In Venus in Exile famend cultural critic Wendy Steiner explores the 20 th century’s troubled relationship with magnificence. Disdained by avant-garde artists, feminists, and activists, beauty and its major symbols of artworkâ€”the female topic and decorationâ€”turned modernist taboos. To today it’s hard to champion magnificence in art without sounding aesthetically or politically retrograde. Steiner argues as an alternative that the expertise of magnificence is a form of communication, a topic-object interchange by which discovering someone or something beautiful is at the same time recognizing beauty in oneself. This idea has led artists and writers corresponding to Marlene Dumas, Christopher Bram, and Cindy Sherman to focus on the long-ignored figure of the mannequin, who operate in artwork as both a topic and an object.
The choice for artwork over nature in early modernism thus reveals a misogynistic dimension that is intimately linked to, rather than dissolved by, its parodistic and antirealist … Read More