World It’s Time We Break Up the Art Boys Club Once and For All
The Redcliffe Dolphins' fairytale journey to the NRL
It's been a 74-year-long tale of wins, losses, resurgence from bad bank balances, and the tireless devotion of generations that has culminated in a fairytale new chapter for a team once called "Shellgrit".A team which made its home on the site of a redeveloped dump.
At a recent dinner party, when the woman sitting across from me asked about my work, I said I’d just finished writing a biography of the American painter. Assuming that she, like most people outside the art world, wouldn’t recognize his name, I explained he was famous as a globe-trotting artist with studios on three continents. He brought Abstract Expressionism to Europe and then Japan. Back in the late 1950s, his luminous paintings commanded higher prices than .
However, fame and stature were not the focus of her inquiry. She leaned in close, fixed me with a stern gaze, and said, “Why write about a man? I hope your next book will be a woman’s story.”
Chicago museum fires all of it's mostly White female, financially well-off docents for lack of diversity
The Art Institute of Chicago fired all of its trained volunteers and guides last month, who were mostly older White women, in order to diversify its team."We were surprised, we were disappointed," Gigi Vaffis, president of the docent council, said in an interview with radio station WBEZ of the firings. "There is an army of very highly skilled docents that are willing and ready and able to continue with arts education.
Because I’m a woman? I wanted to ask. Must I write only about my own gender?
While I took offense, her suggestion was perfectly reasonable, even necessary. Because it’s true, writing about a woman might help even the score. Women are still underrepresented in history, especially in art history, a discipline established by men in 19th century Europe. During the period Francis painted—the raucous, abstract, boys club of the mid-20th century—the work of female artists was diminished or ignored. Even today, the disparity continues. A painting by a woman will sell at auction for substantially less than similar work by her male counterpart—42.1 percent lower, according to a recent study published in the. In the most current edition of H.W. Janson’s canonical art history text, A Basic History of Western Art, . This is progress. In 1980 that same book included none!
Indigenous art funding boost to roll out QR codes so customers can check authenticity of works
The federal government boosts funding for the Indigenous arts sector, including money to roll out QR codes that will allow customers to check the authenticity and cultural significance of artwork and products. Up to 80 remote and regional Indigenous arts centres will be helped to connect to the National Broadband Network (NBN) and be provided with equipment and training from March next year, in a bid to get communities access to potentially lucrative online markets.
Back in 2015, when I began researching my book, the lens of the art world was starting to widen (albeit slowly) to include women, non-white, and non-Western artists. For the six years I researched and wrote, a period that coincided with the #MeToo movement, I asked myself a version of my dinner partner’s question many times. Why was I, a female in the 21st century, interested in writing a biography of a male artist? Though this would be the first full-length biography of Francis, I couldn’t help but wonder whether my focus somehow contributed to what the art critic Linda Nochlin described in her infamous 1971 essay "" as perpetuating “white Western male viewpoint as the only viewpoint.”
One of Nochlin’s central arguments, one that shaped my thinking as is relevant to the discussion of any historical field, is that it is not enough to rehabilitate the critically neglected or forgotten. It is not enough, as my dinner partner suggested, just to focus on the unknown woman. Our ideas of greatness are based on fabulist creation stories mostly written by men. It is these ideas that need to be re-examined and questioned. Superficially, in the case of art history, that mythical God-like figures create great works of art.
Jackie Gillies was 'freaking out' about birth
Jackie Gillies and her husband Ben welcomed twins over the weekend following a rough fertility journey. Now, the leading psychic and Real Housewives of Melbourne star has opened up to fans about the delivery and her first few days as a mum. Recording an episode of her Shine It Up podcast, Jackie shared her birth story with fans - describing the experience with her signature sense of humour and honesty. "This is the most exciting episode I think I'll ever record," Jackie said from her hospital bed.
Francis’s story, one that I’d heard as a child, was a near-perfect illustration of this belief. A friend of my father’s, Francis was known in our home as the airplane pilot who crashed out of the sky, rose from the fiery wreckage of his airplane, taught himself to paint, and was reborn as an artist who depicted the heavens. Though as a child I’d loved this mythical tale, even then there was something that didn’t ring true.
Initially, I’d set out to unravel Francis’ dramatic life. At 12, he lost his mother, then accidentally shot and killed his best friend in an April Fool’s joke gone horribly, tragically awry. In his twenties, suffering from spinal tuberculosis, he taught himself to paint while encased for three years in a full-body plaster cast. I wanted to know how this artist transformed grief and pain and into luminous, euphoric paintings—because he did. He recovered and went on to marry five times, to live in post-war Paris and contemporary Tokyo. To eventually settle in Los Angeles and help establish one of the first contemporary art museums in the country.
White volunteers were fired at Chicago museum
The museum hired The Equity Project, a consulting firm, which said the docent program would skew too much towards wealthy white women, with barriers preventing people of color from entering.Even worse, the mostly elderly docents, who are well-versed on the the exhibits at nearly 150-year-old museum on Lake Michigan, were terminated by email on Sept 3 because it wanted to 'rebuild our program from the ground up.
However, a year into my research, I discovered that much of the information that had been repeated for nearly half a century was false. Francis lied about crashing his plane, and all the male art historians who wrote about him repeated this false story. This surprising turn of events was where Francis’ life became richer and even more interesting to me. I wanted to understand why truth morphed into fabrication. His personality, successes, messianic achievements, and self-mythologizing embodied the inflated sense of superiority prevalent in the booming expansionism of postwar America.
Growing up, I’d met Francis, and our home was filled with his monumental paintings. My father was an art historian and part of the same art-world boys club as Francis. Like Francis, he married five times. Theirs was a world that was both intimate and strange to me—a world I was close to, next to, but not inside. Not being a male, not being an artist, I’ve spent my life in a realm that is barely separate yet emphatically other. It was this very contradiction—the desire to get under Francis’ skin, but as a woman—that I wanted to explore. Who were these men who shaped not just my history but the history of 20th-century art? Who were they really?
By its nature, biography examines lives from the outside looking in. I would argue that the position of someone of a different gender permits a unique, maybe even keener vantage point. Like a visitor from a foreign country who sees the familiar anew, I was awake to the difference between myself and my subject. I was more inclined to question hyperbole, less likely to give excessive womanizing a shrug. Perhaps a male author wouldn’t have interrogated Francis’ self-mythologizing and restlessness as I did. Or, as in the case of Blake Bailey’s biography of Philip Roth, he wouldn’t have brought a critical eye to misogynistic conduct but instead would have indulged and echoed it. As a female biographer, I was not a voyeur to Francis’ behavior or a comrade to his exploits. I was an outsider intent on revealing Francis and his cultural era with all the nuance and integrity I could muster.
Nochlin’s essay set in motion changes we are only now seeing begin to shift. Without it, I might not have questioned the narrative of Francis’s life. If men’s stories are told only by men, and women’s stories are told only by women, then the lens we have been struggling to expand over the last 50 years will narrow down to the scant few names we already know. Art allows us to venture out of our silos, or at the very least, to examine our silos for their limited confines. Shouldn’t the biography of an artist challenge us to do the same?
Praise to St Brigid, Woollahra gets new permanent art gallery .
It's been a library, family home and the headquarters for an espionage inquiry, now St Brigid's will open as a permanent public art gallery.As fate would have it, the former local library where Goldspink first read about art decades ago re-opens on Thursday as a permanent and public art gallery and cultural hub, known as the Woollahra Gallery at Redleaf.