PRINT March 1996



FEMININ-MASCULIN, LE SEXE DE L’ART (Feminine-masculine, the sex of art), the first museum-size exhibition on French shores to address how visual art is traversed by the question of sexual difference, was, of course, eagerly anticipated. Comprising 500 works drawn from 20th-century-Western art that were displayed across the entire fifth floor of the Centre Pompidou—not to mention the gallery spaces on the ground floor—and accompanied by a 400-page catalogue,1 this survey of the “sex of art” certainly contained the stuff of fantasy. Two artistic approaches to sex served as a point of departure for the two curators, Marie-Laure Bernadac and Bernard Marcadé. One line descends from Pablo Picasso, who represents the traditional view of the difference between the sexes, the other from Marcel Duchamp, exemplifying an alternative axis that probably traverses (and transgresses) the first. Because

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