Katy Deepwell


This paper addresses the ways in which women artists in modernism were frequently marked as “exceptional” and “other” to mainstream configurations of modern art (until the 1960s) and how in debates about globalisation (since then) their very strong presence had come to signify a “not-All” – an unremarkable event, something to be eliminated from view, debate or discussion - even though for the first time in history women’s presence in the art world was nearing 40-50% of all exhibitors and women artists were most commonly taken to be the symptomatic examples of contemporary art. The transitional moment of both feminism and postmodernism is eclipsed in these constructions and debates about globalisation which use this distinction with modern art and thereby conveniently ignore feminism and postmodernism. Women artists become framed in a transnational and multicultural “Otherness” and the symptomatic example of contemporary art and globalisation for this reason and specifically without reference to feminist debates.The paper identifies a very important contrast in the reception of women artists as the first configuration (exceptional, rare, and “other”) continues to affect media and popular perceptions of women artists, while the actual remarkable and truly exceptional reality of the normalisation of women artists goes unremarked upon – i.e. is wiped from public consciousness and debates about globalisation in academic circles (a “not-All” to the dominant symbolic order – using a Lacanian concept of Zizek’s).

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1344/regac2014.1.11

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