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Feminist Statements in the Critical Reception of Group Exhibitions by Croatian Women Artists

Ana Šeparović orcid id ; Leksikografski zavod "Miroslav Krleža"

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 157 Kb


str. 195-210

preuzimanja: 867



This paper discusses the reception discourse related to three waves of group exhibitions by Croatian women artists in the 20th century, with a focus on feminist strategies used in advocating and empowering women’s art. The considered body of texts includes reviews of the first exhibition – the Intimate Exhibition at the Spring Salon of 1916 – the exhibitions of the Club of Women Artists held in 1928-1940, and the exhibitions celebrating Women’s Day from 1960 until 1991. Although taking place in different circumstances and socio-political contexts, all these exhibitions generated public debates on art produced by women, and although they provoked misogynous and anti-feminist statements, they also resulted in openly feminist voices of authors such as Roksana Cuvaj, Zdenka Marković, Marija Hanževački, Verena Han, Nasta Rojc, Zofka Kveder, and others. Based on historiographical sources and texts from the field of feminist theory, this analysis of the art-critical corpus has identified the main strongholds of feminist discourse: disclosure of misogyny and its sources in public opinion and prejudice, critique of the social construction of female inferiority, research on women’s art history, endorsement and praise of female art, and so on. It was these feminist statements that enhanced creative self-awareness in women artists and also slowly tamed the society by getting it used to their presence, leading to the gradual suppression of stereotypes and slow dissolution of the dominant patriarchal matrix in Croatian art during the 20th century.

Ključne riječi

feminism; anti-feminism; art criticism; Intimate Exhibition at the Spring Salon; Club of Women Artists; exhibitions celebrating Women’s Day

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