Part II: Alternate “Art Madness” lists

Louise Bourgeois, Cell (Glass, spheres and hands) 1990-1993 , Glass, marble, wood, metal and fabric Copyright Louise Bourgeois, 1990-1993/VAGA. Permission of Viscopy Ltd, Sydney 2000

Debate continued today about the male-dominated “Art Madness” competition created by Tyler Green on his ArtInfo blog, Modern Art Notes. Yesterday on Two Coats, artist Brian Dupont’s excellent essay addressed the implications of the Green Team’s nearly all-white-male selection, but Green suggested that complainers create their own lists (each of Green’s panelists selected 32 artworks) before casting stones. Green contended that the final list, which ranks the top sixty-four artworks created since 1945, is about artwork not artists, and that there just aren’t as many specific pieces by women artists that fall into the “masterpiece” category, thus there are more men. Study the lists below and one thing is clear: ranking artwork is about the people who are doing the ranking–not about the artwork itself. Note: If I get more lists, I’ll post them tomorrow. And I’ll continue adding links for the less familiar pieces listed.

Jennifer Dalton‘s List
Dalton (@jen_dalton on Twitter)  is the Brooklyn artist who began questioning Tyler Green’s list on Twitter earlier in the week.
This was a very productive exercise for me personally, and gave me an opportunity to think hard about what qualities I value in individual artworks, but I think that is all it does. These are the 32 most important individual artworks for me and my personal artistic practice that I can think of at this moment. As many others have said about this exercise, tomorrow it would likely be different.

The degree to which I resist calling these “the greatest works of art of the last 65 years” is the degree to which I would also challenge the lists of the “experts” on the same premise. This exercise exposes the false objectivity, false hierarchy and false certainty embedded in the narrative of greatness. In particular, the conception of artistic achievement in terms of single “master”pieces is a crucial flaw if the goal is to identify artistic importance. It privileges a certain type of brilliant, amazing and important work over other equally or even more important work in a way that does not feel truthful. I post this list as the fruit of my labor, but it is impossible for me to accept my own list of the “greatest” works that does not include Gerhard Richter, Mark Rothko, Alice Neel, or Donald Judd, just because I can’t pick one single work by these artists that has had as big an impact on me as the other more stand-alone works that clawed their way onto my list. So. That being said….

1. Felix Gonzalez-Torres “Portrait of Ross in LA
2. Ed Ruscha “Every Building on the Sunset Strip
3. Marina Abramovic “Rhythm O
4. James Turrell “Roden Crater” and I don’t care that it’s not finished
5. Robert Smithson “Spiral Jetty
6. Linda Montano & Tehching Hsieh “Art/Life (Year of the Rope)
7. Yoko Ono “Grapefruit
8. Shirin Neshat “Rapture
9. Chris Burden “Shoot
10. Damien Hirst “The Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone
11. Valie Export “Tap and Touch Cinema”
12. Duke Riley “Those About to Die Salute You”
13. Sophie Calle “Take Care of Yourself”
14. Jeff Koons “Puppy”
15. Cindy Sherman “Untitled Film Stills”
16. Andrea Fraser “Untitled”
17. Gordon Matta-Clark “Splitting”
18. Hans Haacke “Shapolsky et al. Manhattan Real Estate Holdings, A Real
Time Social System, as of May 1, 1971
19. Nancy Spero �The Torture of Women
20. Carolee Schneeman “Interior Scroll
21. Kara Walker “Presenting Negro Scenes Drawn Upon My Passage Through
the South and Reconfigured for the Benefit of Enlightened Audiences
Wherever Such May Be Found, By Myself, Missus K.E.B. Walker, Colored
22. Vito Acconci “Seedbed
23. William Kentridge “Felix in Exile
24. Christian Marclay “Video Quartet
25. Mierle Ukeles “Touch Sanitation
26. Mary Kelly “Post-Partum Document
27. Bruce Nauman “Live Taped Video Corridor
28. Tim Hawkinson “Signature Piece
29. Andy Warhol “Campbell’s Soup Cans
30. Hanne Darboven “Kulturgeschichte 1880-1983
31. Louise Lawler “The Tremaine Series
32. Olafur Eliasson “The Weather Project

Brian Dupont’s List
Brian (@BDPNT on Twitter) is the Brooklyn artist/blogger who penned the response to “Art Madness” posted at Two Coats yesterday.
1. Pollock �#32�
2. Judd �100 works in milled aluminum�
3. Ellsworth Kelly �La Combe�
4. Joseph Beuys �Arena�
5. Smithson �Spiral Jetty�
6. Gordon Matta-Clarke �Splitting�
7. DeKooning �Excavation�
8. Frank Stella �The Marriage of Reason and Squalor�
9. Cindy Sherman �Untitled Film Stills� *
10. Judd �Untitled 1962�
11. Serra �Belts�
12. Nauman �South American Triangle�
13. Roni Horn �Paired Mats � for Ross and Felix
14. Terry Winters �Good Government�
15. Brice Marden �The Grove Group� *
16. Gober �Silly Sink�
17. Richter �October 18th� *
18. Christopher Wool �Apocalypse Now�
19. Glen Ligon �Untitled (Text paintings)�*
20. Paul Thek �Technological Reliquaries� *
21. Matthew Barney �Cremaster 3�
22. Eva Hesse �Untitled 1970�
23. Catherine Opie �Untitled (Icehouse series)�*
24. Blinky Palermo �To the people of NYC�
25. L. Bourgeois �Spider� (1997)
26. Felix Gonzalez Torres �Untitled (Perfect Lovers)�
27. Nauman �Corrider Installation (Nick Wilder Installation)�
28. Flavin �Untitled (Marfa Project)� 1996
29. Barry LeVa �Continuous and Related Activities�
30. Maya Lin “Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial”
31. Julie Meheretu �Goldman Sachs Mural�
32. Wade Guyton �Untitled� (1997) (*kind of)

* Consideration of a series of works.

Hilary Robinson‘s List
AKA @ardmara, Robinson is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University, and edited Feminism-Art-Theory: An Anthology 1968-2000.

1. Feminist Art Program, Womanhouse 1972
2. Cindy Sherman, Film Stills 1977-80
3. Louise Bourgeois, Cells series 1984-?
4. Carolee Schneeman, Interior Scroll 1975
5.Nancy Spero, The Torture of Women 1974-6
6. Mary Kelly, Post Partum Document 1973-79
7. Shirin Neshat, Rapture 1999
8. Eva Hesse, Hang Up 1966
9. Judy Chicago, Dinner Party 1974-1979
10. Barbara Kruger, Untitled series 1980s
11. Valie Export, Genital Panic 1969
12. Diane Arbus, American Rites, manners and Customs 1963-7
13. Yoko Ono, Cut 1964
14. Martha Rosler, Semiotics of the Kitchen 1975
15. Jenny Holzer, Truisms 1977 on
16. Abramovic/Ulay, Rest Energy 1980
17. Rachel Whiteread, House 1993
18. Helen Frankenthaler, Mountains and Sea 1952
19. Shigeko Kubota, Vagina Painting 1965
20. Frida Kahlo, Moses 1945
21. Ana Mendieta, Silueta Series 1973-80
22. Tanja Ostosjic, Looking for a husband with an EU Passport 2000-5
23. Adrian Piper, Cornered 1988
24. Alice Neel, Andy Warhol 1970
25.Lee Miller, Buchenwald/Dachau photographs 1945
26. Kara Walker, My complement, my enemy 2007
27. Nancy Holt, Sun Tunnels 1976
28. Hanne Wilke, SOS Starification Object Series
29. Suzanne Lacy/Leslie Labowitz, In Mourning & in Rage
30. Maya Lin, Vietnam War Memorial
31. Carrie Mae Weems, Ain�t joking Series
32. Lynda Benglis, Artfoum Ad
(the arrrrghhh�.point)
33. Jenny Saville, Plan
34. Mona Hatoum, Measures of Distance
3. Mierle Ukeles, Sanitation
36. Helen Chadwick, Of Mutability
37. Jana Sterbak, Vanitas: Flesh Dress for an Albino Anorectic
38. Barbara Hepworth, Dag Hamerskjold memorial
39. Niki de St Phalle, Hon
40. Betye Saar, The Liberation of Aunt Jemima
41. Louise Nevelson, Sky Cathedral
42. Elizabeth Catlett, Homage to my Young Black Sisters
43. Milica Tomic, I am Milica Tomic
44. Zoe Leonard, Untitled Documenta installation
45. Eleanor Antin, Carving: A Traditional Sculpture
46. Sophie Calle, Suite Venitienne
47. Janine Antoni, Loving Care

Note: if Frida Kahlo�s Moses and Lee Miller�s photos are ineligible � both from 1945 � then just cut them out and put in no 33 and 34.

Michelle Vaughan‘s List
Vaughn, AKA @black_von, is a Brooklyn artist who blogs at The Black Von Scrolls.
This was HARD, but I gave a stab at it. I left out so many…
1. Jasper Johns – White Flag, 1955
2. Agnes Martin – Morning, 1965
3. Ed Ruscha – Standard Station, 1966
4. Gerhardt Richter – Uncle Rudi, 1965
5. Andy Warhol – Electric Chair, 1965
6. Mark Rothko – No. 1 (Black Form Paintings), 1964
7. Louise Bourgeois – Maman, 1999
8. Robert Smithson – Spiral Jetty, 1970
9. Francis Bacon – Pope Innocent, 1953
10. Eva Hesse – Chain Polymers, 1968
11. Sol Lewitt – Lines In Four Directions, Each A Quarter of A Square, 1969
12. Joseph Beuys – Infiltration for Piano, 1966
13. Richard Serra – Union of the Torus and the Sphere, 2001
14. Martin Kippenberger – Untitled, Lieber Maler, male mir�, 1983
15. Rebecca Horn – Concert for Anarchy, 1990
16. Martin Puryear – Ladder for Booker T. Washington, 1996
17. Yoko Ono – Cut Piece, 1964
18. Ed Kienholz – Back Seat Dodge 38′, 1964
19. Robert Frank – The Americans, 1955-59
20. Diane Arbus – Identical Twins, 1966
21. Nan Goldin – Jimmy Paulette + Taboo! In the bathroom, 1991
22. Cindy Sherman – Untitled Film Still, no. 92, 1981
23. Gerhard Richter – 256 Colours, 1974
24. Maurizio Cattelan – La Nona Ora, 1999
25. Andrea Zittel – A-Z Comfort Unit, (1994-95)
26. Alex Katz – The Cocktail Party, 1965
27. Donald Judd – 100 untitled works in mill aluminum, 1983-85
28. Michael Craig-Martin – An Oak Tree, 1973
29. Maya Lin – Vietnam Veteran’s War Memorial, 1982
30. Cornelia Parker – Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991
31. Lucien Freud – Reflection, 1985
32. Jenny Saville – Reverse, 2002-2003

Joanie Gagnon San Chirico‘s List
Gagnon San Chirico, AKA @JoanieStudio, makes art for public spaces. 
I know I have some somewhat unknown artists in here, but I think that’s important too since so many women artists were marginalized (and still are). My choices are about intent. I’ve seen many of these in person and they moved/influenced me. oh….plus 3 token men

1. Helen Frankenthaler, Trojan Gates 1955
2. Joan Mitchell, Ici 1992
3. Tacita Dean, Kodak 2006
4. Ursula von Rydingsvard, Tunnels on the Levee 1983
5. Eva Hesse, Spectres series paintings 1960
6. Ann Hamilton, Myein 1999
7. Grace Hartigan, Shinnecock Canal 1957
8. Alberto Burri, Matedi Grasso 1956
9. Agnes Martin, On a Clear Day 1967-1974
10. Robert Longo, Untitled (Cathedral of Light) 2008
11. Lee Bonticou, Untitled 1959
12. Louise Bourgeois, Maman 1999
13. Marina Abromivic, The Artist is Present 2010
14. Bridget Riley, Decending 1965
15. Mark Bradford, Analog 2004
16. Nancy Spero, Israeli Women Soldiers, 1966
17. Jane Frank, Aerial View No. 1 1968
18. Elaine DeKooning, Veronica 1960
19. Lee Krasner, White Squares 1948
20. Hannelore Baron, Untitled 1981
21. Ida Applebroog, Mother Mother I am Ill 1993
22. Hedda Sterne, Machine #5 1950
23. Yoko Ono, Cut Piece 1964
24. Pipilotti Rist, Himalaya’s Sister’s Living Room 2000
25. Alma Thomas, Red Azaleas Singing and Dancing Rock and Roll Music 1976
26. Joan Snyder. Vanishing Theatre/The Cut 1974
27. Judy Chicago, The Dinner Party 1974-1979
28. Louise Nevelson, Dream House XXXII, 1972
29. Tara Donovan, Haze 2003
30. Kara Walker, Slavery! Slavery! 1997
31. Jaune Quick-to-See Smith. Trade (Gifts for Trading Land with White People), 1992
32. Barbara Kruger Untitled (Your Body is a Battleground) 1989

A mashup of media, but all are important (to me).

Matthew Langley‘s List
Langley, AKA @MatthewLangley,  is a Brooklyn/DC artist who blogs at Matthew Langley Artblog
Here’s 32 from me – the whole “masterpiece” thing is a real hang up, especially when it comes to anything after 1970. Anyway, do with this as you will…

Jennifer Bartlett – Rhapsody
Sherrie Levine – After Walker Evans
Barbara Kruger – your gaze hits the side of my face
Jenny Holzer – truisms
Pat Steir – The Brueghel Series (A Vanitas of Style)
Anne Truitt – Knights Heritage
Georgia O’Keefe – Abstraction Blue
Susan Rothenberg – Butterfly
Judy Pfaff – Painted Forms: Recent Metal Sculpture, Installation, Whitney 1978
Lee Krasner – white squares
Joan Mitchell – Chord IIV
Magdalena Abakanowicz – Four on a bench
Alice Aycock – Low Building with Dirt Roof
Nancy Holt – Sun Tunnels
Cindy Sherman – Untitled Film Stills
Gorilla girls – Do women have to be naked…
Maya Lin – Vietnam Memorial
Alice Neal – Portrait of Andy
Laurie Anderson – America Parts I – IV
Rachel Whiteread – House
Diane Arbus – Twins
Nan Goldin – The Ballad of Sexual Dependency
Sally Mann – Immediate Family
Agnes Martin – Untitled
Kiki Smith – Standing
Linda Benglis – Artforum Advertisement
Kara Walker – My Complement, My Oppressor, My Enemy, My Love
Louise Bourgeois – spider
Helen Frankenthaler – Mountains and Sea
Jo Baer – Rook
Jackie Winsor – Burnt Piece
Eva Hesse – Repetition Nineteen

Maritza Ruiz Kim‘s List
Kim is a San Francisco Bay area artist who goes by @marzkim on Twitter.
Here’s my list; I can’t even say that it’s the order of my favorite artworks or that it’s focused on what should be in the larger “greatest artworks” list- it’s a mixture of ones that were important to my development as an artist, as well as ones I think people should know about, or that I think had an important impact in their time. I skew towards less well known works in some cases. There were so many ways to approach it, I’m even more curious now to know what Tyler Green’s panel thinks about the final result he posted. I’m also very curious about their original lists. Good luck with what you come up with- list making is a bit crazy making. There are many gaps here.

1. One and Three Chairs, 1965, Joseph Kosuth
2. The Dinner Party, 1979, Judy Chicago
3. Campbell�s Soup Cans, 1962, Andy Warhol
4. Interior Scroll, 1975, Carolee Schneeman
5. I Like America and America Likes Me, 1974, Joseph Beuys
6. O Superman, 1983, Laurie Anderson
7. Buddha Watching TV, 1974, Nam June Paik
8. Accession III, 1967/68, Eva Hesse
9. Night Sea, 1963, Agnes Martin
10.Self-Portrait Exaggerating My Negroid Features, 1981, Adrian Piper
11. Untitled (House), 1993, Rachel Whiteread
12. Sun Tunnels, 1976, Nancy Holt
13.Monogram, 1955-59, Robert Rauschenberg
14.Nan One Month After Being Battered, 1984, Nan Goldin
15. Study after Velazquez’s Portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953, Francis Bacon
16. Untitled Film Stills, 1977-80, Cindy Sherman
17. Eddie Carmel, Jewish Giant�, 1970, Diane Arbus
18. Seven Passages to a Flight, 1995, Faith Ringgold
19. The Americans, 1955-59, Robert Frank
21. Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1981, Maya Lin
22. Moratorium, 1969, Jasper Johns
23. Abstract Painting, 1963, Ad Reinhardt
24. Fifty Days at Iliam, 1978, Cy Twombly
25. Protect Me From What I Want, 1988, Jenny Holzer
26. Relation in Time, 1977, Marina Abramovic & Ulay
27. Running Fence, 1973-76, Christo & Jeanne-Claude
28. (Early) Wall Drawings, c.1969-early 1970s, Sol LeWitt
29. One Thousand Days One Million Years, 1993, On Kawara
30. Cut Piece, 1964, Yoko Ono
31. Lairs, c1962-5, Louise Bourgeois
32. Host, 1996, Ellen Gallagher

UPDATE (3/24/11)

Art journalist Carolina Miranda, who blogs at C-Monster and WNYC Gallerina,  has posted an excellent response to Green’s game and come up with a list of her own.
Robert Smithson, Spiral Jetty, 1970
Philip Guston, Painting, Smoking, Eating, 1973
Pollock, One, 1950
Willem de Kooning, Excavation, 1950
Jasper Johns, Flag, 1954-55
Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Portrait of Ross, 1991
Gary Panter, Jimbo in Purgatory, 2004
Asco, Spraypaint LACMA, 1972
Gordon Matta-Clark, Splitting, 1974
Gego, Reticularea, 1969
Dondi, Children of the Grave 3, 1980
Robert Rauschenberg, Bed, 1955,
Robert Rauschenberg, Erased de Kooning Drawing, 1953
ESPO, aka Steve Powers, the buff tags series from L.A., 2002 (not sure if these have an official name)
Ed Ruscha, Every Building on the Sunset Strip, 1966
John Baldessari, I Am Making Art, 1971
Rachel Whiteread, House, 1993
Cindy Sherman, Film Stills 1977-80
Julian Schnabel, Just Kidding, Wanted to Make Sure You Were Paying Attention
Yoko Ono, Cut 1964
Nam June Paik, TV Buddha, 1974
Carolee Schneeman, Interior Scroll, 1975
Eva Hesse, Sans II, 1968
Grace Hartigan, Shinnecock Canal 1957
Ana Mendieta, Silueta Series 1973-80
Alice Neel, Self-Portrait, 1980
Kara Walker, My complement, my enemy 2007
Maya Lin, Vietnam War Memorial
Louise Nevelson, Sky Cathedral, 1957
Cory Arcangel, Super Mario Clouds, 2002-05
Diane Arbus, American Rites, Manners and Customs 1963-7
Robert Frank, The Americans, 1955-59
Glenn Ligon, Runaways Series, 1993
Chris Burden, Shoot, 1971
Louise Bourgeois, Maman, 1999
Andy Warhol, Campbell�s Soup Cans, 1962
AA Bronson, Felix, June 5, 1994 (1994/99)
Francis Bacon, Study After Velazquez�s portrait of Pope Innocent X, 1953
Nan Goldin, Nan One Month After Being Battered, 1953
Joseph Beuys, Felt Suit, 1970
Cornbread, �Cornbread Lives� tagged on an elephant, sometime in the early �70s
John Valadez, Car Show, 2001

My List (@TwoCoats on Twitter)
It’s Spring Break and I’m trying to get some work done in the studio, but I wanted to contribute another painting-centric list even if it’s somewhat half-assed. I have no idea whether these are the best pieces by these artists, let alone “masterpieces” (I don’t have many artists’ monographs, and judging from JPEGs gets dicey), but the important thing is to think about artists in terms of contemporary influence as opposed to their auction prices. I cribbed from the lists above and then included several additions. I would have liked to include Hans Hoffman, Ellen Gallagher,  Joseph Beuys and Nam June Paik’s work but I just couldn’t determine their best work using online sources. The artwork is listed in no particular order–I simply don’t have the heart to rank artwork and artists.

Nancy Spero �The Torture of Women,” 1987
Carolee Schneeman “Interior Scroll,” 1975
Mary Kelly “Post-Partum Document,” 1973-79
Andy Warhol �Brillo Box,� 1964
Jackson Pollock,�Blue Poles,� 1952
Ellsworth Kelly �Spectrum Colors Arranged by Chance,� 1951
Gordon Matta-Clarke,�Food,� 1971
Frank Stella, �Marriage of Reason and Squalor,� 1963
Terry Winters �Good Government,� 1984
Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Slave Auction,” 1982
Maya Lin “Vietnam Veteran’s Memorial,” 1982
Feminist Art Program, “Womanhouse,” 1972
Louise Bourgeois, “Filette,” 1968
Kara Walker, My complement, my enemy 2007
Judy Chicago, “Dinner Party,” 1974-1979
Diane Arbus, “American Rites, manners and Customs,” 1963-67
Jenny Holzer, “Truisms,” 1977
Jasper Johns, “White Flag,” 1955
Gerhard Richter,”256 Colours,” 1974 (So many others, too)
Mark Rothko, “No. 1 (Black Form Paintings),” 1964
Sol Lewitt, “Lines In Four Directions, Each A Quarter of A Square,” 1969
Andrea Zittel, “A-Z Comfort Unit,” 1994-95
Bridget Riley, “Decending,” 1965
Sherrie Levine, “After Walker Evans,” 1979
Kerry James Marshall, “Our Town,” 1995
Lee Krasner, “Jackson Pollock,” I’m serious.
Elizabeth Murray, �Painter�s Progress� 1981
Robert Rauschenberg, “Bed,” 1955
Philip Guston, “Painting, Smoking, Eating,” 1973
George Maciunas, et. al. �Fluxus� 1962 onward
John Baldessari, “What is Painting,” 1966

(Sorry, I can’t seem to stop editing my own list.)

Related posts:
From John Powers (@starwarsmodern at Twitter): Modernist Hangover: The Masterpiece
From Paddy Johnson at Art Fag City: The Alternative to Tyler Green’s Art Tourney
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  1. Fabulous, and fascinating, thank you. This was fun to do – Just want to add that picking only women was a strategic response – I did toy with the idea of putting three works by men in there to mirror the original list 🙂

  2. This discussion reminded me yet again of how many great women artists have nearly been forgotten because of the status quo followed by so many institutions, the "canon".

    Thank you for this opportunity. I could have added many more women artists to my list, important to my own development as an artist.

    Oh and Museum Nerd, I forgot Gego!

  3. Looking over my own list, as well as those of others, makes it clear just how subjective "the canon" really is. My own list is based both on work that as made a lasting impression on me, but also work on that I'm thinking about right now. I plan on providing a further breakdown of my thinking shortly…

  4. Only one of you named a Pollock? (Mine: Blue Poles.) None of you named a de Kooning? (Mine: Woman, 1948) Interesting. In general these lists weren't much interested in the first two decades of the post-war era which is fine, but MAN's version of the rubric explicitly included them. 39 of the 64 works seeded on MAN came from those two decades.

    Surprised only one of you had Martha Rosler's Semiotics of the Kitchen. It was high on my list (though not high enough to make the 32; I was the only one who listed it) and Gray Drape just missed. I think Cathy Opie's first self-portrait may be the most important work of the last 20 years. And I think Andrea Zittel's A-Z West project is 'lumpable' as one thing. Delighted to see Nancy Spero's important Torture of Women on multiple lists. In five years I think Julie Mehretu's Stadia triptych probably would make a similar list (and made mine, as all these listed works did).

  5. Fascinating series of essays and on a very important topic. But, as many here have said, "masterpiece" in the post modern era is very subjective. As far as important women artists go (and this is far from a definitive list) I can think of several names right off the top of my head – Louse Bourgeois, Krasner, Agnes Martin, Lee Bontocou, Grace Hartigan (for a decade or two), Judy Chicago, Katherine Sherwood, Nancy Spero, Kiki Smith, Ida Applebroog, Paula Rego. This doesn't even begin to scratch the surface of artists from the third world who are producing magnificent art.

    The point should be made that it's not that there are no great women artists (I seem to have read that some place else!) but that few outside the art world know their names.

  6. Tyler, thank you for engaging on this to the extent that you have. It would be great to see your list in its entirety so that we could see how you resolved these hard choices yourself. It gives me no pleasure to be the Chief Pain-In-Your-Ass on this but it must be said that you lose credibility when you hold others to a higher standard of specificity and risk than you will meet yourself.

    That said, I appreciate the dialogue and will continue it. I explicitly included the first 20 years of your period (1945-65) in my consideration but one of the things I found out about myself in making this list is that I feel too far removed from those works to think of them as made during our current artistic period. That work seems have been made by a different culture, and it's possible that (for me) that has something to do with the male-centered historical narratives swimming around that work.

    Another thing I found out about myself is that I value performance art much more than I would have expected. And I was surprised how much I struggled with painting. Individual paintings had a hard time competing with the other works on my list, even though I would list at least a dozen painters among the most important artists to me.

    Of the left-out women's works you cite, Rosler's Semiotics of the Kitchen is the only one that was seriously in the running for me.

    I also have to note something really awesome which is that I read Matthew Langley's list and didn't notice that it was all women until it was noted on twitter. That feels like progress.

  7. Jen: Despite the attempts of some people, this isn't about me. (Or at least it certainly shouldn't be.) Anyone trying to make this about a single person (or six particular people) is looking to blame someone for 65 years of art history rather than to address that history itself. Hence my comment, which is about art, not personalities.

  8. Tyler, I think what you are failing to see is that you and these other 5 people are making this art history that you pretend is a done deal! White and male-centered art historical narratives are something that critics create and reinforce by lists such as the one on your blog. As evidenced by the alternative lists here, there were tons of women making important work throughout this period. That the "experts'" choose to value so much work by men so much more highly is something that needs to be challenged at every level.

  9. Tyler, is it impossible to see how the sausage was made? Even if you can't or won't share your own list of those of the other jurors, it would at least be interesting to see a flat list of works that were mentioned by didn't make the cut-off.

    Jen articulates one of my frustrations with the list that I fear I have not communicated well. In the disparity between individual works (paintings) and series of works (Sherman's Film Stills) it feels like some of the individual paintings (Johns, Flags, the various Pollocks and DeKoonings – who did make my list by the way) really benefit from the canonical narrative of art history (and how these works influenced it) in a way that isn't being afforded to women (Louise Bourgeious or Eva Hesse really stand out as examples here).

  10. Brian, that is an interesting wrinkle and it is hard to sort out the effect of the different interpretations of what is "One work." I interpreted the Cindy Sherman Exception as the only way she got on the list at all, since there might not have been much agreement on the best one or two or three of those works.

  11. No one is arguing art history is a done deal. That's a particularly disappointing accusation given that I just spent many hours on a three-part review in which I argued for a specific revisionist approach to a certain section of art history.

    In a related story, see my 10-year body of work, not just a 16 percent contribution to one post.

  12. Brian: It's 153 works. I may go back and maybe count up how many were made by women.

  13. Tyler, you said we were trying to blame critics for art history. As in, which facts critics objectively choose to record and what judgments critics objectively make are not their responsibility. It's hard to imagine how else I could interpret that but I'm open.

  14. Jen: I did not say that.

    What I said: "Anyone trying to make this about a single person (or six particular people) is looking to blame someone for 65 years of art history rather than to address that history itself. "

  15. Um. Like I said…?

    I guess this is it for me for now, it's feeling like I reached the dead end and the day job work is waiting. Anyone who still has it in em, feel free to carry on!

  16. Sharon:
    Thanks for including mine.
    These are all really interesting.

    Fascinating to see what people look at and what they value.

  17. Sharon, thanks for a level-headed and pluralistic post. the whole ranking thing seemed to be started as a ploy to raise clicks, and not much else. but this selection is much more about subjective experience and memory of art, and not about the authority on high handing down definitions of significance and historical.

  18. Sometimes I think the gendering in art politics is tricky. Assuming most curators and art professors are more likely to be female today does not cause most exhibitions and publications to be about females. Isn't it too early to be counting who won since the access of women to the art world is really only at the early stages? I'm looking in a more long range sense. I just hope this spat does not exist 100 years from now. What I am thrilled to see is how few picked Koons or Prince, although I'm surprised to see how few picked Mendieta. Looks like the Walker's Olga Viso's attempt at marketing her as an ecohetero goddess hasn't struck a chord. I'd also like to see everyone's list of critics, excluding reviewers like Paddy Johnson, Smith & Saltz, etc.

  19. I added an explanation of the thinking behind my list (and some subsequent thoughts)here:


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