Cindy Nemser, an art critic and historian who, half a century ago, began invoking sexism in the art world, looking at how women artists were treated and how their work was evaluated, He died on January 26 at his home in Brooklyn. She Was 83.
His daughter, Catherine Nemser, said the cause was pneumonia.
Ms. Nammers was already writing for art publications in 1969, when someone invited her to the initial meeting of women artists in the Revolution, a New York coalition that pushed back against marginalizing women in the art world. At that time some women had gallery representation or were being shown in major museums.
“A trip with that group changed my life,” Ms. Nemser recounted in an autobiographical essay. “I have become a feminist” to eradicate stereotypes about female artists and help raise their status.
Towards that end, in 1972 she and Patricia Menardi founded The Feminist Art Journal, which published essays, interviews, historical research, and correcting imbalances for the next five years. In an essay published in April 1972, the magazine was fearless about what Ms. Nimmers did, often in the name of nomenclature, and the excavation of its underlying assumptions.
“Art history and art criticism are almost unanimous in believing that if a female artist has any contact with a male artist, she is a husband, lover, friend or acquaintance, either her pupil or deeply under her influence, ” She wrote.
The article criticized the stuffy language that critics had long used to describe art by women – “unprovoked, mimicry, seductive, passive, emotional, parochialism, parochialism, selfish, spontaneous and original”. – He was associated with male projections. Physical differences between the sexes.
“Although some of these qualities are highly desirable,” she wrote, “so far our picture is so confused and conversely admirable.”
Ms. Neymar found that women artists often ignored those stereotypes and experienced low self-esteem.
“I felt I had to help women artists win their rightful place at the forefront of art history,” she said.
The result was “Art Talk”, her 1975 book of interviews with a dozen female artists, among them Alice Neil, Lee Gesner, Barbara Hepworth, Louise Nevelson and Eva Hayes. The book was re-released in 1996, adding three additional artists to Ms. Namser’s interview list of 1970s recordings.
“In addition to serving as an invaluable art-historical document,” Miriam Brumer rewrote in the news for female artists, “‘Art Talk’ provides a very enjoyable reading. With Nemsar her ever-vigilant and scrutinizing guide As in, these artists clearly emerge as (sometimes differently) breath-taking figures. “
Ms. Nemser wrote for numerous art and general-interest publications and frequently lectured at universities, museums, and conferences. Her severe criticism and schism led to a cynical streak that she would occasionally indulge in, as she did in an issue of The Feminist Art Journal in 1973, when she wrote “Little Got List” from Gilbert and Sullivan’s song “Mikado” List, “was praised. For the” victim “in the first line – as” piggy bank “- substituting” hunting “and checking out a pair of male art reviewers of the day:
Someday it may happen that a piggy bank is found,
I’ve got a little list – I’ve got a little list
Of male watchmen criminals who may go underground,
And who will never leave – who will never leave.
There are Kramers and Canadys who write for newspapers,
All the foolish sexist journalists who think of their capers,
All gallery dealers who are male and want to prick their thigh,
All the curators you meet, but we are looking for one person,
And all collectors who insist on men’s work,
Nobody will remember them – they won’t remember anyone!
Cecil Heller was born on March 26, 1937 in Brooklyn; His daughter said that she started using Cindy as a first name at the age of 12. His father, William, was the owner of the Paramount Metal Spinning and Stamping Company, and his mother, Helen (Nelson) Heller, was a housewife.
Cindy graduated from Midwood High School and graduated in education at Brooklyn College. In 1956, he s. Married to Namesar.
Ms. Nammers taught elementary school at Brooklyn College, taking night classes toward a master’s degree in literature, then in 1966 earned a second master’s degree at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts.
During an internship at the Museum of Modern Art, she began writing for art magazine, art in America and other publications. Later in his career he wrote about theater. Sometimes he changed hats and organized art exhibitions. “In Your Own Image” in 1974 at the Fleischer Art Memorial in Philadelphia and, after 33 years at the Tabla Rasa Gallery in Brooklyn, “Women’s Work: Housewives for Feminist Art”.
In addition to her daughter, Ms. Nameser is survived by her husband and a grandson.
For years, Alice Neil had been asking to paint a portrait of Ms. Nameser, and when Ms. Nemser gave the assurance in 1975, the artist surprised her by saying that she wanted to portray both her and her husband. When the two arrive at Ms. Neal’s apartment on a cold February day, Ms. Neil is kept away from her winter weather clothes.
“All those clothes,” Ms. Nemser recalled on her blog, “She looked at me as she looked at me.” “‘You are very fussy with all those layers of clothes and Mickey Mouse jewelry.” “
What would be the norm, Ms. Neil concluded, would be for them to lose clothes. All of them. She Wanted to paint them naked. Some conversation, and some clothing shedding, followed. Ms. Neil made a pact: Ms. Nemser might be in her underwear, her husband fully dressed.
“Forget that,” Ms. Nemser said. “I’ll look like a hooker in a bordeaux.”
“And so,” she recounted on her blog, “after an hour-and-a-half of deliberation, out of fear and doubts, I lay on Alice’s green silk-covered Empire-style couch next to my almost bare husband She was sitting naked, stripped only for her briefs. It seemed as if she was naked because in the pose we had taken I completely covered her genitalia. “
The resulting painting has been reproduced and displayed several times.