to believe, act, react and behave the way we as adults, do. Some are able to change negative learned thinking. Some have been brought up in caring, understanding environments where fear of 'different' does not exist.
I like the acronym “ISM” standing for I, myself, me.

Anonymous said...

In a patriarchy the rules are changing all the time to keep you out so that you are always swimming upstream in the dark, there is no way you are ever being seen as an entire individual with a unique and natural consciousness.Your natural is not. This never being seen starts when you are born. If you have anything original to say or think (and you have)you quickly learn not to say or think it. Everything is limited by appearances,and I don't mean love at first sight,all is attached to a perverted sexuality, it is something so deeply internalized so fast it is only through extraordinary acts of will performed exhaustively that one can make a dent, and I am talking just to keep yourself afloat and sane and whole in your own mind, much less in the contemporary art world, for that takes an additional heroic effort of will again. The “personal expression" the culture mouths as feminine is already a fixed template, something proscribing and prescribed.

Joanne Mattera said...

Has anyone experienced ageism? Racism? Anti-semitism? Homophobia? Xenophobia?

Some attitudes you fight your whole life; others you don't experience until, whomp there it is, like ageism.

And I appended the initial post with a link to the institutional racism in American art museums.

Claudia Ryan said...

I remember applying to undergraduate school and feeling humiliated after experiencing a reaction of (disdain? I don’t know exactly what it was, but I knew I ‘d raised a serious doubt flag in the interviewing professor after being asked and then telling my age, which at the time was twenty eight.

Philip Koch said...

One of my fellow profs at MICA was invited to show a dealer in NYC his work. The presentation seemed to be going well enough until the dealer turned to the artist and said he was afraid the artist was just to old for the gallery to invest the time and energy it would take to market his work. Gulp!

Anonymous said...

Joanne, I like your future assignment looking for genders of artists showing in Chelsea. I would also like a census-style-dorky survey counting gender, race, sex preference, age, etc. of folks showing, teaching, new hired teachers, reviewed etc., etc, etc. by city and region etc. For me, anectodes(sic) and personal histories are good starting points for this discussion, but I also would like to see some "hard-ish" numbers. (By the way, I also wonder what are the average durations people continue to show in gallery-world).

Donna Dodson said...

Jerry Saltz usually publishes a profile of solo shows in Chelsea every fall based on number of shows by women versus men that includes number of women in the galleries versus number of men represented.

nic said...

my male artist friends always seem to make work that is so free, and risky, and don't have a fear of failure. i know that i can make work just as good - but my fear of failure - that not only do i fail as an individual - i also defacto provide more "proof" that female artists [sculptor in my case] aren't any good. i know my own fears are my own problem, but i have not yet gotten to the point where i don't go into the studio without having to shoulder the burden of the entire art world.

Joanne Mattera said...

So shrug already. Whatever made you think you have to carry that burden? You don't.

Kristine said...

I think ageism does play a big part. If you are not a well established artist by age 40 the opportunities to exhibit diminish. I feel much more comfortable sending materials to galleries than in making a personal visit for fear of the situation Mr. Koch mentioned. I understand gallery owners and buyers wonder where you have been all this time. As for me, working on art.

Vince said...

We just had an open call at a coop space I belong to in Philadelphia. There was no jury and it was widely publicized so that prejudice couldn't creep in. If you look at those who came, there is almost every possible minority included, if you want to look at it that way. I didn't count but I think there are a few more men than women, why? There are not a lot of blacks, hispanics or asian artists (although they are all represented), why? Every age group is represented from a few artists still in school or recently graduated, to some in their 70's and 80's, why? I have no answers except that there are a probably a hundred reasons and these same factors can be just as complicated for every situation. BTW our membership is mostly men, why? We surely welcome women and everyone else.

Anyone who engages in prejudice in any way should be called on it and everybody should boycott them. Don't show with them, don't go to the shows, don't give them money, don't buy art from them and don't put them on your blog.

The best thing we can do as artists is to work together and put aside all the prejudices. We are so fragmented as an "industry" that the current atmosphere works against us all.

Donna Dodson said...

I think time, money, education and geographic location are bigger factors than sex, age, ethnicity or sexual orientation. I think the first person nailed it with comfort level also being a factor that contributes to perpetuation of the status quo which means it's so important for women and minorities to attain positions of power- it changes the culture of the institution or organization. There's also unaccountable factors such as how intimate you are with you and what you have access to through your personal and professional relationships. 2 examples are let's say you are friends with someone whose work you admire and you want to help them or you want them to help you- it will be limited unless you socialize together, travel together, meet each other's families, etc... whereas if you are dating another artist and you want to help one another, you are going to be traveling together, socializing together, making friends and meeting each others families so the chances of that person being able to help you or you helping them is far greater than what you can do for a friend, I think. The other example is someone like Kiki Smith. Granted she has had to prove herself as an artist and I think she has but still, to be born into elite social networks with cultural connections is unique to her providing her with access to people and places and knowledge that most folks do not have. In general I feel uncomfortable talking about myself in terms of demographics b/c I dont think I will advance my career or anyone else's that way- I think it's all about the art although it was Alice Neel who said "the art world is not a meritocracy." If I ever figure out what she meant, maybe I'll succeed. I'm 41 and a female sculptor- I know it's perceived as non-traditional to do what I do (although I don't really believe it is) I wouldnt encourage another woman to do art just because it might make the numbers better because I think you have to be driven to make art- but I would encourage women to be strong because physical fitness and strength are a part of a sculptor's life. That said, I've had a few important male mentors that have done more for me than any women I have met professionally in my career. Why? I think it's because they were men who were also fathers that had daughters and strong, feminist wives or I was lucky and at the right place at the right time. I also feel like there are alot of women sculptors and artists that I admire that make it feel possible for me to achieve what I want to achieve.

J. Nodine said...

Good discussion topics Joanne.
I have experienced some of the issues you note, sexism in particular, but the one I have experienced the most that you did not list is regionalism. Over the years I have experienced prejudice because I live and work in the south. It's clear we all still have a long way to go and a lot to accomplish before we're all looking through the same lens.

Eva said...

Yes there is ageism.... if you are past a certain age and not very successful, you must be a loser. Art people are very conscious of social orders - very afraid of not being hip and not being part of the big consensus. They do not want to hang with losers.

Of course it IS very possible that some people are always a little unique, a little quirky, running against the tide, doing it in their 20s and also in their 50s. But when you're 20, it's avant. When you're 50, you're weirdly eccentric.

There is a nice ending though and I really do believe this: if you keep making work and you're finally beyond middle aged quirkiness and into old age authoritive Goddesshood/Godhead, everyone will then say "Oh we always liked her (or him)! So strong and influential!" I see it time and time again in recent art history.

ageist said...

i admired the work of a female painter, saw it in a few different group shows over the past year+, and did not know anything about her bio.

i finally met her recently at an opening and was surprised to find that she could not be any older than mid-twenties (i'm older). surprised and for some reason instantly disappointed. i know this will change the way i look at and think about her work.

Joyce Owens said...

Great post!

Most women are NOT obsessive about their careers. They are obsessive about finding a mate. Genetics. We can't help it.

I wanted to be an artist since 3rd grade, but had no idea what that meant. And didn't know anyone who knew what that meant.

I am African American. Yes, I experience racism.

An important marker is that white males don't have a "white male museum", but there are women's museums, galleries and exhibitions. There is no white male month! But there is Women's Month, and African American month.
Women will be equal when we no longer need specialty galleries, etc.

Separate is still not equal.

Having no idea what it meant to have an art career and knowing no one who did, I got into Yale and was the only African American in my class. I applied to Yale because I only found out I could major in painting in my junior year in undergrad so I realized I needed more experience! An undergrad teacher advised me that I could teach in college if I had that M.F.A. when I wondered how I'd make a living!

I take responsibility for what I have and have not done. I wish I had been told more, but ...

I do help younger women artists. I do promote women's venues, in Chicago Woman Made Gallery and ARC Gallery. I am a member of Sapphire and Crystals. We promote African American women artists in Chicago.

Selfishness is a trait most women are missing. Embrace selfishness as a good thing. I have sons and I decided that I wanted them to know that what I do is important, too, so I began to paint right in front of them.

The museum solo show is elusive. I just keep painting! i think wmen have to keep working. Women have to attain positions that allow them to help other women, mentor them and prepare them to succeed in museums like a Louis Nevelson (who did not spend a lot of energy on marriage or her son), a Lee Bontecou, A Faith Ringgold, a Carrie Mae Weems, an Elizabeth Catlett, a Judy Pfaff!

Many successful women artists are not wives and mothers.

(Hope I was not redundant. I did not read ALL the comments!)

Joanne Mattera said...

Definitely not redundant. Reinforcing!

Interesting turnabout, finding an artist's work lessinteresting when you learned she is young.

Regionalism. I didn't even think og that. (Was I being regionalist?)

Actually, EVERYONE, your comments have been really interesting. Vince, Donna, Eva, Philip, Nancy and others. Keep them coming!

Stephanie Sachs said...

Lots of interesting threads of thought.
Phillip made me think of the physiology of the sale when he wrote, " fairly wealthy people- many of whom consciously or unconsciously are a little more likely to plunk down several thousands of dollars for art made by males than females. " I am starting to notice I even price my work lower than the men in my circle.

Joyce Owens writes at the end of her post about success of artist who put their career before being a wife or mother. I was lucky enough to have Agnes Martin as a teacher when I was 20. At the time I found her a contradiction. From the outside she had this spiritual persona but when she came to talk to me one on one she always gave me potent, business-like advice.
I remember her telling me that in the future people would be expecting me to have children but if I went that way it would be extremely difficult to find my voice and have a successful career. Clearly she believe it.
Found it shocking at the time but after taking the advice and knowing how many hours I put into my career I understand.

Donna Dodson said...

2 or 3 more comments... Judy Chicago changed the game by changing the subject matter and validating it by her writing and her process. Georgia O'Keeffe always told young female artists, don't seek me out for answers, get back in the studio and work, work, work (figure out for yourself) and by the sheer fact that she achieved so much, and that she was a woman, she achieved it for every woman, I believe. Henry Osawa Tanner is another example as is Jacob Lawrence and Romare Bearden.

Ingrid said...

I have been thinking about where I fit into this ism discussion. Twenty years ago I was in grad school where most of the faculty were men, the visiting artists men, and the "art star" students were men. At the time I was engaged to be married and that might as well have been the kiss of death as far as my being taken serious as an artist. Sexism? Certainly.

Now, one husband and two children later, I am still painting, along with four of my fellow female students who by the way are all wives and mothers as well. I can't say that is true for the male students in our class.

What I can say is this. I am glad my career didn't peak in my twenties as the favorite TA in a drawing class.

Joyce Owens said...

Ingrid, right!

The point is making art because you LOVE doing it. I don't despair as long as I am productive.

Donna, we do in the end have to figure this out for ourselves since it is the individual voice that resonates, not the cloned one. You are lucky to get good advice early rather than late.
I was with all male professors and only one other female painter in grad school.

As we know "artist" is an around-the-clock gig. When people get giddy 'cause it's Friday, I simply blink. The day doesn't matter. For us, this is a lifestyle.

I think we agree that women should be able to have the same lives the men do, that includes partners and children AND careers.

We have to just take that life. No one's gonna hand it to us!

Supria Karmakar said...

I am a woman of colour, middle-age ...and now a full time artist for the last two years...before this career, I was a full-time social worker...and I am a feminist...I did a lot of work in the field working with women and children, and justice and equality issues particularly around sexism, homophopia, & racism etc...All of which are still very much alive..despite the great work of many feminists before us.

The issue today for me as a woman of colour artist....being in this new field, is that I am sadly reminded that I am still going to need to do the fight, in this field too..it crosses sectors, fields and permeates all areas of our lives....For me though this is not a new realization, it can still be disheartening... I feel like I am starting all over again arggh........or that the issues of sexism, racism and homophobia, ageism...the list goes on are still SO prevalent...
At the beginning of my art making days as a career path...
I went through a period where I created a body of work that reflected by culture...and heard that the pieces were "too ethnic" to sell...etc.
I also find much like the norm...finding a voice as an East Indian woman difficult unless I am in the 'right' community...what is that about? what does that mean? My art would only sell to an East Indian community...?

Though, viewers appreciated this earlier body of work, (I think)...but the sales would not necessarily reflect that appreciation....hence, I find that age old battle playing out in my head..do I create art to live or live to create art...do I fulfil my heart's calling and be authentic to my art making or do I figure out a way to make the moola?
Sadly to say I have felt I am creating somewhere inbetween these day.....depends on what voice is winning the moment I suppose....

Also, I realize that this is really how I can be a part of the solution...If I were to create from that space of myself, representing my culture...etc..then perhaps more viewers will be exposed to this cultural work..also it would mean that this work is out there in the world perhaps..vs. the mainstream images we are fed, exposed too....

So thanks for the reminder Joanne, this resonated deeply with me..and I do think I need to create from a place of myself, my culture, my true essence...and hopefully the net will appear as well.... : )

Anonymous said...

Supria talks about having to start over in a new career and still being faced with isms. In my career as an artist, I was (and am) well aware of sexism. But at a certain point in my life I realized I crossed a threshold and that my age attracted a new ism. Oh, shit. The isms never go away unless somehow you can become famous before you get old and despite being a woman and an artist of color.

Eva said...

I was lucky enough to have Agnes Martin as a teacher when I was 20. At the time I found her a contradiction. From the outside she had this spiritual persona but when she came to talk to me one on one she always gave me potent, business-like advice.

I think that above comment was really illuminating - because we do tend to romanticise and spiritualize the art career, especially a woman artist + an abstract one to boot. But "the church" becomes a business if it is to succeed. I have wondered about that ....as regards Agnes Martin. Thanks Stephanie!

Anonymous said...

What would be the ISM word for self pitiful?
No, I am serious... I would think (as a old gay hispanic male) that we do make excuses to justify our self failure and we might be hidding behing an ISM.
On the other hand, I do understand what it is to confront all those ISMs. I am not an arts bachelor, I do work producing art only because I love to do it. It does not feed me, so I have to have a job. I would like to do it for a living but it will not make a living for me. So, then I keep on going only for the love of it.
Sorry, I am not trying to rant, I am trying to make myself aware that against all ISM I would like to think that there are things that I can do to continue persuing a carreer as an artist even that I do not hold a college title to avail me.
I hope I made my point in a positive way...

Joanne Mattera said...

Anonymous 2:29,

You are not ranting. You raise an interesting point, self pity, though that's not the case in the examples or responses here. (If anything, that was the emotion my straight white male friend exhibited, the man I mentioned at the beginning of the post, who looked to everyone else and complained that they were getting more than he.) Certainly you're not getting self pity from me and my writing, because that's an emotion that does not exist in my world view, so by extension it doesn't exist in this blog.

But isms ARE real. Sexism, racism, ageism, and all the others. It's not self pity to acknowledge them, to be angry at them and to focus on going around them, climbing over them or busting through them. That's self empowerment.

But you have to acknowledge the issue first so you know what you're dealing with, and you have to bring up the issue with othes so that you know you're not alone. That's also self empowerment.

Eva said...

I love you Joanne, nailing it!

Donna Dodson said...

I think the art market can perpetuate -isms and the status quo. I remember my art teacher saying sometimes you have to wait for the art world and the art market to come around to what you are doing- in the same way that social progress in relation to feminism, sexism, racism, etc... takes time. an interesting thought..

Jackie said...

I'm a young, white, female artist going to Moore College of Art, an all-women's art school in Philadelphia. So you can be assured I've done my share of thinking about what it means to be a woman and an artist and how I got to be so lucky to be both and not be harassed for it.
My predominant concern is that my peers have not given the same thought to their fortune in having somewhat equal footing as men (and academically trained, established artists) as they start their art careers. Feminism is often regarded as an ugly, scary word at my school, and I suspect it is because the term is so broad, so difficult to pin down, and carries so much radical baggage that not many want to deal with it and many are scared of being associated with it.
I think there is still a place for feminist activity today, in the art world and (especially?) in social contexts. It is precisely women's growing distaste for the term and self-induced distance from the movement that create a need for re-education in the territory our grandmothers pioneered to our benefit. One should always recognize the people responsible for one's successes.

While, as far as I understand the art world, emerging artists have little to worry about where gender is concerned, I think there is still work to be done in the business of inserting women into the canon of art history taught in our schools, through the more established museums, and in the biography shelf in the art sections at Borders and Barnes and Noble. It is the business of young female artists to make art history as much theirs as it is their grandfather's.

Finally, I think there is still the problem of women today misreading the messages and gifts of our foremothers. Women's libbers did not intend for their daughters to feel the pressure I think we feel today to accomplish what is prescribed in the media. I think many women feel they are meant to be able to have a successful relationship, have children, have their Masters, have an up to date material culture, and have their dream career. But I think those women are missing the point of all the work those radical feminists did to pave the way for us: our freedom is not maintained by doing everything, but rather by doing what we choose to do. I think the definitions of happiness, success, choice, and freedom are getting muddled, in part because young women are not examining our place in today's society.