The focus of this project thesis is maternal subjectivity in contemporary art. Despite the embedded theme of mother and child in the history of Western art, the subject of children and motherhood has become taboo. Likewise, a stigma exists in the art world about mothers being artists. This thesis explains the historical context that created the current art world paradigmone that still embraces romantic notions of who can be an artist, based on limiting traditional ideas of "greatness" or "genius." Such a model suppresses the voice of the outsider. This essay examines the mother as an outsider in artmaking by considering the idealized beliefs that being an artist and being a mother are each singular, all-consuming, and mutually exclusive endeavors. Deconstruction of these perceptions makes room for maternal influences in artmaking and helps to create an alternative episteme for evaluating visual art. Intact, the project exhibition that corresponds to this essay is part of a new episteme that allows for meaning to be discovered in works of art that deal with everyday experience and motherhood.
Reid, H. L. (2016). Maternal Subjectivity in Painting: A Response to the Idealization of Artists and Mothers(Master’s thesis). Wright State University, Dayton, Ohio.
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