The artist is the medium of her medium; her part is limited to selecting aesthetically acceptable affects from the purely accidental behavior of her color. — Harold Rosenberg on Helen Frankenthaler, ‘Art and Words’ in The Re-Definition of Art, 1972.
is manifestly that of a woman... What she took from [Pollock] was masculine; the almost hard-edge, linear splashes of duco enamel. What she made with it was distinctly feminine, the broad, bleeding-edged stain on raw linen.
at the intersection between two quite separate perceptions — the public world of news, current affairs and media chat, and the private word of life as it is lived. In this, pop’s perennial concentration on love is only the most obvious sign of its intention to make the private public. Hence also its flagrant concerns with sex and gender.7
1 ‘Historical knowledge,’ writes George Kubler in The Shape of Things, ‘consists of transmissions which the sender, the signal, and the receiver are all variable elements affecting the stability of the message.’ He goes on: ‘Since the receiver of a signal becomes its sender in the normal course of historical transmission (e.g. the discoverer of a document usually is its editor), we may treat receivers and senders together under the heading of relays. Each relay is the occasion of some deformation in the original signal.’ — George Kubler, (1962/2008) The Shape of Things: Remarks on the History of Things, Yale University Press, p.19.
2. Scented products, such as toothpaste, hair gel and shampoo, and particularly perfume, are other means by which Scott’s work becomes spatialised. As the critic Alice Hattrick recently argued: ‘Perfume speaks the body. Wearing perfume you can be more than yourself. You can exceed your limits.’ See/listen to CAR podcast All Over You (2014): https://soundcloud.com/car_rca/car-15-all-over-you.
3. Lisa Saltzman, ‘Reconsidering the Stain: On Gender and Body in Helen Frankenthaler’s Painting’ in Reclaiming Female Agency: Feminist Art History After Postmodernism, Eds. Norma Broude and Mary D. Garrard (2005) Berkeley: University of California Press, p.376.
4. The curator Shama Khanna proposes ‘flatness’ as a general rubric for the dehierarchising of political and social life, ushered in by screens plus network culture.
5. In 2008 Annie Fletcher and others co-authored Cooling-Out: On The Paradox of Feminism, a book that addressed a perceived disinterest of young women toward the ideas and forms of Feminism, ‘resulting from a lack of palpable aims on the one hand and the acceptance of existing structures on the other’. I see less evidence of this today within my own East London artistic community. There are many feminist artist reading groups in East London (which I acknowledge is a very specific context), while feminism has a very visible presence in the mainstream media.
6. See ‘Abject Craft: Mike Kelley and Tracey Emin’ in Glenn Adamson (2007) Thinking Through Craft, Berg.
7. Jon Savage, ‘The simple things you see are all complicated’ in The Faber Book of Pop, Eds. Hanif Kureishi and Jon Savage (1995) Faber & Faber, p. xxxii.