ABSTRACT

It seems almost too obvious to say that women making art negotiate the field of aesthetics, since any art-making by necessity must. But women’s engagement with aesthetics is far more intriguing than it first appears. Since the use of the term as we now know it emerged during the course of the late eighteenth century, philosophies of art, standards for evaluating artworks and our understanding of the sensory basis of knowledge itself, have carried with them the gender-biases of their historical frame. Conventionally, the disciplinary delineation of aesthetics has been particularly debilitating to women’s art practice, since its internal logic privileged masculine-normative concepts of art-making, value and knowledge.