Title

Carrie Mae Weems: The African American Female Nude is "Not Manet’s Type"

Lead Author Major

Pre-Dentistry

Format

Oral Presentation

Faculty Mentor Name

Merrill Schleier

Faculty Mentor Department

Visual Arts

Abstract/Artist Statement

In Not Manet’s Type (1997), photographer Carrie Mae Weems references artists Edouard Manet, Marcel Duchamp, and Pablo Picasso to argue that women of color have been marginalized as objects, models, and muses in the Art History canon. The few portrayals of African women as nudes have been overly eroticized and primitivized, as seen in Picasso’s work. Weems employs herself as both subject and artist to claim that women of color are capable of creating art, thus influencing viewers’ perception of their work. I use comparative art historical analysis by gauging the artists that Weems refers to in Not Manet’s Type to argue that white male artists have failed to portray women of color as subjects and creators in their own right. Weems uses herself as the subject in several of her artworks, which critiques the dearth of women of color as subjects and creators. I use formal analysis to explore how light and space in Not Manet’s Type make a statement on the dehumanization and eroticization of women of color in Art History. I use race and gender analysis to explore Weems’ reference to Manet’s Olympia (1863), which criticizes how the black maid acts as a counterpoint to the Caucasian woman’s sexuality. Similarly, Weems’ reference to Duchamp’s Etant donnés (1966) implies that women are objectified and reduced to their genitalia through a voyeuristic gaze. I also look at Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1906) as a work that propagates the dehumanizing stereotype that African women are barbaric and overtly sexual.

Location

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

Start Date

26-4-2014 9:00 AM

End Date

26-4-2014 12:00 PM

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Apr 26th, 9:00 AM Apr 26th, 12:00 PM

Carrie Mae Weems: The African American Female Nude is "Not Manet’s Type"

DeRosa University Center, Room 211

In Not Manet’s Type (1997), photographer Carrie Mae Weems references artists Edouard Manet, Marcel Duchamp, and Pablo Picasso to argue that women of color have been marginalized as objects, models, and muses in the Art History canon. The few portrayals of African women as nudes have been overly eroticized and primitivized, as seen in Picasso’s work. Weems employs herself as both subject and artist to claim that women of color are capable of creating art, thus influencing viewers’ perception of their work. I use comparative art historical analysis by gauging the artists that Weems refers to in Not Manet’s Type to argue that white male artists have failed to portray women of color as subjects and creators in their own right. Weems uses herself as the subject in several of her artworks, which critiques the dearth of women of color as subjects and creators. I use formal analysis to explore how light and space in Not Manet’s Type make a statement on the dehumanization and eroticization of women of color in Art History. I use race and gender analysis to explore Weems’ reference to Manet’s Olympia (1863), which criticizes how the black maid acts as a counterpoint to the Caucasian woman’s sexuality. Similarly, Weems’ reference to Duchamp’s Etant donnés (1966) implies that women are objectified and reduced to their genitalia through a voyeuristic gaze. I also look at Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d'Avignon (1906) as a work that propagates the dehumanizing stereotype that African women are barbaric and overtly sexual.