Outsider Art

Fernanda Eberstadt in The New York Times:

ArtIn the 1980s, a series of posters began appearing on the streets of New York. The most arresting one — a yellow-and-crimson image of Ingres’s “Odalisque” wearing a gorilla mask that demanded, “Do women have to be naked to get into the Met. Museum?” — informed the viewer that “less than 5 percent of the artists in the Modern Art sections are women, but 85 percent of the nudes are female.”

“The Blazing World,” Siri Hustvedt’s sixth novel, plays on the same art-world gender bias as this protest campaign by a group called the Guerrilla Girls. Harriet Burden, Hustvedt’s pugnacious heroine, is an artist whose phantasmagoric multimedia installations, created from the 1970s to her death in 2004, have never received the acclaim they deserve. “The Blazing World,” presented as a posthumous sampler of Burden’s diaries, critics’ discussions of her work and interviews with her family, friends and collaborators, is a portrait of a creative titan whose career and reputation have seemingly been blighted by the art establishment’s ingrained sexism.

More here.