This article is a reflection on two intersecting themes, the rise of women as artists and as female subjects for art, in the context of the evolving status of women in twentieth-century China. Set in the context of the nascent modern education for women and the emergence of feminism, the two phenomena, like the art world itself, are primarily urban. After surveying the accelerating progress made between 1910 and 1940, it interrogates, in light of contemporary art world patterns and current definitions of feminism, the slowing and even regression in recognition of women as artists in subsequent years.
Women Artists in Twentieth-Century China: A Prehistory of the Contemporary
Julia F. Andrews is Distinguished University Professor in the Department of History of Art at Ohio State University. Her book Painters and Politics in the People’s Republic of China, 1949–1979 (1994) won the Joseph Levenson Book Prize, and her Art of Modern China (with Kuiyi Shen, 2012) was awarded the Humanities Book Prize of the International Convention of Asia Scholars. Exhibition catalogues by Andrews and Shen include A Century in Crisis: Modernity and Tradition in the Art of Twentieth-Century China (Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, 1998) and Painting Her Way: The Art of Fang Zhaoling (Asia Society, Hong Kong Center, 2017).
Julia F. Andrews; Women Artists in Twentieth-Century China: A Prehistory of the Contemporary. positions 1 February 2020; 28 (1): 19–64. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/10679847-7913041
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