Feminisms in expanded fields: 50 years after “Why have there been no great women artists”

MODOS Journal (specialized publication in the field of Visual Arts)

Feminisms in expanded fields: 50 years after “Why have there been no great women artists” what are the impacts of feminism beyond the hegemonic centers?

In 1971, Linda Nochlin published the famous article “Why have there been no great women artists”, which constitutes a landmark for gender studies in the field of the arts. In 2021, this publication completed 50 years, whose international repercussion was large, but unequal. If the importance of feminism in countries like England and the USA is unquestionable (due to the way it is present in different generations of artists, especially from the 1970s onwards, as well as in critics and art institutions), this might not be the case in other geographical contexts. In Western Europe, the impacts and temporalities of feminism in the art world are uneven and their manifestations different than the ones described in Anglo-American canonical narratives. These differences have even more significant dimensions if we think of regions seen as “non-central”, such as Eastern Europe, Latin America, Africa, and Asia.

This dossier seeks to gather articles that debate, analyze and/or problematize the impacts of feminisms in the art system, notably in countries and regions less studied in scholarly literature. We intend to think on the reception, circulation, reinterpretation, importance, and even the weaknesses, resistance or rejection, of feminist proposals in countries outside the Anglo-American axis. We understand feminism as a plural and diverse field, which brings together multiple proposal and aesthetics, which vary according to the context in which they are produced and mobilized.

In order to contribute to this discussion, some thematic axes will be particularly prioritized:

  •  Has feminism contributed to transformations in the artistic system of a particular country or region? How does this occur in terms of female presence in institutions (museum collections, private collections) and in the art market?
  •  How are works by artists or groups of artists traversed by feminism?
  • Has feminism brought significant contributions to new interpretations, writings and narratives of art history and art criticism?
  •  Has feminism changed (or not) the work practices and power structures of the art system (such as the division and distribution of labour, the prestigious positions in museums, galleries, etc.)?
  • How was the reception, appropriation, and circulation of feminism in “non-central” countries? Which agents, institutions were important? Was feminism accepted or maybe rejected?
  •  Analysis of feminist exhibitions that impacted the artistic system: curatorship, reception, visibility of artists

Proposals/texts written in Portuguese, Spanish and English will be accepted.

Submission deadline: October 31, 2022.

Organizers: Ana Paula Cavalcanti Simioni (University of São Paulo ); Patricia Mayayo (Autonomous University of Madrid ).


27. April 2022


31. Oktober 2022