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PRINT April 1983

FORUM

Kate Linker

Things are bad when a woman writer not known for a specifically feminist criticism feels called upon to defend the position of women artists. But as we move through the ’80s there is such staggering evidence of a concerted suppression of the initiative of women as to obviate further silence. Faced with the facts, not to speak becomes equivalent to acquiescence, to a willful acceptance of a situation with damaging esthetic, political, and human consequences. For scanning last year’s large-scale supposedly “comprehensive” exhibitions yields an image of sexism masked in the guise of an informed reflection of the contemporary scene. Highlights of the season: an exhibition designed to convey the scope of current Italian art, but representing the work of 7 men (Italian Art Now, Guggenheim Museum). A drawing show purporting to explore “the variety and vitality of recent work” and composed of 5

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