A drawing of a Young Woman with long hair reclining on a chaise lounge, propping up her head with her hand i Berthe Morisot (1841-1895), Young Woman reclining (Jeune Femme au Repos), 1889, The Courtauld, London (Samuel Courtauld Trust) © The Courtauld

Re-Framing: Modern and Contemporary Art by Women 1870s to Today

On campus and online

Summer term
Tuesday 23 April – Tuesday 21 May 2024, 19:00
On campus
Wednesday 1 May – Wednesday 29 May 2024, 20:00 [London time]

In London alone, the last few years have seen an unprecedented number of exhibitions in major public galleries dedicated to the contribution of women not only to artmaking, but to the shaping of respective art worlds more widely. Many more such exhibitions are in preparation at the time of writing, including a major survey at Tate, Women in Revolt! Art, Activism and the Women’s movement in the UK 1970-1990 (8 Nov 2023-7 April 2024.

Representations have ranged from the monographic-thematic, such as Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism (31 March – 10 Sept 2023, Dulwich Picture Gallery) and Claudette Johnson: Presence (29 September 2023 – 14 January 2024, The Courtauld) to a focus on women’s networks, and to comprehensive surveys, like the Whitechapel Art Gallery’s recent Action, Gesture, Paint: Women Artists and Global Abstraction 1904-70 (7 Feb – 9 May 2023).

Based on selected case studies drawn from such relevant exhibitions, our summer term lectures explore some of the theoretical and curatorial approaches underpinning the framing and staging of the work of women in the visual arts.  Our investigation will also focus on the formative role of far-sighted curators, critics, and collectors, and on the essential support given to emerging women artists by commissioning and exhibiting spaces like London’s Chisenhale Gallery. To give our investigation a meaningful historical framework, we shall focus on modern and contemporary art only.   More than half a century on from the first appearance of feminist art historian Linda Nochlin’s foundational essay ‘Why have there been no Great Women Artists?’, one of the most basic questions we might ask is why we still employ the qualifying expression ‘woman artist’, – as if ‘the artist’ is, by default, male.  Alongside our exploration of current feminist theory (and its intersections with other forms of thinking, including critical race theory and postcolonial and decolonial theories) and of curatorial practice, of emerging new canons, and shifts in our evaluation of artistic media, we shall, of course, also encounter in depth the work of a variety of exciting practitioners.

Our speakers: Dr Catherine Grant, Dr Lois Oliver, Marlene Smith, Laura Smith, Linsey Young, Amrita Dhallu.
Moderator: Dr Anne Puetz


Course delivery details

This programme is delivered both on campus and online.
On-campus course delivery: lectures are at our Vernon Square campus at 19:00, followed by discussion and drinks, pre-course and further reading, and handout materials on our Virtual Learning Environment.
Online course delivery: this online lecture series consists of pre-recorded lectures, released weekly over 5 weeks, and each lecture viewable for a fortnight; pre-course and further reading, handout materials and a discussion forum on our Virtual Learning Environment; live Q&As for each lecture, delivered via Zoom on Wednesdays at 20:00 [London time].