For decades, feminists have challenged the art world to open up galleries and museums to women artists. While nominal progress has been made, many major institutions still show a disproportionate amount of work by male artists. This disparity is one of many reasons critics Eleanor Heartney and Nancy Princenthal and curators Helaine Posner and Sue Scott co-authored The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium, a profile of 24 artists that some have described as a new canon -- a term the writers resist.
In advance of their appearance at Anderson Ranch, Westword talked with Scott about the book, the state of feminism and the struggles and successes of women in the art world.
Westword: Talk about what you're going to be doing at Anderson Ranch?
Sue Scott: I'm coming there with three of my colleagues. It's for the second book that we've written. This one is called The Reckoning: Women Artists of the New Millennium. This is our second time to Anderson Ranch. We came for the first time with our first book: After the Revolution: Women Who Transformed Contemporary Art. That came out in 2008, and this book came out last September.
Talk about the book? This book looks at 24 women artists born after 1960. We've divided them into categories of our making--not something that they necessarily say they fit in. We looked at four seminal exhibitions or occurrences or works from the feminist movement. Each of us wrote about that section, and we all divided the artists up and wrote about them, regardless of which section they were in.
For instance, Helaine Posner wrote "History Lessons," and her take off of Nancy Spero. Mine is "Domestic Disturbances," and my take off is Womanhouse in 1972, in Chicago, with Judy Chicago and Miriam Schapiro. The section called "Spellbound" was written by Nancy Princenthal, and has a take off of Louise Bourgeois. And then "Bad Girls," which was written by Eleanor Heartney, is a take off the famous Linda Benglis ad in Art Forum.
Read on for more from Sue Scott.