TABLE OF CONTENTS

PRINT February 1990

CRITICAL REFLECTIONS

I AM NOT A CRITIC. By academic training and the means by which I earn a living, I am an art historian. But the women’s movement has made all the difference to writing about art. The difference cannot be reduced to the emergence of the auxiliary categories of feminist artist, feminist critic, and feminist art historian. In fact, feminist interventions have redefined the key characters in the processes of artistic production and consumption—the Artist, the Critic, the Reader/Viewer.

The abstract figures—Author [Artist], Critic, Reader [Viewer]—I have taken from Roland Barthes’s 1968 essay “The Death of the Author,” in which Barthes articulated how the textual system of “modernist writing,” which had replaced the “classic realist text,” effectively destroyed the idea of literature as the utterance of an authoritative subject. Barthes argued that Modernist writing presents itself as a fragmented

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