Korsmeyer, Carolyn. Gender and Aesthetics: An Introduction
2004, London: Psychology Press.
Added by: Simon Fokt
Publisher's note: Feminist approaches to art are extremely influential and widely studied across a variety of disciplines, including art theory, cultural and visual studies, and philosophy. Gender and Aesthetics is an introduction to the major theories and thinkers within art and aesthetics from a philosophical perspective, carefully introducing and examining the role that gender plays in forming ideas about art. It is ideal for anyone coming to the topic for the first time. Organized thematically, the book introduces in clear language the most important topics within feminist aesthetics:
- Why were there so few women painters?
- Art, pleasure and beauty
- Music, literature and painting
- The role of gender in taste and food
- What is art and who is an artist?
- Disgust and the sublime.
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Comment: Chapter 5 is particularly useful in teaching on art theories. It offers an interesting review of art theories from a feminist perspective, noting the gendered character of existing definitions. It may be good to teach it alongside Brand's ‘Glaring Omissions in Traditional Theories of Art’ to best bring out these issues. Secondly, it inspires the question: given the problematic exclusionary character of art history and theory, would it not be better if we did not have a definition of art which we can use to exclude? The value of the feminist art discussed in the chapter lies largely in its ability to expose the biases present in the artworld and expressed in theories of art. Thus the fact that artists tend to create works which challenge existing theories might be in fact desirable.