Maria Antonietta Trasforini

Artiste in campo. Una professione tra genio, talento e storia dell'arte

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The artistic field - as a professional social space - can be seen as the result of a complex negotiation whereby social actors try to define a symbolic object (art) and a social identity - (the artist). In this social competition gender plays an essential role, even when ignored. As recent history of art shows, in the past there have been many women artists, talented but excluded from social memory. Gender analysis, applied to past and contemporary art worlds, shows "talent" and "genius" as social and situated constructions having relevant social and professional effects. In particular, the focus is on how institutional gatekeepers "create" and define artists, giving them the resources to produce art; how classification in the arts is gendered (i.e. the link between fine arts and men-artists, crafts and women artists), and how, in the History of Art, "who tells the 'story' is relevant". Finally, gender analysis proposes the deconstruction of social places where men and women artists produce and shape their "artistic way".

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