Cindy_Sherman_335
Cindy Sherman, Untitled (detail), 1975/2004. Courtesy of the artist and Metro Pictures

But back in early May, when I first heard about MoMA’s “Modern Women’s Project,” presumably designed to redress the problem, I thought it was — frankly — stupid. According to published reports, MoMA’s project involves a series of exhibitions showing work by female artists and a book called “Women Artists in the Collection of the Museum of Modern Art.” So the way MoMA shows that it is an equal-opportunity exhibitor/collector is to create a ghetto for women artists?

That’s certainly not the way I would approach the problem. Morgan Freeman’s famous remark calling the idea of a month dedicated to black history “ridiculous” came immediately to my mind: “I don’t want a black history month. Black history is American history,” he said.

And I don’t want “women artists’ shows” — if curators can’t find women, in this day and age, whose art measures up to, or exceeds, work being created by men, they’re not doing their jobs.

Nor do I want shows that herald an artist who happens to be female as a woman artist — as if that in itself were a valorous and courageous thing to do.

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Judith H. Dobrzynski
Real Clear Arts

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