‘Uninvited Guests’

Carlos G. Navarro, curator of “Uninvited Guests,” the Prado’s first post-lockdown exhibition, says it’s “partly an act of self-criticism” for the museum’s complicity in neglect of 19th-century female artists.

Of 130 works displayed, 60 are by women. One wonders why not more.

The Guardian illustrates its article with two whole paintings by men and detail of one woman’s painting.

One wonders why not a whole woman’s painting. Or even two?

“I’d like there to be a debate about… how we represent the profile of 19th-century female artists in the museum,” he said…. What do we do with the pictures of the girls, or the ones of the slaves? Our stores are full of these kinds of images so what should we do with them?”

One wonders if an answer to the question is to take more of them out of storage and display them.

Navarro says that the 19th-century state “reduced [female artists] to decorative elements like still-life painters and flower painters.”

Yikes. One wonders at the reductive view of certain genres peeping out.

Ultimately, one wonders if the greater respect to be paid to woman-art by contrite museums is to free it from factitious gender silos and treat it simply as art.

(Sam Jones, “Prado’s first post-lockdown show reignites debate over misogyny,” theguardian.com, 10-18-20)

(c) 2020 JMN

About JMN

I live in Texas and devote much of my time to easel painting on an amateur basis. I stream a lot of music, mostly jazz, throughout the day, and watch Netflix and Prime Video for entertainment. I like to read and memorize poetry.
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